It is important to launder your shirts properly to prolong their lifespan. For best results, wash your shirts at home.
First, pre-treat all stained areas with stain removal detergent and a soft toothbrush. Wet affected spots, such as the inside of the collar band, cuff and underarm, and slowly work in the detergent till you see soap bubbles. For tougher stains, soak affected area in warm water overnight before washing. The Laundress carries a great stain solution that is both effective and eco-friendly, you can find it on their website here.
Second, hand-wash your shirts, or use the washing machine on the gentle cycle. Use Warm water for white shirts, and cold water for color shirts. Be sure to unbutton all buttons, take out collar stays and turn the shirt inside-out to protect the buttons from the steel drum.
Third, if possible, hang dry your shirt till slightly damp then iron. If not, tumble-dry with no heat until slightly damp. Use the “cotton” heat setting and do not use the “steam burst”. Instead, have a spray bottle ready to re-dampen spots where you may have pressed in a crease.
When ironing, be sure to stretch out the collars and cuffs while still damp. Press lightly at the collar tips and cuff edges, as hard pressure will increase fraying.
If you do take your shirts out for commercial laundry, be sure to instruct them to use light, or no starch. Many commercial cleaners do not hand-iron shirt collars and as a result, collars will begin to pucker and crease at the band. Heavy starch can further set-in creases at the collar, as well as the cuffs, which in turn will cause these two parts to seemingly shrink by ½” – 1”. Also, with heavy starch, you also will not be able to feel the difference between a 100s yarn count shirt, and a 200s yarn count shirt.
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