How to Make Your T-Shirts Last Longer

July 29, 2015

Have you ever washed a brand new T-shirt only to have it come out of the wash looking scruffy and dingy? The difference between a shirt that looks great after a year, and one that looks worn out within a few washes is usually caused by the way it’s treated in the wash. Here are 6 tips for how to make your T-shirts last longer.

  1. Don’t overload the washer. It’s tempting to put a few extra items in the wash cycle, since it gives you the feeling that you’re getting more done in less time. But heavily loaded washers are harder on clothing. If items inside the washer have space to spread out, there’s less friction and clothing lasts longer. As clothing is agitated in the washer, it scrubs against other items in the washer and that’s partially how clothes get clean. However, if there’s too much friction, or items are packed in too heavily, the wash cycle can wear down the fabric prematurely. That’s why it’s always a good idea to go slightly light on the wash load size.
  2. Wash items with zippers separately. Jeans, jackets, and other items with zippers, buttons, and other fasteners can catch on other pieces of clothing in the wash. They can snag these items, make small holes, or wear out the fabric gradually. That means if you want your new black T-shirt to stay looking awesome, you shouldn’t throw it in a load with your jeans, even if they’re about the same color.
  3. Don’t toss your best T-shirts in the dryer. Dry nice T-shirts flat. Avoiding the dryer will prolong the life of your T-shirts more than almost anything else you can do. It will preserve the fabric and also prevent most of the shrinkage that occurs in the dryer. If you don’t have the space to dry things flat on dryer racks, use a wash line or drape them over the back of your kitchen chairs. You can also dry T-shirts to a damp dry stage and then lay them flat, to cut down on air drying time. The final stage of the drying process is the most damaging to delicate fabrics.
  4. Group items by fabric type. Most people are taught to wash all darks together, all lights, etc. However, it’s better for your clothes (and more energy efficient) if you separate these loads further into loads based off fabric type. If you have a nice pastel T-shirt, it may age faster if you wash it with a load of towels (and even more so if you dry it with the load of towels, which will take much longer to dry resulting in a T-shirt that’s put through the dryer too long).
  5. Scrub stains out immediately, not just on wash day. If you notice a drop of salsa on your shirt, or a splash of tea, scrub it out with cold water as soon as possible. If this doesn’t fully remove the stain, use a stain remover and then rinse it out once the stain is gone. Wash the T-shirt as usual the next time you do a load of laundry. By rinsing out the stain immediately, you increase the chances of getting out all the stain and minimize the scrubbing you’ll need to do to get rid of it.
  6. Use a delicates bag for your nicest T-shirts. You can get delicate laundry bags at drugstores and specialty shops (they’re usually made of white mesh). By washing your nice shirts in a delicates bag, they will not rub against other items in the wash or get snagged, which will preserve the fabric and protect the color and design. It also makes it easier to sort out items you want to dry flat.

By following these 6 key tips, you will protect your investment and be able to keep your T-shirts looking great longer. If you’re interested in finding stylish Christian T-shirts for men and women, browse our store of Christian apparel, jewelry, and accessories and we’ll drop your favorite T-shirt in the mail today.

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