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How To Wash Dress Shirts: Hand Washing & More

Laundering Dress Shirts

It CAN be done at home, and for a fraction of the cost of the dry cleaners!

Be sure to follow our tips while washing dress shirts you don't want to ruin by dry cleaning.

The best way to care for any shirt is to machine wash using a mesh bag or hand wash as much as possible. This will help decrease the natural wear on the fabric as well as prevent broken or missing buttons. Industrial pressing at the cleaners will loosen, break and lose buttons.

Dry Cleaners can also scorch and weaken the fabric and will inevitably lead to fraying and tearing (especially at the seams). Dry cleaning is really tough on fabric, if you take your shirts to the cleaners be sure to request laundering. When using starch shirts should be washed in-between pressing to remove the starch build-up, especially from the dry cleaners.


Pre-treat underarms and collar and cuffs each time you wash even if you don't see a stain.

Use The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar to remove ring around the collar, stubborn stains, grime and grease commonly found on cuff & shirts. Lather bar with water and work soap into stained areas and soak. When stains are removed, launder with an appropriate Laundress Detergent as normal.

Stains can build up and appear over time from food, body products (deodorant), perspiration & body oils, etc. To treat underarm stains use The Laundress Stain Solution.

Run hot water (we pour boiling water from the kettle) onto the area and soak. Repeat until satisfied (we recommend this also for coffee and wine stains). Safe for cotton and linen fabrics only.

Machine Washing

Remove and store collar stays to put back in after pressing.

Use a Laundress Detergent with delicate or normal cycle and cold water. Again, we recommend using The Laundress Mesh Bags in the machine to protect fabric and buttons. For best results, use hot water on cotton and linen fabric.


Do not put in the dryer. We recommend hang drying.

Iron and steam shirts while damp for best results. Always press from the tip (points) of the collar or cuff inwards, not the reverse which will cause wrinkling. For starch we recommend a natural corn starch such as The Laundress Stiffen Up.

Tips & Tricks

Shirts should be damp when ironed. Add a capful of The Laundress Ironing Water to your iron and use our natural plant-based Stiffen Up spray starch. Always press from the tip (points) of the collar or cuff inwards, not the reverse which will cause wrinkling.

If traveling or on-the-go, remove wrinkles with Crease Release our wrinkle release spray and freshen stuffed clothes in suitcases with our Fabric Fresh spray.