Tall Mens Fashion Advice

How To Wash Shorts: Step-By-Step Guide

Wash your shorts the proper way by reading our step-by-step guide on how to wash shorts.

How to Wash Shorts


Turn the shorts inside out and place them into the washing machine. Add laundry detergent and adjust the settings on the washing machine to delicate/gentle and wash with cold water. Once the spin cycle has completed, remove the shorts and hang or lay flat to air dry or place in the dryer on tumble dry low. 

This is How to Wash Shorts: Step-by-Step Guide.

Wether you are going for a run, relaxing at the beach, or barbecuing in the back yard, your shorts are bound to get dirty. 

Our article provides step-by-step instructions on how to wash shorts made from almost any fabric, including cotton, polyester, spandex, rayon, and blended fabrics.

The shorts can range from jean shorts to khaki shorts to dress shorts to board shorts, really, any kind of short!

Using the machine washing is the best and most convenient way to wash shorts, however if you do not have access to a washing machine, you can also hand wash them. 

Our article has detailed instructions on how to wash shorts in the washing machine as well as how to wash shorts by hand. 

Things You'll Need:

  • Washing machine
  • Laundry detergent
  • Mesh laundry bag (optional)
this is a photo of a washing machine
Washing machine
this is a photo of a laundry detergent that you will need you wash your shorts
Laundry detergent
this is a photo of a mesh laundry bag
Mesh laundry bag

How To Wash Shorts

The washing instructions below are safe to use with shorts made from every type of fabric (not including delicates such as silk or wool) including cotton, polyester (can you shrink polyester), spandex, nylon, rayon, and blended fabrics. 

However if you find the instructions to take you out of your comfort zone you can instead take your shorts to your local dry cleaners. These professionals will take care of your shirts with the care they deserve. Learn how much dry cleaning costs and how long dry cleaning takes.

Before you put your shorts in the washing machine, you need to sort your laundry into the correct piles. Wash white clothes with whites, wash dark clothes with darks and wash colored clothes with other colors.

Follow the instructions below to wash shorts in the washing machine.

How To Wash Shorts

1. Turn the shorts inside out

Turn the shorts inside out. Be sure to empty the front and back pockets if there are any, before washing. If the shorts have a drawstring, you may wish to tie it so that it does not get pulled in the washing machine. (Optional: Place the shorts into a mesh laundry bag)

this is a pair of shorts turned inside out
this is a photo of shorts being turned inside out and placed in a mesh laundry bag before being washed

2. Place the shorts in the washing machine

Place the shorts in the washing machine and add liquid laundry detergent. Make sure the laundry detergent you are using is suitable for the color as well as type of fabric that your shorts are made from.

this is a photo of shorts placed in laundry machine with laundry detergent

3. Wash shorts on delicate

Adjust the settings on the washing machine to the gentle/delicate setting. If the shorts are more dirty, you may wish to use the normal setting.

this is a photo of a washing machine set to delicate

4. Wash shorts in cold water

Use the cold water setting on the washing machine. Wash shorts with cold water to avoid shrinking and color fading. Hot water will shrink your shorts.

this is a photo of a laundry machine set o cold water to wash shorts

5. Push start on your shorts wash

Push start and run the wash cycle (how long does a washer take?).

this is a photo of the start button pushed on a washing machine to wash shorts

6. Air dry your shorts

Once finished, remove the shorts from the washing machine and hang or lay flat on a drying rack to air dry (line dry or dry flat.) If you would like to use the dryer, use the air dry or tumble dry low setting.

this is a photo of shorts being air dried on a table

Learn how to use a dryer properly  with our detailed article. Also understand how long does a dryer take.

How to wash shorts: quick tip

Wash your shorts with other garments with similar texture, color, and weight and that are made from a similar type of fabric. Sorting your laundry will help to keep your whites white, your darks dark, and will help to maintain the quality of your clothes for a longer period of time.

How To Wash Shorts By Hand

Follow the instructions below to wash shorts by hand.

Things You’ll Need:

  • A container, basin, sink, or tub
  • Lukewarm water
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • An absorbent towel 
  • A pair of shorts
  1. Fill a container with cool to lukewarm water.
  2. Add liquid laundry detergent. Make sure the detergent you choose to use is appropriate for the fabric and color of your shorts.
  3. Submerge the shorts in the water and leave to soak for 5 to 10 minutes depending on how thick or dirty the shorts are.
  4. Use your hands to agitate the shorts in the water. Wash the shorts with your hands until you feel they have been adequately cleansed.
  5. Rinse the shorts under cold water until all the soap has been completely rinsed out and the water runs clear.
  6. Wring the shorts out or roll them in an absorbent towel to remove excess water.
  7. Hang or lay flat to air dry, or use the dryer on the air dry or tumble dry low settings.


This depends on how often you wear them and also what they are being used for. If you are wearing your shorts to the gym during cardio day, then you should wash them after every use. If you are just going out for a quick lunch in the shorts, wash them when dirty or after you have worn them a handful of times. 

Wash shorts inside out to expose the dirtiest part of the garment to the washing detergent, as well as to protect the outer surface of the shorts. 

Clean dirty shorts by either machine or hand washing them. Washing shorts in the washing machine is the most effective way to wash them and is done by turning them inside out, placing them into the washing machine with the appropriate laundry detergent, and washing on delicate with cold water. 

Written and reviewed by
Tall Paul
Tall Paul
Paul Marlow, standing at an impressive 6'7 (201cm) and weighing 225lb (102kg), is a mental health speaker, fashion expert, and ex-athlete who excels at helping tall men find well-fitting clothing and teaching them how to style it effectively. As a model in the fashion and film industries, Paul shares his expertise in tall men's fashion, offering valuable advice on measurements, tailoring, and alterations. In addition, he founded Never Alone, an organization that provides mental health and therapy inspiration, and started the Mental Growth Newsletter to support those facing mental health challenges, drawing from his own experiences.

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