Dress shirts are an investment, not just in the money that you spent to purchase them, but in the impression that you hope to make when you wear the shirt. Taking care of your shirt is essential to making sure that it looks its best for as long as possible. Here is what you need to know about how to wash dress shirts so that they'll keep looking great.
Start with Quality
The higher quality your dress shirt, the better it will hold up to being washed. Shirts that are made out of inexpensive materials and are poorly stitched will begin to show wear after only a couple of washes.
On the other hand, extremely high-quality shirts like those made by Twillory have reinforced seams and are constructed of 80s two-ply cotton. This material and construction is tough enough to hold up to the machine washing and still look brand new.
These shirts are also wrinkle-resistant, which means they won't have to go through the potentially destructive process of being ironed. They also won't get wrinkled on the way back from the dry cleaner.
Keep it Clean
The best way to make sure that your dress shirts are as clean as possible is to prevent them from getting dirty in the first place. Wearing an undershirt is the best way to keep your shirt from getting dirty by being worn against your skin.
If you want to avoid an undershirt, choosing highly breathable shirts is a great way to prevent sweat and body oil from building up on them. Roll up your sleeves if you intend to handle anything that might get your arms dirty.
Some high-quality dress shirts can be washed in your home washing machine, while others are dry clean only. If you're not up to dry cleaning at home or bringing your shirts to the cleaners, make sure that you're choosing shirts that can be washed in your home machine.
Double-check to make sure that the dress shirts can be dried at home as wel, since laying out shirts to dry can sometimes be a pain.
Methods for Washing a Dress ShirtWash and Press
If you bring your dress shirt to the dry cleaners, the chances are that they are getting a wash and press treatment. While most people may assume that all clothes that go to the dry cleaners go through a special process, dry cleaning staff make the decisions about what your clothing needs.
Very few dress shirts need to go through the special process of dry cleaning. This is the process that most dry cleaners use to wash your dress shirts.
- Machine wash. Your dress shirt goes through a normal washing machine with water and detergent like any other clothing.
- Remove water with a spin cycle. Your dress shirt goes through a spin wash cycle in the washing machine to remove as much excess water as possible.
- Industrial shirt press. This is the stuff that you can't easily do at home. The dry cleaner will put your shirt into an industrial shirt press that squeezes, irons, and removes the water all at the same time.
While you may assume that professionals will be more gentle on your shirts than you, this isn't necessarily the case. Shirts are often damaged going through this process, especially if they are stretched over the press improperly. When you need to bring your shirts back from the cleaners, they may be squished, causing permanent wrinkles.
At Home Wash
These steps can be a little bit time-consuming, but if you want to make your shirts last as long as possible, it may be the right choice for you. These steps should be followed if you are washing a standard dress shirt that can't be dried or if you aren't sure what the requirements for your dress shirt are.Skip the Steps
If you have a wrinkle-free, durable shirt like these Twillory shirts, you can wash your shirt in the machine and tumble dry. If you don't want to go through a lot of steps at home to keep your shirt looking great, a Twillory dress shirt may be right for you.
If you don't have a dryer or if your drying machine is very hard on clothes, you may choose to go through most of the steps even if you do have a Twillory shirt. Just feel confident that you won't have to worry about wrinkles as if you were washing another kind of dress shirt.
- Prep. Unbutton every single button, including cuff buttons and collar buttons. Remove the collar stays, and be careful to put them somewhere that you won't lose them.
- Pre-treat stains. If there are any stains on your dress shirt, put a little detergent or stain remover on them and wait the recommended time before washing for the best chance to remove stains.
- Washing machine on delicate or hand wash. Unless your dress shirt has somehow gotten exceptionally dirty, you should be fine washing it on the delicate cycle or hand washing it. Heavy-duty shirts that are very dirty may be able to handle the normal cycle but may not last as long.
- Cold water. You can use white shirts and light colors with warm water or hot water, but cold is just as likely to do the trick. If you have any darker contrasting color or threading, then you should not use hot water.
- Detergent. Don't skimp on the detergent when you're washing your dress shirts. Choose a very high-quality detergent that is made for the color of shirts that you are trying to launder. Never use any detergents that are chlorine-based as it may discolor the fabric.
- Spin cycle. When your shirts are done washing, let the spin cycle ring the water out. If there is still a lot of water left, consider running the spin cycle again.
- Lay flat. As soon as the shirts are done spinning, take them out of the washing machine so that wrinkles won't set in. You might be amazed by how quickly wrinkles can set into traditional dress shirts. Hanging on a hanger is too likely to leave a fabric distortion or mark in the shoulders, so laying the shirts flat to air dry is the safest option. Try to smooth as many wrinkles out while the shirts are laying flat as you can, especially if the fabric is not wrinkle-free.
* If your shirt is a wrinkle-free variety and is able to handle tumble drying, like a Twillory shirt, you can put your shirt in the dryer on tumble instead of laying it flat.
- Iron or hang. If you have a wrinkle-free Twillory shirt, you can hang it immediately after tumble drying so that it will be ready to wear when you need it. If you have a traditional dress shirt, carefully iron the wrinkles out of the shirt before you hang it.
- Hang. When hanging, be very careful that the traditional dress shirt does not push up against other shirts or rest on anything, as wrinkles can easily be created in storage so you'll have to iron again before you wear it.
Spend More Time Wearing and Less Time Washing with Twillory
If you don't want to deal with spending a lot of time babying your dress shirts, especially ironing out wrinkles, consider investing in a Twillory shirt. These dress shirts are stylish and will make a great impression in any workplace, but they're durable enough to hold up to machine washing and resist wrinkles so you can forget about the iron.
If you're tired of worrying about maintaining your dress shirts and just want to look great wearing them, Twillory is right for you.