We’ve all been there. We put a brand new garment into the wash machine and then an hour later, when we take it out, it looks completely different. Like what is this and what did they do with my personalized T-shirt?
We all know that clothes can change their shape completely when they’re not properly cared for, but did you know that they also lose their prints? We just don’t notice immediately because the colours fade away gradually. It’s not until several washes later when we realise how the image is not as vibrant as it once was.
On this post we’ll go over different – easy to follow – tips to keep your garments colourful and vibrant for longer. This is also a good way to get the most out of your purchase; the last thing we want is for you to spend your hard earned money on a T-shirt that will only look like a pale comparison of the original in a few months time.
1. Turn the clothes inside out before throwing them into the wash machine
I learned this little trick a while ago while watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Remember that show? It was fabulous and it’s coming back! Anyway, this doesn’t only apply to printed T-shirts, jeans can also greatly benefit from being turned inside out. This technique will prevent the colours from fading too quickly.
2. Wash similar clothes together
You must be thinking, I already knew that. I mean, what kind of idiot washes their whites and colored together, right? And I’m here to tell you that’s it’s not just about the colors, it’s also about texture. Wash garments with others that are of similar fabrics. Denim and other pieces with zips and buttons should be kept separate from T-shirts, for example. This is due to the fact that when harsher materials rub against softer ones, it may cause prints to peel.
3. Do your laundry with cold water
When it comes to clothes: Cold is good, heat is bad. Keep this in mind since we’ll go back to it a bit later. Unless your garments get real dirty (or you work at a health facility), there is really no need to wash your clothes with hot water. Cold water will do a fine job cleaning your garments, as well. Not only will it prevent the ink from distilling, but will also consume less electricity.
4. Avoid bleach
Not only bleach, but also other strong detergents like softeners which can dissolve the adhesive in cad-cut vinyls. Instead, go for a milder soap that will take care of your clothes.
5. Avoid dryers, as well
At all costs! Dryers are great because they save us time, but they’re particularly terrible for clothes. Remember what I told you about heat? Same thing applies here. They not only shrink garments, but can also make a print peel or crack. Save the machine for sheets and towels, but hang your clothes the old fashion way. You should also avoid dry cleaners for the same reasons.
6. Let them dry under the shade
Hang your clothes in a place where they don’t get direct contact with sunlight. Light (especially coming from the sun) is particularly dangerous for colours. But, you may wonder, I wear T-shirts to go outside all the time and it’s fine. Yes, that’s true, but even though you go out, you rarely spend long hours with sunlight hitting you directly.
7. Stay way from irons
Again, heat not good. If you absolutely must iron your printed garment (because of a fancy date or whatever) then we’d advice to use the lowest setting and iron the garment turned inside out.
Keep in mind that the quality of the T-shirt will also affect how long the print will last and how it will react to water and soap. The higher the quality of the tee, then the longer the print will last.
Also, always read the care label on the garment! It is easy to ignore those. I mean, there are on the inside of the T-shirt and they are kind of annoying so we even cut it off, but they contain valuable information on how to handle the piece.
Pay attention to it! And you may be surprised by how long your print will last