How to wash a football shirt

How to wash a football shirt

Amon Fearon - August 05, 2022

Whether you’re playing a game with your mates or training for a match, we all take pride in our football shirts. It could be the shirt of your favourite team or a simple workout tee, either way, looking after your sports top not only keeps it looking and smelling clean, but can help it to last longer too.

So, how should you be washing your football shirt to be getting the most out of it? Let’s take this step-by-step.


How to wash football shirts

  1. Separate your colours

Just like any wash, your football shirts should be washed separately based on colour. It’s no good washing your white football shirt with red socks to end up with a pink jersey. To maintain the integrity of your top, always include them in a colour appropriate wash. Or, if in doubt, wash your entire kit on its own.

  1. Wash your football shirt inside out

It’s generally good practice to wash your clothes inside out and this is especially true for football shirts. Most football shirts have some kind of print on them, whether that be the team’s name, logo or other wording. Even premium replica Rangers FC football kits and Newcastle United shirts from Castore feature printed sponsors along with embroidered club logos. Over time, if you don’t wash your football shirt inside out, the printing can wash off and start to crumble or peel.

  1. Always read the label

As your football shirt gets sweaty you may think the hotter the wash the better. However, it’s important to always read the label before throwing it into a 40 degree or more wash. While the polyester composition of football shirts can make them more resistant to shrinking, constant heat can break down the fabric. So, make sure to check the optimal temperature for washing tops. If the label isn’t clear, just wash by hand or on a cold cycle in the machine to avoid any damage.

  1. Use stain remover for stubborn marks

Grass and mud stains are all part of the fun in football but that doesn’t mean they are easy to get out of your clothes. Sometimes, a few cycles in the washing machine just won’t cut it. If you’re trying to remove stains that just won’t budge, opt for some recognised brands of stain remover. Remember, always patch test a product before applying it. Apply some of the stain remover on a part of the shirt you can’t obviously see. For example, inside hem at the bottom of the shirt. If there isn’t any bleach or further markings, it’s safe to apply to your stain.

  1. Air dry naturally

Just as you’d avoid a hot wash, avoid a hot dry as well. Don’t chuck your football shirt into a tumble dryer as this exposure to heat may cause shrinkage. Instead, make sure to always air dry your football shirts. Preferably, hang your shirts outside with a breeze to keep the smell fresh. Otherwise, just hang them up inside. Anything that avoids a quick heat dry should be sufficient.


How to hand wash football shirts 

If you’ve decided to play it safe and hand wash your football shirt, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Turn your football shirt inside out.
  2. Fill a sink, bowl or your bath with warm water and some colour-safe detergent.
  3. Let your shirt soak for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Ring your shirt a few times to properly rinse away any dirt or grime.
  5. Rinse your football shirt with clean, cold water to wash away and residue.
  6. Flip your shirt the right way around and hang out to air dry naturally.


How to get stains out of football shirts

We touched on this previously but there are other ways of removing stains beside specialist products. For example, a great, cheap way of removing sweat stains and odour-causing bacteria from your football shirt is to use white vinegar.

Simply add one cup of white vinegar to your washing machine either in the drum or through the dispenser. Then, add your detergent and softener as normal. The acidity of the white vinegar will eat away at the tough stains and smells to leave your football shirt looking and feeling brand new. Don’t worry, your kit won’t come out smelling like vinegar, the regular washing products and water washes this all out.

If you’re struggling with mud and grass stains, make sure to pre-soak your football shirts before thoroughly washing. You can buy pre-soak products in your local supermarket. Just follow the directions on the bottle and leave your shirt to soak for around 30 minutes. This should help to loosen stains so they disappear when going through the wash. Again, make sure to patch test any products you plan to use and always read both the label in your shirt and the instructions of any products you plan to use. It’s better to be safe than sorry as ruining your favourite football shirt is every player and fans worst nightmare.

Of course, the better quality the football shirt, the longer it will last. Premium sportswear and football shirts are made from high-quality fabrics that not only help you achieve your best but are more easily washed. So, the moral of the story is to always opt for the better quality shirts to avoid disappointment.