We know you don’t need lessons in laundering your clothes. However, custom-printed apparel is our business, and we don’t think it’s a waste of time to post reminders about how to love and care for your custom t-shirts and business polos. With the proper attention, screen-printed designs will stay fresh and vibrant, free from unsightly cracks and fading.
The main goals are to reduce friction, harsh detergents, and heat that might lift, fade, or dry out the ink.
1. Always wash in cold water.
2. Wash with similar textures. You separate colors to prevent color-bleed, but another important aspect about the process is reducing the kinds of fabrics that get mixed together. By keeping similar textures together, you reduce the kind of friction that can encourage screen-printed inks to lift or crack. T-shirts like to be washed with other t-shirts. Throwing them in with towels will wear out your screen-printing much quicker.
3. Avoid bleaches and other strong detergents. Skip the fabric softeners, which can weaken the fabric. A mild detergent will ensure that you’re not introducing harsh chemical agents that can affect the ink in your screen-printed designs. Don’t dry-clean, either.
4. Flip garments inside-out. This is generally a good rule-of-thumb when laundering pieces you want to protect, but it holds especially true for screen-printed garments.
5. Be gentle. Choose the gentlest cycle. Additionally, don’t overfill the machine. This ensures the screen-print inks aren’t being subjected to unnecessary friction.
6. Avoid high heat. Don’t throw screen-printed apparel in the dryer if you can help it. If you must, tumble dry on no-heat or lowest-heat setting, and take them out before they are completely dry, then lay garments flat to dry to preserve designs. Don’t iron screen-printed areas.
Take advantage of the tips above to enjoy your custom-printed apparel for as long as possible.