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Afraid To Ruin The Prints? 7 Tips On How To Wash Football Shirts By Hand

by Aliana Baraquio

Are you afraid that if you wash your football shirts on a machine, you might ruin them? The truth is whether you wash football shirts on a machine or by hand if you don’t do it right, you might end up ruining them anyway.

However, if you want full control over washing the shirts, you should start washing them by hand. That is if you have some extra time and you’re not yet tired from your practise or game. But aside from washing the shirts by hand to keep them safe, some old, peeling, and even classic football shirts should be washed with care.


So to help you get started, here are some tips on how you can safely wash your football shirts by hand!

1. The sooner better

Have you ever experienced going home from a tiring practise or game and going straight to bed? Did you also regret it? Leaving your used and dirty football kit inside your gym bag may result in a disaster. So to avoid having regrets, put your football kit in the right bin and clean them as soon as possible.

If your shirt got stains, soak it in cold water so that the stains won’t stick. As for the sweaty shirt, if you left it for days that way, the smell might set and stick permanently. So even if you don’t have time the moment you go home, at least do some minimal steps to prevent ruining the shirt.

2. Read the label

Before you buy any hand-washing essentials, read the label of your shirts first. This label can give you all the information you need to keep your shirt safe and sound. However, some shirts like classic football shirts might be too old to save the label, so you’ll just have to take extra care of them.

As for the football shirts that still have tags and labels on them, you’re in luck since all you need to do is follow the instructions, and you’re ready to begin.

If you don’t understand the drawings, you can look them up online, and you’ll see the full details of these labels.


3. Turn it inside out

Are you ready to wash your shirts? First, turn them all inside out so that the prints and badges are safe from any contact that may cause any damage. Ensure all shirts are inside out before washing them even if you’re using your hand, you might not notice that you’re scrubbing the prints out of the shirts.

If you’re going to handwash classic football shirts, you should also do the same thing as they’re even more delicate than the other football shirts.

Turning the shirt inside out also applies when washing them in a machine. It might just be a simple step, but it’s one of the most important things you shouldn’t forget.

4. Right water temperature

As mentioned before, the label of the football shirts usually has instructions which include the temperature of the water you need when washing the clothes. However, if there’s none, wash the shirts with not higher than 30°.

Sometimes, it might be tempting to try washing a jersey with dried mud on it using hot water. However, as much as you want to clear it right away, it’ll just cause more damage.


5. Separate colours

It would be uncommon to handwash ten football shirts at once. But if you happen to do it, don’t forget to separate them based on colours. For instance, if you have white, light, and dark-coloured shirts, it’s not safe to wash them all together.

So to avoid stains, make sure to separate them when washing. In addition, avoid using the same water to wash the lighter shirts. Like when you’re done washing the dark-coloured shirts, just throw the water away and prepare a clean batch.

6. Use mild soap

Since football shirts are delicate, it’s not advisable to use detergents with ingredients that may harm the fabric and prints. These detergents are made to remove tough stains and smelly odours attached to the clothes. But although football shirts can get stains sometimes, there are appropriate ways to remove them.

You don’t need to buy detergents specially made for jerseys, but you should check the ingredients before buying.

Another thing should always remember is to avoid using fabric softener on football. If you use fabric softener, it’ll be hard for detergents to penetrate and thoroughly clean the fibres of the shirts where the specks of dirt are trapped.


7. Let air dry

After washing the football shirts, just let them air dry. It’s the best option since football shirts, and other jerseys shouldn’t be exposed to heat. However, if you don’t have much time and need to use the dryer, put the setting in delicate mode to avoid damage.

Using the dryer in delicate mode is better than leaving the shirt directly under the sun. But you shouldn’t use the machine often as it can still cause damage.


Taking care of your precious jerseys, especially classic football shirts can be overwhelming at first. However, you should keep on doing research on how to take care of them so that they can last long. Don’t forget to share more tips about washing football shirts by leaving a comment below!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Aliana Baraquio is a web content writer working for Retro Football Kits, an international shop that offers a huge selection of retro football shirts and match-worn classic football shirts from the 70s to the 00s. As a writer, she is passionate about providing good quality articles that will help readers in making the right choice.

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