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How to wash DTF graphic tees without Cracking or Fading

Nov 23, 2023

How to wash DTF Printed Tees

If you're a fan of graphic tees, you know that taking care of them is crucial to preserving their vibrant designs. DTF (Direct to Fabric) shirts and tees have become increasingly popular due to their durability and high-quality prints.

However, to make sure they remain in top condition, you need to follow specific care instructions. In this guide, we'll walk you through the methods to wash, dry, and iron DTF tees, along with some essential tips for graphic tee care.

Methods to Wash DTF Tees 

When it comes to washing your DTF tees, there are two primary methods: machine washing and hand washing. Let's explore them both in detail. 

Washing DTF Printed t-shirt in washing machine

Machine Washing DTF Tees 

Machine washing is the most common and convenient way to clean your graphic tees. However, you should follow these steps to protect the integrity of the designs and fabric: 

  1. Separate by Color: Sort your DTF tees by color to prevent blending or color transfer during the wash.
  2. Turn Inside Out: Before placing them in the washing machine, turn your tees inside out. This reduces friction between the fabric and the agitator, which can cause the design to fade or crack.
  3. Choose the Right Cycle: Opt for a gentle or delicate cycle with cold water. Using cold water helps preserve the vibrant colors and prevents the fabric from shrinking.
  4. Use a Mild Detergent: Select a mild, color-safe detergent to avoid damaging the graphics. Avoid harsh detergents or those with bleach.
  5. No Fabric Softeners: Avoid using fabric softeners as they can harm the fabric and reduce the longevity of your tees.
  6. Limit Loads: Don't overcrowd the washing machine to ensure your tees have enough space to move around without getting tangled.
  7. Wash with Like Items: If possible, wash your DTF tees with similar clothing items to prevent friction with rougher fabrics.
  8. Avoid High Spin Speeds: High spin speeds can twist and stretch the fabric. Opt for a lower spin speed or skip this step if your washing machine allows.
  9. Air Dry or Low Heat: When it's time to dry your tees, either air-dry them or use the lowest heat setting on your dryer. High heat can damage the fabric and graphics.

Also Read: How to Press DTF Transfers on T-shirts

hand washing DTF Printed T-shirts

Hand Washing DTF Tees 

If you want to give your DTF tees extra care, hand washing is a great option. Follow these steps for the best results: 

  1. Fill a Basin or Sink: Fill a basin or sink with cold water. You can use a mild detergent designed for hand washing.
  2. Turn Inside Out: Just like with machine washing, turn your tees inside out to protect the designs.
  3. Soak and Gently Agitate: Submerge your tees in the water and gently agitate them. You can use your hands or a soft brush to remove any dirt or stains.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: After washing, rinse your tees in cold water until all detergent is gone. Be gentle during this process to avoid damaging the fabric.
  5. Press Out Excess Water: Avoid wringing or twisting your tees. Instead, gently press out excess water without stretching the fabric.
  6. Air Dry: Lay your DTF tees flat on a clean, dry towel to air dry. Avoid hanging them, as this can cause stretching. Reshape them to their original size if needed.
Drying DTF printed t-shirt

How to Dry DTF Tees?

Proper drying is just as crucial as washing to maintain the quality of your DTF tees. Here are some tips for ensuring your tees remain in top condition: 

  1. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Never leave your DTF tees in direct sunlight to dry, as UV rays can cause colors to fade over time.
  2. Air Dry Indoors: Choose a well-ventilated indoor area to air dry your tees, away from direct heat sources.
  3. No Hanging: Avoid hanging your DTF tees, as the weight of the water can stretch the fabric. Instead, lay them flat on a clean surface to dry.
  4. Reshape When Drying: While your tees are still damp, gently reshape them to their original size to maintain their fit and shape.
removing wrinkles from DTF Printed t-shirt

How to Iron DTF Tees: Removing Wrinkles? 

To remove wrinkles from your DTF tees, follow these steps:

  1. Check the Label: First, check the care label on your tees to ensure that ironing is recommended. Some materials, like spandex, may not be suitable for ironing.
  2. Set the Right Temperature: Adjust your iron to the appropriate temperature setting based on the fabric of your tees. Use the lowest heat setting needed to remove wrinkles effectively.
  3. Use a Pressing Cloth: Place a clean pressing cloth or a plain white cotton cloth over the graphic area to protect it from direct heat.
  4. Iron Lightly: Gently press the iron on the fabric without applying excessive pressure. Move the iron in a circular motion to avoid scorching the fabric.
  5. Avoid Steaming: Don't use steam on DTF tees, as excessive moisture can damage the design.
  6. Iron Inside Out: If possible, iron the tees inside out to further protect the graphics.  

Remember that frequent ironing can cause wear and tear, so only iron when necessary. 

DTF Care instructions

Tips for Graphic DTF Tees Care 

Maintaining your DTF tees isn't limited to washing, drying, and ironing. Here are some additional tips for keeping them in the best condition: 

  1. Avoid Scratching: Be cautious of rough surfaces and sharp objects that can scratch or peel the graphics on your tees.
  2. Store Properly: Fold and store your DTF Printed T-shirt in a cool, dry place. Avoid overcrowding your closet to prevent wrinkles and deformation.
  3. Wear with Care: When putting on and taking off your DTF tees, handle them gently to prevent stretching or pulling.
  4. Rotate Your Tees: To avoid over-washing and preserve the lifespan of your tees, rotate them and wear different ones to distribute the wear and tear.
  5. Follow Care Labels: Always follow the care instructions provided on the label of your tees for specific guidance.
  6. Spot Clean Stains: If you spill something on your tees, address stains promptly by spot cleaning with a gentle detergent and cold water.
  7. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Be mindful of the products you use around your tees, as certain chemicals can damage the graphics.
  8. Be Cautious with Jewelry: Remove sharp or abrasive jewelry before wearing your tees to prevent snags or tears.
Print your own t-shirt online with DTF NC

Conclusion

In summary, caring for your DTF shirts and tees is a straightforward process that can significantly extend their lifespan and keep the designs looking as vibrant as when you first got them. By following the washing, drying, and ironing methods, as well as the additional care tips, you'll be able to enjoy your favorite graphic tees for a long time to come. 

Also Read: Reasons Why Your DTF Transfer Is Not Sticking and How to Fix It

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to prevent graphic tees from cracking?

To prevent graphic tees from cracking, always turn them inside out before washing and choose a gentle cycle with cold water. Avoid high heat when drying and iron with care. Following these steps will help maintain the integrity of the designs.

How should I wash white graphic tees?

Washing white graphic tees is like colored ones, but you can use bleach alternatives to keep them bright. Still, always use cold water, gentle cycles, and mild detergents to prevent damage to the fabric and designs.

How many washes can a graphic tee withstand?

The number of washes a graphic tee can withstand depends on factors like the quality of the fabric, printing method, and care practices. With proper care, DTF transfers on apparel can withstand 70+ wash cycles while still looking vibrant. 

Is hard water or soft water better for washing graphic tee?

Soft water is generally better for washing graphic tees as it contains fewer minerals and is less likely to cause buildup on the fabric. If you have hard water, using a water softener or detergent designed for hard water can help protect your tees during washing. 

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