How Do You Take Care of Custom Ink Shirts? 

November 23, 2021

custom ink shirts

Custom t-shirts look great. High-quality custom t-shirts can be the most comfortable thing you own, by far! Fortunately, t-shirts have become acceptable attire anywhere. From a bicycle ride to the board room, your favorite shirt can go with you.

So how do you take care of that custom ink shirt? How do you make it last?

We’ll take a quick look, and help you get longevity from your favorite article of clothing.

How Long Do Custom Ink Shirts Last?

How long fabric lasts heavily depends on how you treat it. With an inked t-shirt, you also have the printed image to consider.

Though, honestly, a quality screen printed t-shirt looks great as it fades too. Still, you do not want the material to age prematurely.

In general, a quality t-shirt will last about 50 washes. Whether that’s 6 months or 10 years has lots to do with how often you wash it. But that number comes from averages. A t-shirt can last much longer if you properly care for it.

Factors to consider include:

  • Material type
  • Ink type
  • Water temperature
  • Detergent
  • Treatment of stains
  • Drying method and temperature

Then, there are also personal factors. For example, if you sweat more or spill more on your t-shirt, it will need more stain treatment, which could cause the fabric to age faster.

Which T-shirt Fabrics Last Longest?

You know how it works: you get what you pay for. Quality shirts will also last longer.

Still, the material itself has different care instructions. Here are some common shirt materials and how to care for them:

  • Cotton: quality cotton can hold up to wear, stain removal, and virtually any temperature. 
  • Blend: most blends are made to be even tougher than cotton alone. However, some blends will fade or get damaged with harsher detergents or stain removal. (You can test an area before treatment).
  • Synthetic: polyester and rayon fabrics are the most common synthetics. They do not respond well to harsh solvents which can break down or even melt the fabric.
  • Silk: a delicate fabric, which can also be in some blends. Use only cool, gentle treatments and consider dry cleaning.
  • Wool: another material found in many blends, wool is also more delicate. Washing with hot water or high-temperature drying can cause shrinking or warping. Use only mild detergents.

Refer back to these fabric types, as we go through how to treat your custom printed t-shirt.

Can You Keep a Favorite T-shirt From Fading?

Whether or not a shirt fades has a great deal to do with the material. Pure natural fabrics, like cotton, tend to fade more than certain blends. Darker colors also fade more than lighter colors. 

If you have a favorite, dark-colored t-shirt, consider embracing the vintage look it gets with washing. Still, you can extend its life with washing in cooler temperatures, with mild detergent, and drying on low heat.

Do I Need Special Laundry Detergent for Custom T-shirts?

Most t-shirts will not need special detergents. However, darker colors should only be washed with other darks and lights with other lights. Also, consider using milder detergents and cooler temperatures with any of the delicate care materials described in the sections above.

Can You Dry Your High-Quality Custom T-shirts?

Most t-shirts can definitely hold up to regular washing and wearing. Still, it’s a good idea to dry your clothes at the lowest temperature that makes sense to get the job done. Overheating can damage delicate or synthetic fabrics, and wear out cotton and tougher materials faster.

Can You Iron a T-shirt?

Yes, if you do need to iron a t-shirt, go ahead. Just use the coolest temperature you can and iron on the inside of the shirt, not directly on any design.

To avoid ironing, remove items promptly from the dryer and lay flat until they cool.

How Do You Remove T-shirt Stains?

There’s no easy answer. Different stains need different treatments, and if you choose the wrong product you can damage fabric or make the stain look worse.

When it comes to removing stains from your custom t-shirt, consider these points:

  • Treat stains quickly.
  • Test chemicals on a hidden section of clothing (like the inside back edge).
  • Blot instead of scrubbing.
  • Pre-treat and also use detergent. 
  • Do not dry if the stain did not come out. Re-treat and re-wash before drying.

Some common stain removers include:

  • A favorite detergent used as a pre-treatment,
  • Stain remover products,
  • Vinegar,
  • Bar soap (great for blood),
  • Dish soap (good for grease stains),
  • Rubbing alcohol (great for chemicals like permanent marker),
  • Bleach (can change the color or damage material),
  • Non-chlorine bleach (less likely to cause discoloration),
  • Hydrogen peroxide (can also cause bleaching).

Unfortunately, some stains cannot be removed, like bleaching or paint.

Get Quality Custom T-shirts Online

Starting with quality material in the first place will do the most to help your t-shirts last for years to come.

At T-shirt Labs, we can help you select the best materials for your custom ink t-shirts. Click here to get started!