Laundry — it never goes away, your mom can’t always do it for you, and somehow mixing colored and white clothes together is scarier than touching the bathroom door handle at work. But again, it never goes away, so you’re stuck guessing how much soap to use for a load, if you should air dry your favorite shirt, and endlessly searching for that missing sock. And if your favorite shirt has a screen printed graphic of a dinosaur, you’d best believe that shirt is getting the royal treatment every time it gets washed. So how do you really care for shirts with screen printed designs?
Use Cold Water
Not only is using cold water more energy efficient, but it also prevents the fabric of your clothes from breaking down. Hot water can be harsh and will gradually cause the shirt to lose the fresh look it had when you first got it. Heat will also cause the screen printed area to crack quicker than cold water. Cold water gets your clothes just as clean and is gentle enough to use on all of your favorite pieces.
Bleach should be avoided a majority of the time when doing laundry, unless you’re trying to whiten up some sheets. Products like bleach or any strong detergent is worse than using hot water and will break down the fabric of the item. Stick with mild detergents and if necessary use a spot treatment for stains.
Wash Inside Out
Taking a couple seconds to turn your dinosaur shirt inside out will protect it from fading and will keep the quality of the graphic intact. This goes for ironing the shirt as well. Any heated added to the graphic will reduce the quality of the color and increase the risk of cracking.
Don’t Wash After Every Use
This may be blasphemous to those who believe that everything absolutely must be washed after a single use. But if you truly care about your dinosaur T-shirt, you will wear it at least twice before putting it in the wash. The more often the shirt goes through a wash and dry cycle, the faster it will break down the quality of the screen printing and the fibers of the material.
Heat is the Enemy
We covered using cold water when in the wash, but we also need to mention that the dryer should also be set to low heat — or if you can, avoid it completely. Heat equals a shirt that doesn’t last as long — it’s as simple as that. And if you’re really on your game, take the shirt out of the dryer before it’s completely dry. Let it air dry on a clothesline.
Keep Similar Clothes Together
Your mom was right — don’t mix colored clothes with white or light-colored clothes. If the shirt is darker and is mixed with whites, the color will fade or bleed onto the white clothes. Also, consider the type of fabric. If the shirt is cotton, mixing it with other textures could increase the friction in the wash and dryer, increasing the risk of cracking the graphic.
Now that you know how to care for screen printed shirts, you just need to figure out how much soap to use for a load. At Lucky Dog Custom Apparel in Pleasantville, NJ, we are passionate about providing our customers with quality screen printing and embroidery products. Contact us today to learn more!