How to Wash and Dry Screen Printed T-Shirts? (Expert Guide 2024)

Screen-printed t-shirts are highly prone to peeling the design.

Discoloration occurs when these are washed with other garments. We must follow care instructions to keep them safe from fading and peeling print.

The best way to wash screen-printed shirts is the hand washing method.

Quick Response
While Washing by Hand, turn the t-shirt inside out and soak it in Luke warm water containing a small amount of detergent for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not add any other chemical or bleach; otherwise, the print will be peeled off from your favorite shirts.

In the following lines, you will eventually get the detailed process of cleaning your beautiful t-shirts by hand washing and machine washing and drying.

Read more: How to Remove Screen Printing from Clothes [05 Effective Ways]

How to Hand Wash the Screen-Printed Shirts?

Hand washing is effortless and straightforward. You will prefer hand washing over machine washing if you love your tees.

In hand washing, there are fewer chances of damaging the design and fabric.

Before washing, turn the shirt inside out and pre-treat the stains.

Follow these steps during hand washing of the printed t-shirts.

Fill the Bucket with Water and add Detergent

Arrange a bucket and suitable detergent for screen-printed shirts.

Fill the bucket with cold or Luke warm water and mix a small amount of detergent.

Mix the detergent properly to enjoy total efficiency in removing the stains.

Add a Printed Shirt in a Bucket.

Now, put the t-shirt into the bucket and gently push it to the bottom.

Give the maximum time of soaking of shirts about 10 minutes.

Try to add shirts with the same color to avoid any color mixing and fading.

Then, agitate them gently and rinse them with warm cold water.

Take the shirts out and Dry them

After thoroughly rinsing the shirts, bring them out of the bucket and hang them in the air.

Avoid drying under sunlight to keep the design safe

Don’t dry using a hair dryer; otherwise, the design will peel off.

How to Machine Wash Screen Printed Shirt?

The best way to clean the screen-printed t-shirt is hand washing. But if you feel you need to work on hand washing, you can employ the machine washing method.

In machine washing, the color and fabric of the shirt may get damaged due to rough tumbling. Make sure you use cold or Luke warm water mixed with a soft detergent. Also, turn the screen-printed t-shirt inside to keep the design safe from cracking. 

Follow the below-given steps to have better results.

Turn the t-shirt inside out.

Before washing the t-shirts, turn them inside out so the design can be protected.

Pre-treat the stains

Check the visible spots and stains on the t-shirt. Sprinkle the stain remover spray to make them feasible to be washed.

Most of the time, oxygen is used as stain remover.

Pro Tip: Don’t use stain-removing spray on the screen-printed design to avoid damage.

Add water and mix detergent.

Now open the washing machine’s lid, and pour cold or Luke warm water. Mix a little amount of Luke warm or cold water.

You can check the instructions of the manufacturer of the detergent.

Please don’t put the detergent over the design; mix it with water, then add the t-shirts.

Set the working conditions of the washing machine

After adding t-shirts and water to the machine, you must set the ideal condition for the washing machine.

  • Don’t add bleach
  • Keep the speed low to medium
  • Use cold or Luke warm water
  • Use both ways spinning of the washer
  • Set the wash time to 5-7 minutes

If you have a newly screen-printed shirt with stains, don’t wash it immediately.

Wait 24 hours to cure the screen print design on the t-shirt; otherwise, the design will wash away.

Drying the clothes

When the washing time is over, the machine will beep. Remove the clothes and hang them under the shade. Don’t hang them where sunlight may directly hit the screen-printed design.

The UV light will cause discoloration if the shirts are dried in sunlight.

How To Wash Your Printed T Shirts

How to Dry the Printed T-shirts?

Drying the screen-printed shirts is relatively easy.

It is a simple and easy way to dry the washed shirts by hanging them in the air.

Or you can use a drying rack for this purpose, but it will cause wrinkles in the shirts.

Some say that a hair dryer can be employed to dry printed shirts, but I doubt it, as it can damage the screen print design and shirt fabric.

So, if you are experimenting hair dryer, try to keep the temperature low.

After hanging in the air for a while, you can iron the screen-printed shirts. Ironing will keep the shirt wrinkle-free and help in drying out the shirts. Keep the temperature low during drying, and don’t directly press the design area.   

Care Instructions for Screen Printed Tees

If you want a durable design on the t-shirts, you must keep in mind the following care instructions.

  • Wash the printed tees in cold or Luke warm water
  • Don’t add bleach to keep the design safe
  • Make groups of the same color t-shirts before washing
  • Avoid adding an excessive amount of detergents
  • Avoid Hot water for washing
  • Try to air-dry the screen-printed shirts
  •  Don’t wash the recently printed t-shirt
  • If you want to iron the printed Tee, keep the temperature low.

Follow these points to avoid peeling off and cracking the design.

How To Care for Your Screen Printed T-shirt

Final Words

Washing and drying screen-printed t-shirts require full attention to protect them from discoloration.

Most people employ the hand washing method as it’s safe and preserves the printed design. In the case of machine washing, you have to control the speed of spinning, the amount of detergent, and the grouping of garments.

Drying the printed tees is carried out in the air, which keeps them wrinkle free. Keep the temperature low if you want to dry out the t-shirt using a hair dryer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do screen-printed shirts crack?

Cracking of the screen print occurs when the thick plastisol ink is used but cured improperly. If the ink is cured enough, it will not crack out. 

How to protect screen-printed shirts?

To protect the printed shirts from peeling off the design, wash them with cold water, avoid putting them in a dryer, and use less detergent.

How long does it take for a screen-printed shirt to dry?

Drying and curing printed shirts in the air can take up to 2 to 3 days. Forced drying by using a fan can lower the time.

Can you cure a screen-printed shirt with a heat press?

Yes, of course.
Drying and curing using a heat press at 320 degrees for 40 seconds take place quickly.

How do I make my screen print permanent?

By Heat setting.
Heat setting is a vital step to make the screen print permanent. If you skip the heat setting step, you will fade in the laundry.

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