How To Wash Printed T-Shirts To Prevent Fading And Cracking

Custom t-shirts display more than just colours. They also come in a wide variety of graphics and printed designs that make each one truly unique. However, living in a humid country like Singapore can be bad news for printed t-shirts as the graphics are at risk of cracking and fading due to the scorching heat and humidity. And let’s be honest. No one wishes their printed designs to lose their vibrancy and appearance over time.

Well, not all hope is lost as there are a few ways to protect your t-shirts from such fates. As long as you follow the steps listed in this article and implement them in your laundry cycle, we can assure you that your t-shirts can last forever in your closet, and you don’t have to constantly purchase a new one every other week.

1. Flip t-shirts inside out

This step takes only a few seconds, but it does wonders in protecting the printed designs from the harsh washing process. By flipping the t-shirts inside out before tossing them inside the washing machine, you’re preventing the graphics from scratching and colliding with other clothing pieces that can potentially lead to cracking and fading. You can also consider turning non-printed t-shirts inside out as this prevents lint and pilling from occurring as well.

2. Use cold water

Washing clothes with cold water is a long-held belief that should be observed to this day. When it comes to washing your clothing pieces in general (not just printed t-shirts), avoid hot water at all costs, as the high temperatures can cause bright colours to fade and lose their vibrancy over time. What’s more, hot water can result in certain types of fabrics shrinking, such as polyester and nylon, due to the heat breaking down the fibres.

As such, use cold water instead to stop the fading of colours and potential shrinkage. Another benefit of cold water is that it can minimise wrinkles, on top of saving your electricity bills as well.

3. Pour as little detergent as possible

The thing is, the most effective way to prevent discolouration and cracking of printed details is to reduce the number of times you wash your printed t-shirts. However, this might not be possible for everyone and largely depends on several factors, like lifestyle and environment. Therefore, we turn to the next best option, which is to wash our clothing pieces as gently as possible. Aside from flipping the t-shirts inside out, you can use just a slight amount of detergent.

This is because some detergents contain incredibly harsh chemicals that can negatively affect your t-shirts by causing the colours and graphics to bleed during the washing process. For those with sensitive skin, detergents can also pose another threat by irritating the skin.

4. Keep your t-shirts away from direct sunlight

Some people may think drying clothes the old-fashioned way under the sun is the “right” method. Whether you prefer using a dryer or hanging your clothes out under the sun, there’s really no right or wrong way to dry your clothes, though you should keep in mind to avoid placing your clothes, specifically graphic-printed clothing, under harsh sunlight. The heat from the sun can not only stretch out your t-shirts and make them lose their tautness and elasticity, but also result in colours and designs fading and cracking.


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