How To Keep Printed Shirts In Good Condition

One of the most accessible pieces of clothing you can pull off is a shirt. It can effortlessly exude the vibe or mood you’re going for. While a plain shirt works just fine, a printed one is better. Prints add character to the graphic t-shirt and prevent it from being too basic or monochromatic.

How To Keep Printed Shirts In Good Condition

You may have a favorite printed shirt or two, and seeing the prints slowly fade or peel off, losing their beauty and design, can be saddening.

More than just having a beautiful piece you can wear, a printed shirt involves knowing how to care for its design. One small mistake can peel off the print, leaving you with an awful mark.

On top of determining which is better, a screen printed vs embroidered shirt, you should learn the proper care and maintenance for all your printed shirts. Below are some ways to keep them in good condition:

Wash Inside Out

When washing your printed shirts, you must wash them inside out. This’ll prevent the prints from touching other garments, which can damage the design. You should do this whether you wash your shirts in the machine or by hand. Washing them as is can cause friction to the print, leading to cracks, tears, and discoloration. 

To keep your printed shirts in their best shape, always wash them inside out. You can place them inside a laundry bag to ensure that no other clothing touches the print, in case they have a larger design. 

Do Not Use Hot Temperature

Some people like to wash their clothing in hot temperatures, as they think it kills more bacteria, which means cleaner clothes. However, this can cause damage to your printed shirts. It can also shrink them. Ideally, you should wash your printed shirts in a cool temperature.

Washing your shirts in hot temperatures can peel off your prints. The possibility is higher for your heat-pressed prints on cotton fabric. They can crack, peel, or bubble during washing, which you cannot reverse or repair. 

Wash With Delicate Cycle

If you’re washing your printed shirts using a washing machine, use the delicate cycle as the primary setting. Your tub is gentle with turning your clothes, thus avoiding damage to the prints. You can even include more delicate pieces inside the tub, so you don’t have to waste a single cycle for only a couple of printed shirts.

Even with washing with a delicate cycle, you should still turn your printed shirts inside out to avoid damage to the prints. Moreover, if you’re cleaning with other pieces, ensure that you separate the whites from the colors. You wouldn’t want your white printed shirts to become pink. 

Use Mild Soap

Unfortunately, your biggest challenge with printed shirts is dealing with stains. Using bleach isn’t recommended for them, as this can damage the designs. If you ever encounter any stain, immediately wash it to prevent having a permanent mark on your shirt. Using strong detergents can also affect the print’s quality because they’re too harsh. 

When washing your printed shirts, use mild soap to clean them effectively. It may feel too gentle, but it should clean them, leaving you only with completely washed shirts that are spotless and dirt free. 

Use Fabric Softener

Wrinkles on your printed shirts can damage their prints. This is most likely to happen when you wash your clothing in the machine. To prevent wrinkles, you should use a fabric softener on your tub. This can also leave your shirts smelling fantastic, making you feel and smell fresh all day. 

Alternatively, you can use a dryer sheet as it can help dry your shirts faster without causing any wrinkles. They’re also a great alternative if you have sensitive skin that’s hyper-reactive to scented soap or fabric softeners. It’s an added step, but it’ll surely help keep your printed shirts in their best shape. 

How To Keep Printed Shirts In Good Condition

Do Not Dry Clean

One of the things you should never do with your printed shirt is to have them dry cleaned. The intense heat of the machine can cause damage to them, even if they’re inside out.

Printed cotton shirts can shrink, affecting the prints. This can cause bubbles, cracking, or peeling, which is irreversible. Unfortunately, you can only clean your clothes by washing them with water and hanging them out to dry. 

Hang To Dry

There are two ways you can dry clothes. You can either toss them in the dryer or hang them out to dry. While using a dryer is more convenient, hanging your printed shirts to dry is the best way to protect their design and material. The dryer’s heat can damage their print. 

When hanging your clothes, ensure that the print isn’t directly facing the sun, as UV rays can cause discoloration. Have them face away from the sun and let the back absorb all the heat and sunlight. Depending on the weather, it’ll take hours for your shirts to dry completely. 

Iron Inside Out

When you find your printed shirts are still wrinkly and your need to iron them, ensure that you have them inside out. If not, ensure that you avoid touching the prints, as they can stick to your iron. For a safe option, you should iron inside out to get wrinkle-free clothing while not damaging the prints.

While ironing your shirts, use the lowest heat setting. Even if they’re inside out, ironing at a high temperature can still affect the prints. For extra safety, you can add a piece of cloth between the iron and the shirt to avoid direct contact between the hot iron and the prints.

Store Properly

Storing your shirts in high temperatures may affect or damage the prints. You should store them in a dry and dark place. Similar to drying your clothes, you should also keep them away from sunlight. 

For added protection, you can roll up your shirts to prevent any harsh lines from folding into the prints. This can also help prevent wrinkles should you store them for an extended period. Moreover, it allows for proper organization of your clothes, especially if you have plenty of them. 


Keeping your printed shirts in good condition will allow you to get your money’s worth. While there are some extra steps you need to do, such as switching to a different soap, using fabric conditioner, hanging them out to dry, and turning them inside out, they help maintain their quality. You’d be surprised how your printed shirts will last you for decades.


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