How to properly wash shirts and get rid of yellow stains

10.6. 2020
How to properly wash shirts and get rid of yellow stains

The laundry - One of the men's oldest enemies. It is improbable to evade a washing machine forever, so we might as well do it right at least when it comes to shirts, daily uniform for so many of us. After all, it's not rocket science and washing shirts properly is important because they end up in the wash frequently and they suffer from wear and tear. Harsh washing cycles substantially decrease their longevity; gentle ones keep them looking new for a much longer time. How do you wash shirts properly then?   

Preparation is key

Undo all buttons the shirt has, even any buttons on cuffs or collar - in case it's a button-down shirt. If there are bigger stains, they should be pre-washed with a bar of washing soap or other specialized product.

Yellow armpit stains are a category in and of itself. They aren't caused by sweat alone, but by its reaction with aluminium salts in antiperspirants. If you truly mind them, consider changing your antiperspirant for a classic deodorant.

However, if you stick with antiperspirant, you will have to deal with those stains sooner or later. Common wisdom suggests baking soda or bleach. We would stay clear of those - the best-case scenario nothing happens, the worst-case scenario it ruins your shirt. The smart move is to go with a specialized product for the situation. OxiClean is popular in the USA. There are other options (e. g. Dr. Beckmann) if it isn't available where you live.    

Proceed gently

As mentioned above, the longevity of your shirt depends largely on two factors: the quality of the fabric and type of washing cycle. That is why we recommend washing your shirts in colder water unless they are remarkably dirty. 30 ºC is the right choice. An easy care program is even better, but not all washing machines have one. Our John & Paul shirts can be safely washed on 40 ºC, which is also the information on the laundry label, but that is usually unnecessary and needs to be considered only if the shirt is quite dirty or made from heavier fabrics.

It is also important to choose the right laundry detergent. Definitely avoid all detergents based on chlorine. They would bleach the colours from the shirt over time. Use only the recommended amount. Even though "using twice as much detergent for twice as dirty laundry" might seem sensible, it doesn't do any good. Actually, it might complicate the whole washing process. 

Sun is the best dryer

We want to end on a simple note. Do not use a tumble dryer. Please, don't ever. It just doesn't play well with any cotton used to sew shirts, no matter the quality. Fabric loses its strength and is more prone to tearing. And that is always a shame.

After your shirt finishes washing, just snap it a few times to straighten it a bit, hang it on a hanger and iron it before it dries completely (that will also save you a lot of trouble). And that's it. Not too bad, is it? 


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