Dress shirts, especially white ones, seem to collect dirt and stains quicker than other types of clothing. Dress shirts are especially prone to sweat stains as they are often worn under heavy clothing.
Washing dress shirts can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of options for washing dress shirts that are quick, easy, and effective.
The method you choose to wash your dress shirt with, will depend on your situation. Sweat stains are best removed with water, which means in this case you should be using the washing machine at home.
If you have grease and oil stains on your dress shirt then it is better for you to take your shirt to the dry cleaners.
If your dress shirt is made from a delicate material, then hand washing is the most gentle way to clean it.
Table of Contents
- Fastest way to wash a dress shirt: Wash with your hands
- Best way to wash a dress shirt: Take to dry cleaners
- Best way to wash a dress shirt at home: With a washing machine
Continue reading to find out more information on how to wash dress shirts.
If your dress shirts are wrinkled or creased after washing, make sure to learn how to properly iron a dress shirt.
How To Wash Dress Shirts
Total Time: 2 hrs 30 min
- Buy Tide Pods for $55
Supplies & Tools
- Laundry detergent
- Washing machine
1. Sort your dress shirts
Prepare the dress shirt by completely unbuttoning the front placket as well as the cuffs and collar.
3. Pre-treat stains on the dress shirt
Pre-treat stains before placing the shirt in the wash. Treat stains that may be too severe to be removed by the washing machine.
4. Add detergent to the wash
Place the dress shirt into the washing machine and add high quality liquid laundry detergent. Be cautious of the color as well as the material of your dress shirt before choosing the right detergent to use.
5. Wash the dress shirt on delicate
Adjust the settings on the washing machine to gentle/delicate. If the shirt is made from a thicker fabric or has severe stains or sweat marks, you may choose to use the normal setting.
6. Wash with cold water always
Wash with cold water. Hot water shrinks clothes and makes dark colors bleed.
7. Take out right away and dry
How To Hand Wash Dress Shirts
Total Time: 1 hr 50 min
- Buy Tide Pods for $55
If you have dress shirts made from expensive or delicate fabrics, then washing them by hand may be the best choice. Follow the instructions below in order to hand wash your dress shirts properly.
1. Fill container with lukewarm water for dress shirt
Fill a container with lukewarm water. You can use a plastic tub, kitchen sink, bathtub or anything else that will hold enough water.
2. Add liquid detergent to the water before dress shirt
Add your liquid detergent to the lukewarm water. If you do not have a liquid detergent bottle, you can break open a tide pod instead. This is not the most effective use of a tide pod, because it was made for a full load of laundry, however its cheaper than buying a new liquid soap for one time use.
Completely unbutton the dress shirt before adding it to the soapy water.
4. Submerge the dress shirt in the soapy water
Submerge the dress shirt in the soapy water, and let soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Agitate the dress shirt with your hands
Use your hands to agitate the dress shirt in the soapy water for 2-3 minutes. This will help loosen the dirt particles trapped in the fabric.
6. Rinse the dress shirt under cool tap water
Rinse the dress shirt under cool tap water until all the soap has been removed and the water runs clear once passing through the dress shirt.
7. Roll the wet dress shirt in a clean towel
Lay the shirt evenly on an absorbent towel and roll it up like a sushi roll. Gently apply pressure on the roll to remove excess water from the shirt.
8. Let the hand washed dress shirt air dry
Professional Laundry And Dry Cleaning
Taking your dress shirt to the dry cleaner or professional cleaner is very convenient, but also comes with its advantages as well as its disadvantages.
One of the best options is to get a wash and press for your shirt from a professional cleaner. During a wash and press, your dress shirt will first be machine washed. The shirt will also be put through a spin cycle to remove most of the moisture, before being put into an industrial press that removes moisture and irons the shirt simultaneously.
Press and wash is a good option because it uses water, which is helpful for removing perspiration based stains and marks, which are a common issue for cotton dress shirts.
Dry cleaning, as opposed to a wash and press, uses very little water which means perspiration based stains will be difficult to remove. Dry cleaning is however great at getting out oil based stains. So if your shirt is suffering from sweat stains, a wash and press is the best option. If your shirt has oil or grease stains, then get it dry cleaned.
Professional laundry services can also be expensive, so if you have a lot of shirts to wash on a limited budget, you may just want to use a washing machine and clean the shirts yourself.
To help avoid making too many trips to the dry cleaners, learn how to hang a dress shirt correctly. This will help to keep your shirt wrinkle free and in wearable condition.
Can you put dress shirts in the dryer?
Air dry dress shirts by hanging or laying flat on an indoor drying rack. Try to avoid using the dryer when drying your dress shirts. If you insist on using the dryer for your dress shirts, be sure to use the air dry or tumble dry low setting.
Use the delicate and cold water setting to wash dress shirts in the washing machine. Unbutton the shirt completely around the front placket, collar, and cuffs. Use a high quality liquid detergent and air dry your dress shirt once the wash cycle is finished.
Use the delicate and cold water setting to wash formal shirts in the washing machine. Unbutton the shirt completely around the front placket, collar, and cuffs. Use a high quality liquid detergent and air dry your dress shirt once the wash cycle is finished.
Yes, it is crucial that you unbutton dress shirts when washing. This ensures that they don’t get caught or twisted while in the wash. Unbutton your front placket, as well as the cuffs and collar on your dress shirt.