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Get The Skinny On Washing Dress Shirts Of All Colors & Fits

Laundering dress shirts at home can be done for a fraction of the cost of the dry cleaners - and without the chemical hazards and danger of weakened and scorched fabric. Follow these simple steps to keep your favorite shirts looking top notch.

Not only is it expensive to dry clean dress shirts between every wear, it can be downright dangerous for your favorite tops. Dry cleaning is tough on fabric and can weaken fibers which lead to fraying and tearing, particularly at the seams. Plus, industrial pressing can loosen and break buttons and wear down fabric. Cheap starch is often overused and builds up causing a dull coating. If you must send your shirts out, request laundering. And best yet, bring your own plant-derived detergents from The Laundress to minimize damage from harsh chemical detergents.

The best way to care for your shirts is to machine wash them in a mesh bag to decrease fabric wear and prevent damaged buttons. No matter which you choose, follow these steps for great results.

Grab The Laundress Signature Detergent and The Laundress Mesh Washing Bag to achieve a safe and effective clean for your dress shirt.

PRETREAT

Say "So Long, Stains": Treat stains with Stain Solution or the Wash & Stain Bar by applying the solutions directly to unsightly spots and susceptible areas like underarms, necklines, and cuffs. Susceptible areas should be pretreated each time you wash even if no discoloration is visible. Have a shirt that's plagued by the dread pit stain? Check out our treatment process at the end of this post!

MACHINE WASH

Remove Stays & Put It In Reverse: Prepare to wash by removing (and safely storing) collar stays and turning the shirt inside out. 

Bag It: Place item in the Mesh Washing Bag to protect fabric and buttons.

Set the Cycle: Select the normal cycle on your machine and make sure the water temperature is warm when washing cotton or linen to achieve the deepest clean. Add Signature Detergent considering the machine type and load size. Wash with the same or like colors only.

DRY

Hang Loose: Hang to dry. Be sure to position the shirt properly on the hanger to prevent stretching. We never recommend machine drying dress shirts.

FINISH

Press Perfect: Iron shirts while damp for best results. Always press from the tip (points) of the collar or cuff inwards as the reverse will cause bunching or wrinkling. For added scent during this process, add one capful of Ironing Water to the iron. Achieve a crisp, clean finish by spritzing item with Stiffen Up.

FRESHEN

Stay Fresh: Spritz Fabric Fresh Classic between wearing and washing to liven dress shirts. It's a safe nontoxic, allergen-free fabric spray that adds scent while removing odor!

REMOVE PIT STAINS

Why It Happens: These yellow or gray stains are caused by the combination of natural body oils, deodorants, and fabric absorption.

Show No Pitty: Apply Stain Solution directly to the affected area then sprinkle All-Purpose Bleach Alternative onto the solution to create a powerful paste. Work in the solution with a Stain Brush. If the stain is particularly difficult, presoak in a bath of warm water for up to 30 minutes. Finish by washing as normal!

While typical detergents contain two enzymes for fat and starch removal only, the Signature Detergent is highly concentrated with four enzymes that fight a vast variety of stains. Plus, it's all natural and does not contain the unsafe processing aids found in other detergents that can irritate sensitive skin.

Published on May 12, 2022