How to Wash T-Shirts

How to Wash T-Shirts. Style is a personal matter, and some people prize their t-shirts above everything else in their wardrobes. While cotton or cotton-blend shirts are easy to wash, preserving their new look can be tricky. For best results, start as soon as you get the shirt. Learn how to keep those team, vacation souvenir or concert t-shirts clean and looking as good as the day you bought them.

Separate T-Shirts Into the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Make three piles of t-shirts, starting with your best or most delicate shirts. Include designer shirts and those decorated with rhinestones, sequins or embroidery. This is the good pile.

Place your ordinary t-shirts in another pile, including everything from colors to prints and undershirts to pocket tees. This is the bad pile.

Throw your oldest, smelliest and most stained t-shirts in another pile. These will get a good, hard washing and may incur some damage, so only put your best shirts here if they're already at risk. This is the ugly pile.

Fight Stains and Come Clean

Apply stain remover to visible stains on shirts in the ugly pile. Use a commercial stain remover according to its directions. Let the shirts rest awhile, with the stain remover on them, before you wash them.

Check the labels on the bad pile. Any shirts labeled "cold-water wash" should be routed to the good pile.

Wash the good pile in cold water. Turn decorated shirts, such as those with paint, silk-screening or other printing on them, inside out first.

Load the bad pile in the washing machine and use the warm-water setting.

Place the ugly pile of shirts in the machine and close the lid securely. Wash them on warm or in the most extreme cases, hot.

Dry t-shirts on high and remove them promptly to avoid wrinkles. Hangers can be used to keep them that way.

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