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How do you wash a shirt?

Shirts are an integral part of classic menswear. If you want to enjoy your shirt for a long time, proper maintenance is a must.

Step-by-step plan


Step 1: sorting shirts

As with other laundry, the same applies to shirts: sort them by colour. White and light shirts are prone to discolouration. White shirts should therefore only be washed together with other white or light-coloured garments. Shirts of different colours should be sorted with colourful laundry and black shirts should be washed with other dark clothes.


Step 2: preparing shirts

Raise the collar and close at least the top button of the shirt. This way, the collar retains its fit even after washing. Also loosen the cuffs, so that the fabric gets completely clean even in hard-to-reach places.


Step 3: pre-treating stains

Shirts will clean better if you prepare the collar and cuffs before washing. Apply ox gall soap or liquid detergent directly to stains. This will ensure that, for example, sweat stains disappear from the shirt during washing. You can pre-treat stubborn stains with hard soap and a brush. Be careful with delicate fabrics, such as silk or viscose, as the brush can damage the fine fibres.


Step 4: set wash programme and temperature

Which temperature is suitable for washing the shirt is usually indicated on the washing label. In general, you can wash shirts at 30 or 40 degrees Celsius. White shirts made of non-sensitive materials such as cotton can also be washed at 60 degrees to remove stubborn dirt. If your washing machine has a special shirt programme or anti-crease programme, select this. You can also wash your shirts on a wool programme.


Step 5: detergent selection

Washing white shirts may be done with a universal detergent. For all other shirts, a fine detergent is recommended. For colourful shirts, you can also choose a special colour detergent. This normally contains no bleach or whitening agents. This keeps the colours strong and radiant. Note that fabric softener is not recommended for shirt washing, as it may cause the fabric and collar to lose their resilience.

Centrifuge at a lower speed

Many washing machines have the option of selecting a lower spin speed when spinning. Although the shirts will then come out of the machine wetter, they will have significantly less wrinkles after drying. If you hang the laundry outside to dry, you can spin the shirts at 400 to 600 rpm. If you hang the laundry indoors, choose 600 to 800 rpm. Shirts made of particularly sensitive materials such as silk or viscose should not be centrifuged. A fine wash programme without spinning is the right choice in this case.

Shirt drying

Hang garments immediately after washing to avoid creases and a musty smell. Ideally, hang the shirts to dry on a clothes hanger. Wipe the shirts along the seams and unfasten the cuffs. Also leave the shirt buttons closed when drying. This way, many wrinkles will disappear while hanging. Should a shirt still have wrinkles, you can steam or iron them out. For ironing-free shirts, check the washing label first to see if this is possible.