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How to Wash Graphic Tees – Best Way

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Not having success to wash graphic tees without cracking or fading?Watching your graphic tee cracking and fading away can be painful, especially if you have spent a good amount on it or it is your favorite tee. 

This cause is due to not properly washing graphic tees. A few simple clothing cleaning tips can extend the life of your graphic tee so that the artwork lasts much longer.

How do you wash graphic tees? Turn the graphic tees inside out and use a gentle setting in a washing machine or hand wash individually. 

Do not crumple up the shirt as this can also cause cracking in the artwork. Use cold water with mild detergent instead of hot water and bleach to keep the graphics intact. 

Avoid using dryer, these can melt or damage the graphics. Alternatively, air dry the delicate t-shirts, but do not put them under direct sunlight. 

Graphic tees are usually made of cheap materials, including polyester and cotton fabric. Without proper washing instruction, 50% polyester and 50% cotton t-shirt may shrink very easily. 

Depending on the sublimation and content of inks on the graphics, you may need to handle them with extreme care. Do not crinkle or wring out the excess water because this can crack, crease or damage the graphic artwork

Most graphic t-shirts do not require professional cleaning or special tools to wash. But always check the care label inside of t-shirt to apply the recommended method for that garment. 

To retain the original quality of your graphic tee for multiple wears, use these steps to ensure that your t-shirt remains crack-free. Answered below are frequently asked questions about how to wash a graphic tee, including cleaning tips and recommended techniques to keep your shirt from cracking, peeling, shrinking and fading.

Can You Wash Graphic Tees?

Yes, graphic tees are capable of machine washing or cleaning by hand. Unfortunately, they tend to crack after washing a few times, which can be frustrating as it reduces the entire look of your tee.

In order to maintain the quality of your graphic tee, avoid frequent washing and be extra gentle when washing. There are two ways to wash t-shirts, either by hand washing or with a washing machine

When using a washer to clean any shirts, ensure to use the gentle setting on the machine to help reduce the friction during tumbling. Also, opt for a machine without an agitator to help clean tees effectively without the added wear and tear on the material. 

Avoid adding a lot of laundry detergent when washing printed t-shirts, as too much cleanser can stick in the fabric or on graphics. To remove detergent embedded on the t-shirt fabric, repeatedly rinse with clean water and wash, which will lead to increased friction on the tee and can lead to crack or fade. 

Consider purchasing a laundry bag to protect graphic tee from cracking. Remember, friction on your tees and the rest of the laundry can result in the peeling of ink and cracking of graphics.

By placing printed t-shirts in a mesh laundry bag, you minimize their contact with other clothes. Turn them inside out before placing them in the laundry bag for best results. 

If you don’t have access to the laundry bag, place them in the pillowcase and tie the end. These two method will preserve the graphics from excess damage, but still be safe for regular usage.

Should You Wash Graphic Tees Inside Out?

Be extra careful when washing graphic tees since they can easily crack or peel while tumbling in the machine with other clothes. That is why, we recommend to wash graphic tees inside out and air dry in indirect light. 

During the washing, friction can weaken and flake the ink on your graphic tee. Turning it inside out before loading in the washing machine can help prevent this. 

Additionally, it will help minimize the friction between the graphics and other clothes to help prevent the colors from fading. Furthermore, it will be easy to clean the sweat and dirt that is stuck in the inner part of your tee so it feel better when worn. 

Tips to Wash Graphic Tees

After repeatedly washing and drying any graphic tee, you must have noticed it has cracked or faded after some time. 

Here are various tips to ensure your graphic t-shirt lasts longer:

  • Before washing and drying a printed tee, ensure you turn it inside out. Flipping inside out will protect the printed ink from rubbing against other materials when tumbling in the washing machine or dryer, thus elongating the life of the shirt. 
  • When washing, use low heat or cold wash settings and separate white shirts from colored ones. 
  • Avoid using a strong or too much laundry detergent, instead go with homemade laundry detergents
  • Dry on low heat or hang in a well ventilated area to air dry. 
  • Always ensure to purchase good quality graphic tees from a reputable vendor. Carefully review the care label to get the correct washing instruction as recommended by the manufacturer.

When purchasing, look for the signs of poor-quality prints such as ink washout and fibrillation. If the ink on the shirt is not cured to the right temperature and the fibers of the original material break free from the ink film, then your tee is of poor quality and may not last very long to begin with. 

Best Way to Wash Graphic Tees

The washing machine is quite convenient when washing dirty clothes, but unfortunately it may not be effective when it comes to washing graphic tees. Even if you use the gentlest setting, the tees will still be violently moved around the machine with intense levels of friction. 

When machine washed regularly, the graphic tee will crack, fade, and peel. 

Hand washing a graphic tees is the best way of keeping them safe, however washing tees by hands sounds hectic, but this is not the case. Simply, clean a few of your graphic tees by in less than 10 minutes. 

All you need to do is fill a sink with cold water, then add a tablespoon or two of gentle detergent. Add a little more if you are washing more than one t-shirt at a time, then stir to mix well and create soapy solution. 

Turn the graphic tee inside out, and put it in the sink. Allow it to soak in the soapy solution for 15- 30 minutes, then gently wash the fabric by using your fingers to massage any dirty areas. 

When you are done, rinse away the detergent thoroughly and let it air dry on a drying rack or clothesline. Avoid wringing the graphic tee as this can destroy the fabric and print. 

Use this method to clean other delicate colored t-shirts with graphics on them. And always wash white shirts separate from colored shirts so the dye does not leach out.

How to wash graphic tees

Washing Graphic T-Shirts: Conclusion

Graphic t-shirts are fun to wear and from rock band to cool phrases, there are great items to add to your closet. However, maintaining the graphic artwork quality after multiple wear and wash can be challenging.

To avoid damaging a graphic tee, turn it inside out before putting it in the washing machine or hand washing. This will help protect the print on the tee from peeling off when it gets in contact with other clothes.

Using cold water to clean a tee will ensure the print remains intact, while hot water will remove the graphic from the fabric, shrink the t-shirt to unwearable size or fade the base color of the shirt.  

Avoid using bleach when washing any graphic tees, as this can lead to discoloration, thus removing prints from the surface of the fabric. 

The last step in keeping your graphic tee safe is avoiding putting it in the dryer machine since the quality of prints can be affected by the heat from the dryer. Place in indirect light with good airflow to remain in good condition.

The goal of washing graphic tees is not only cleaning dirt or stains, but also eliminating cracking, fading, or peeling. Once the graphic t-shirts loose the print, it’s impossible to recover. 

Use these washing tips to save your favorite graphic t-shirts and keep them in good condition for a very long time

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