Many people think that they know the secret to washing shirts, when in fact they don't. The easiest way to tell whether you know the trick or not is to take a quick look at the collar of your shirt after having washed it, and see if you find anything. If you find still find a ring around that collar, then that means you still have some work to do. Follow these guidelines and instructions to ensure that you are washing shirts (particularly dress shirts) correctly.
- Read the instructions. Before you actually start washing shirts, you need to read the instructions that come along with almost all shirts. These are the care instructions that the manufacturer provides, and are usually a good idea to know about before you begin using any cleaners on it. Often times, these care instructions will tell you whether you can machine wash your shirt, or if it needs to be dry cleaned. In addition, these tabs will also tell you what the shirt is made out of, and that will also tell you which kind of cleaning materials you can safely use, and which ones to avoid.
- Wash and press it. A very effective method for washing shirts that many professionals use is called washing and pressing. However, while this method typically requires that you use a clothes press, which can be fairly expensive, you can also modify the method by using a hot iron. Wash the shirt in your washing machine as you normally would (making sure to pretreat any stains with the appropriate type of cleaner), and then removing the shirt after the spin cycle is finished. If you have access to a clothes press, simply put the damp shirt into the press, and follow the directions for properly using this piece of equipment. The press will both dry and iron the shirt at the same time, and can do the work with relatively little shrinkage. If you don't have access to a clothes press, then you can simply iron the shirt with a hot iron on the appropriate material setting. This method will remove any wrinkles, though it may take a bit more work to get the shirt completely dry. If you want to use a little bit of starch, apply it at this point in time, but don't use too much.
- Take it to the cleaners. One of the better methods for washing shirts is to take them to a professional cleaner, and let them do the work. While this may be a bit more expensive than many other options, you can pretty much be certain that you will be receiving shirts back free from any stains, and in great condition.
- Wash and dry as normal. The traditional method for washing shirts is to simply toss them into your washing machine, being sure to follow the care directions on the label, and using the appropriate stain pre-treater. Once the spin cycle has been completed, remove the shirt and carefully inspect it. If you notice any stains still remaining, make sure that you apply some more pre-treater to the stain, and then put it through the wash cycle again. Repeat the process as many times as necessary until you have removed the stain from the shirt, and only then put it through the dryer on the lowest possible setting to get it dry. Once the shirt is dry, remove it from the dryer, and then iron it. Lightly spray the shirt with a mixture of water and slight starch to help remove the wrinkles. When you are finished, hang up the shirt on thick hanger to help prevent any hanger wrinkles from forming.