Washing Clothes with Decals and Sticker Designs

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated September 16, 2013)

1

The fashions now often incorporate graphic logos or designs. You can find shirts like that anywhere from Target to Old Navy to quirky online stores. Those shirts are definitely fun to wear and can make a fun statement about the wearer, however washing them can be a challenge. You don't want to ruin the garment with excessive heat, but the clothes do need to be washed and usually ironing them is a good idea. Fixing this dilemma isn't hard (fortunately) and you'll be left with those favorite graphic tees of yours that are clean and pressed and ready for anything!

The wash cycle you use with your graphic tees doesn't really matter. I usually wash mine in cold because I want to prevent shrinking but washing them in a warm load won't damage the shirt or the decal. You can use stain removers on the designs and you can pretty much treat them like any other cotton garment you have. The difference in maintenance comes when you turn on the iron.

I've had disastrous experiences when the graphic on a shirt I was ironing was rendered smudged or melted from the heat of the iron. Those pictures and decals on your shirts and other garments are definitely not iron-friendly and you need to recognize that before doing anything with the iron.

This problem however is easily remedied and you won't even have to decrease the heat level on your iron. All you have to do is use a press cloth. A press cloth is basically just a thin piece of fabric of moderate size that you can put over potentially melt-able designs. It acts as a buffer between the design and the heat of the iron. This technique has proven to save many a t-shirt design and you won't be disappointed you took one extra step!

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What is 9 + 8?

2014-01-08 22:51:38

Jeanie

Just wondering I learned from applying stencils to many shirts and dresses in the 80s that warm-warm washes were best for the longevity of decals. Cold water was thought to hasten cracking of the stencil. I have also noticed that when some of the shirts that I purposely turn inside out to wash and place in the dryer find their way back to the right side out. When this happens the heat, although on the low side has made the stencils "stick" to the sides of the machine or smell like they were freshly applied and perhaps easily listed. Any comments on the warm-warm wash cycle. Most of the shirts today tell you to wash in cold water. I just can't get past what I have been doing for years.


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