Every true fan has a team jersey for their favorite sport, maybe lots of them! Whether you wear them to cheer from the couch or stands or actually participate in a sport, these jerseys are expensive and we want them to last as long as possible. Learn how to keep sports jerseys looking great and make repairs if the letters or numbers begin to peel away.
|How to Wash a Team Jersey|
|Detergent||Regular laundry detergent|
|Water Temperature||Cold or Warm|
|Cycle Type||Permanent Press|
|Drying Cycle Type||Do not machine dry, air-dry only|
|Special Treatments||Wash inside out|
|Iron Settings||Do not iron|
Most jerseys are made from polyester or another synthetic fabric. These fabrics are easy to wash and dry but jerseys have the addition of letters and numbers that must be treated with care. The team may be tough but washing your jersey requires a more gentle touch. Take a minute to read the care label. If it says to use cold water, believe it. If it says do not put in the dryer, don't do it anyway! You'll be sorry.
Working time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Skill level: Beginner
What You'll Need
- Laundry detergent
- Stain remover (optional)
- Soft-bristled brush (optional)
- Clothesline or drying rack
Pretreat Stains From Snacking or Playing
Pretreat stains like mustard, ketchup, beer, mud, and grass before putting the jersey in the washer. Use an enzyme-based stain remover or a dab of heavy-duty laundry detergent on the stains. Rub in the stain remover with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush and allow it to work for at least 15 minutes before washing.
Load the Washer
Turn every jersey inside out before adding it to the washer. This will protect the numbers and lettering from abrasion and will make them last longer.
Select the Washer Cycle and Water Temperature
Select the Permanent Press washer cycle to help prevent excessive wrinkling and wear on the letters and numbers. Set the water temperature to cold or warm. Hot water can cause fading, shrinking, and letter damage.
Drying a Jersey
After removing it from the washer, turn the jersey right side out and give it a shake. This will prevent the lettering from sticking together. For best results, do not put a sports jersey in the dryer. The high heat is too much for the jersey and you may end up with cracked letters or worse, letters stuck together. Dry a jersey flat on a drying rack or hang to air dry.
Avoid an Ironing Disaster
Repair Peeling Letters and Numbers on a Jersey
You've done your best but now the letters or numbers on your jersey are curling up and peeling away. Or, the printer misspelled a player's name. Here's what to do.
What You'll Need
- White copy paper or notebook paper
- Acetone-based nail polish remover
- Cotton swab
- Matching jersey fabric (optional)
- New fabric letters or numbers (optional)
- Matching thread(s) (optional)
- Ironing board
- Sewing machine
Repair Curling and Peeling Letters and Numbers
Place a freshly-washed jersey on an ironing board with the peeling symbol face up. Set the iron on high with no steam. Position or smooth the symbol back to the way it should be and cover the curling section with a sheet of white notebook or copy paper.
Use just the tip of the iron, never the entire flat bottom surface, over the white paper, and press just the edge of the curling symbol. Begin slowly, with a very short pressing time. Just tap the edge of the iron and the edge of the paper-covered symbol for a few seconds. Gradually increase the time until you see the symbol is sticking again to the fabric. Never allow the iron to actually touch the jersey or letting. Leave the jersey flat on the ironing board until the area is completely cool.
Work on only one problem at a time. When the corrected section is cool, you can move to another area.
How to Separate Melted Lettering
If the jersey was accidentally put in the dryer on high heat and the letters have melted together, they can be separated to save the jersey. No matter how careful you are, the letters are never going to look perfect. However, this technique will allow you to wear the jersey again without a big hole.
Allow the jersey to cool completely. Dip a cotton swab in acetone (fingernail polish remover) and slowly swab the stuck areas while GENTLY pulling the letters apart. There will be some damage to the letters.
How to Restore Cracked Lettering
If the numbers and lettering have begun to crack or fade, it is nearly impossible to restore them to their original glory. Some sites recommend using fabric paint to repaint the lettering. You can purchase fabric paint at a craft store or online. However, the repair will never look like the original and can look uneven and amateurish if you don't do it correctly. Why not wear your well-worn team's laundry proudly as a sign of years of support?
How to Correct Misspelled Lettering
Printers make mistakes and sometimes a name is misspelled or a number needs to be changed. It is usually impossible to remove the letters without damaging the fabric. Instead, buy some matching jersey fabric and attach the new numbers or lettering (iron-on or stitched) to the fabric. Then hand- or machine-sew the square or rectangle onto the jersey. It won't look perfect but it can get a kid through a baseball season. And, it is less expensive than a new jersey.
Team jerseys should be washed before storage to avoid difficult-to-remove stains for the next season. They can be folded or hung but should always be kept in a temperature-controlled environment to prevent damage to the lettering.