Last Updated on January 22, 2023 by Fredrick Miller
Is your favorite sublimated shirt has got stained, and do you want to get it washed? But you don’t know how to wash a sublimated shirt? Then stop worrying. I have got you back.
The process of washing a sublimated shirt undoubtedly is a bit different from washing shirts that don’t have sublimation printing on them, but it is not that difficult task for which you have to get feared of.
While washing a sublimated shirt, there are some necessary things and materials that you’ve to be careful about, along with some precautions that you need to take.
In the below article, I have briefly explained all the washing instructions for sublimation shirts from start to end, which will help you in washing your favorite shirt without doing any damage to it.
How to Wash a Sublimated Shirt? The Process:
Following are the sublimation shirt washing instructions that you must have to follow to protect your shirts from sublimation fading after wash.
Remove the Stains:
As your sublimation shirt has got stains on it so, before putting your shirt into the washer, it is important to get rid of the stains. For this, you can use a stain remover spray to get rid of those stubborn stains. And then toss it over into the washing machine.
If you don’t want to use stain remover spray, then here is another way to remove them using an oxygen cleaner. It is also a pre-treat stain process for which you have to put one packet for a lesser amount of laundry.
During this process, the oxygen elements will attack with all kinds of stubborn stains, whether it is grease, tomato sauce, or grass.
Use Cool Water:
It might sound something new to you, as many people believe that washing with warm water leaves your shirt softer and gentler. And yes, it is not totally the wrong thing to say, as warm water actually makes the fabric softer from the outside.
But at the same time, it is also true that heating up the fabric will also break down the garment and causes it to wear and tear. And you obviously wouldn’t want it. Therefore, it is recommended to use cool water to wash sublimated shirts.
This is also one of the reasons that you might have heard from many people to dry your sublimated shirts under the sunlight and not on the dryer. When you dry your washed shirts under the sunlight, the combination of cold water and sun rays will keep their smell fresh.
Avoid Adding Bleach or Any Kind of Fabric Softener:
If you are washing a dye sublimation shirt, then one of the most important things that you have to keep in mind is to never use a fabric softener or bleach, obviously, if you don’t want to destroy your shirt.
Bleach will damage the dyes that you have used in the sublimation process, while fabric softener will act as a barrier for your sublimated shirt and wouldn’t let them dry properly. These harsh chemicals will also leave yellowish casts on your shirts, along with the white ink.
Use Mild Detergent:
In the sublimation care instructions, the next thing you need to do is to use a mild detergent that doesn’t have optimal brighteners to have exceptional results. As if you will use too small an amount of detergent, it will weaken the bonds of fabrics.
And if you want to combat the excess buildup of soap, then you can also use vinegar because vinegar works as a natural whitener for sublimated shirts that will separate the dirt from the shirts when you will soak them in the vinegar and water solution.
Vinegar also helps in getting rid of stubborn stains like oil paints or dry stains, so you can soak your shirts overnight in the vinegar solution before washing them.
Why is it recommended not to Use Too Much Detergent?
An excessive amount of detergent will leave residue on the shirts and can also clog up the sublimated ink, which will not let your design have the same crisp as before anymore.
A heaping tablespoon of powder detergent, and if you are using liquid detergent, then two tablespoons of liquid is more than enough to wash and get amazing results. Remember to use cool water instead of hot water as it will cause fading.
Dry Sublimated Shirt:
After rinsing your sublimated shirt now, it’s time to dry them in the open air or, most recommended, under the sunlight. If you are thinking of leaving your submitted shirts to dry in the dryer, then stop now.
As I have already mentioned above, drying a sublimated shirt in the dryer will do nothing good to the shirts because the heating up of fabric will cause a huge mess.
Iron Damped Sublimated Shirts:
We have already discussed that sublimated shirts are highly affected by heat, so it is recommended to iron your shirts when they are slightly wet as it will allow the fabric to absorb the lesser amount of heat and prevent your sublimated designs from getting faded.
The stream coming from the iron will remove all the wrinkles from the shirt caused by washing and fix the sublimated design in its place. But wet doesn’t mean putting a lot of water on the shirt, so don’t do it as ironing on wet shirts causes more fading than dry ones.
Quick Washing Instructions for Sublimation Shirts:
These are the quick tips that are essential for you to keep in mind if you want to know how to care for sublimation shirts.
- Avoid washing your shirts too often, as the quality of the shirts will drop a bit after every wash no matter how much sublimation care instructions you’re following
- Try to wash your sublimated shirts with your hands instead of the washing machine if possible
- Don’t do dry cleaning over sublimated shirts
- Let the sublimated shirt dry completely and keep it in a cool place
- Always wash white-colored sublimated shirts and other colored sublimated shirts separately
- Use plastic hangers to hang the shirts to get dry instead of metals ones as it will leave the rust spots
Does Sublimation Wash Out?
During the sublimation process, the pores on the fabrics get opened, and put pressure on the shirt to cool the ink down and return to its original solid state. So it is not possible for the sublimated designs to get peeled or washed away.
Does Sublimation Shirts Fade After Washing?
Sublimation shirts don’t get faded that easily, but if the sublimation that is performed on them is done with bad quality sublimation paper, then it will get fade rapidly after every wash.
Will Sublimation Ink Wash Out of Cotton?
If you are trying to do the sublimation transfer on an unheated fabric such as cotton, then the ink will surely wash out from the fabric because the synthetic dye sublimation is unable to make a chemical bond with the natural fabrics.
If you have wanted to know How to Wash a Sublimated Shirt? Then until now, you must have known that if you’re following sublimation shirt washing instructions, you can protect your favorite sublimated shirts from getting fade away.
Also, if you are looking for a detailed guide on how to care for sublimation shirts, this article will be going to help you high time some quick and useful tips and tricks.
Fredrik Miller is the Founder of PrinterLake.com, a platform dedicated to providing information on sublimation printing. With a Master’s degree in Information Technology from 2012, Fredrik brings a wealth of technical knowledge and expertise to the site.
He leads a team of writers who are experts in the field and strive to deliver the best and most comprehensive information on sublimation printers, inks, and paper.