A Step-by-Step Guide To Washing & Caring For Screen Printed Shirts


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    According to a study by the International Association of Dry Cleaners, improper washing techniques results in 90% of shirts losing their vibrant colors and designs.

    To wash your screen-printed shirt, start by turning it inside out. This is done in order to protect the image from being exposed during the laundry cycle. Then, wash the shirt in cold water with mild detergent.

    Key Takeaways

    The best way to wash screen-printed garments?

    When possible, avoid the washing machine and clean the screen-printed garments by hand. Hand washing is a gentler means of washing. It relies more on soaking than centrifugal force.

    Does water temperature make a difference?

    Always use cold water for screen-printed garments. The energy of hot water will fade ink colors faster than cold water.

    A simple protection tip

    A simple tip for protecting your designs is to flip your apparel inside out. This acts as a protective barrier to the design.

    Bleach, as well as fabric softeners are not recommended. These will cause significant damage to the printed areas.

    Air dry the shirt, or dry it on a low heat setting in the dryer. Once dry, iron it on the reverse side to smooth out any wrinkles. Do not expose the heat from an iron directly on the print, this will melt it.

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      Let’s now take a more specific look on how to care for your screen printed shirts and the right way to wash them!

      Washing Your Screen Printed Shirts

      Many don’t pay attention on how to wash screen printed shirts. We throw everything in the machine until the load is at the top level and press the start button.

      Following simple washing instructions will prevent shrinkage and print fading of your garments.

      However, a few care instructions should be followed to prolong the life expectancy of the print.

      Here are a few steps on keeping your shirts looking their best:

      • Wash your shirt inside out in cold water.
      • Hang your shirt to dry, or dry it on a low setting.
      • Avoid ironing directly on the design (iron shirt inside out).

      Follow these simple tips, and keep your screen prints looking great for years to come.

      Wash with similar fabrics

      Obviously, everyone should follow this advice as they are likely to wear common-sense clothing but it has an important purpose.

      A screen printed shirt that’s been washed using soft fabrics is easily cleaned to remove any ink on the shirt.

      Washing the same fabrics helps to reduce the rubbing of ink layers. This prolongs your screen-printed designs and clothing fibers.

      Turn it inside out

      Before starting the wash cycle, turn it inside out. Printed products may be vulnerable when removing them from a fabric that contains water.

      Failure to turn the t-shirt inside out will accelerate fading. You want to prevent other garments from rubbing against the print (not to mention cause fabric pilling too)!

      Use cold water

      Water temperature will vary depending on fabrics the print is on. When using screen-printed T-Shirts, you will need cold water.

      Hot water removes ink color and dyes from the shirt. Cold water is gentler and saves money through electricity.

      Dry only in the shade

      Hanging your shirt in a dry, shady area (avoid direct sunlight). The idea is to avoid the sun’s UV rays. If this is not possible, then once again, turn the shirt inside out.

      Avoid dryers

      Dryers cause the same consequences as when heated water is applied. Heat generally causes the design of your screen-print to fade.

      Do not put screen-printed clothing in the dryer. Hang it out.

      Wash with care

      If you’re spending a lot of money washing printed materials with cold water, do so by hand to preserve their appearance.

      If a washer is used, keep them on a short cold cycle (warm at the most). Avoid using fabric softener or harsh chemicals such as chlorine bleach or ammonia.

      Wash similar clothes together

      Make washing shirts with similar colors an important practice. Colors aren’t the sole factor, you also have to consider the fabrics in the garment.

      Shirts with different materials have different textures. They will rub together, creating cracks as a result of friction.

      Don’t use bleach or strong detergents

      Unlike hot water, bleach and other chemicals are harmful to the skin.

      I would recommend avoiding bleach to remove stains. Always use gentle washing products.

      How to Store Your Screen Printed Shirt

      Screen printing is a popular method for t-shirts and other clothes. The ink is applied to the garment in thin layers, so it is important to take care when storing your screen-printed shirt.

      To prevent the ink from cracking or peeling, wash your shirt inside out in cold water. Hang or lay your shirt flat to dry, and avoid ironing or using a clothes dryer. If you must iron your shirt, do so on the reverse side.

      Once your shirt is dry, fold it neatly and store it in a cool, dark place. Avoid storing your shirt in a plastic bag. In addition, this can also cause the ink to fade.


      How do you wash shirts after screen printing?

      There are a few things to keep in mind when washing shirts after screen printing to ensure the design lasts. First, use cold water and mild detergent.

      Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as these can break down the ink over time.

      Next, turn the shirt inside out before washing to protect the design. Finally, hang the shirt to dry rather than put it in the dryer.

      Does screen printing wash off?

      There are a few factors that will affect how well screen printing washes off. The type of fabric, the quality of the printing, and the type of ink used can all play a role.

      If you’re concerned about screen printing washing off, it’s best to test a small area first to see how well it holds up.

      How do you dry a screen printed shirt?

      There are a few different ways that you can dry a screen printed shirt. The most common way is to hang the shirt up to dry.

      You can also lay the shirt flat to dry, or you can use a drying rack. If you are in a hurry, you can use a hair dryer on the low setting to speed up the drying process.

      How long after screen printing can you wash a shirt?

      After screen printing a shirt, you should wait 24 hours before washing it. This allows the ink to be set properly and prevents it from washing away.

      When you are ready to wash the shirt, turn it inside out and machine washes it in cold water. Milder detergent would do the trick and also try to avoid bleach.

      Hang the shirt to dry or machine dry it on low heat.


      Screen printed shirts require a bit of special care when it comes to washing them. The first thing you want to do is turn the shirt inside out.

      This will help protect the design on the shirt from fading. Next, you want to use a mild detergent and cold water.

      Hot water can cause the design to fade and the shirt to shrink. After washing, hang the shirt up to dry or lay it flat to prevent wrinkles.

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