If you want your printed garments to last as long as possible and look as good as new, you need to make sure that you treat them more carefully than most of your other clothes. You can’t simply throw them in the washer and dryer without a thought and expect them to come out looking the way they did when they went in. There are several things that can cause the quality of a printed garment to deteriorate, but they’ll only do so if they aren’t cared for properly.
Although different methods can be used to create a print on a garment, which may mean that some are hardier than others, we recommend you follow this advice for each printed garment you own. With that said, you should make sure to always check the washing label to double-check that there are no special instructions.
How to Wash and Dry Printed GarmentsStart by separating your lights from your darks to prevent colours from running into one another, and separate tougher fabrics, like denim, from your printed garments and these can cause abrasions on prints.
The next step is to turn all of your printed garments inside out as this will help protect the print during the wash cycle and prevent other items in the wash from damaging the print.
After carefully putting your printed garments into the washer make sure to program the machine to the lowest possible temperature. Despite what many people may believe, clothes don’t actually need to be cleaned with hot water. Using cooler water, anything below 30˚C, ensures that both the fabric and the print are protected during the wash cycle.
When your printed garments are clean, avoid putting them in the tumble dryer. Printed garments are best dried outside on a washing line, or failing that, laid flat and left to air dry. The heat from a tumble dryer is enough to cause your printed garment to shrink so it should always be avoided.
You should also be aware that hard water can cause printed garments to run or fade and the fabric to feel less soft. You may find it beneficial to pre-soak your printed garments in a solution of one gallon of water and one cup of white vinegar before running them through the washing machine if you live in an area with hard water.