button shirts before washing

Should You Button Shirts Before Washing Them?

Button down shirts are an essential part of every wardrobe, especially for those in the professional world. 

Knowing how to wash and care for shirts is essential to maintaining that well-groomed professional look.

Since buttons are the most obvious accessories on these kinds of shirts, you might wonder about the proper way to handle them when washing.

The answer is that you should entirely unbutton the shirt before washing, including the cuffs and collar. There are many good reasons for that so let’s go on to find out why.

 

To Button or Not Button?

shirt with buttons

When shirts are buttoned during the washing cycle, the buttons can become caught on other clothes or the inner workings of the machine, causing them to break or pop off. 

In addition, leaving shirts buttoned can cause them to stretch out of shape and become misshapen.

There are other reasons too. It allows the water and detergent to circulate more freely around the shirt, ensuring that it gets a thorough cleaning. 

Finally, it helps to reduce wrinkles by allowing the shirt to move more freely during the wash cycle. 

Next time you’re getting ready to do some laundry, take a few extra seconds to unbutton your shirts, as it could make a big difference in how long they last.

 

Should You Use a Wash Bag for Clothes with Buttons?

wash bag for clothes with buttons

Wash bags are a great tool for protecting clothes with buttons or embellishments on them. With all the twisting and turning clothes go through in the washing machine, it becomes easy for buttons to loosen and get stuck in the moving parts or snag on other clothes. 

The sleeves are not left out as they can readily tangle with other clothes too, thereby increasing the friction between them. 

Using a wash bag stops this and also prevents the occurrence of lint and pilling which is usually due to excessive wear on clothes.

While not essential, a wash bag is a good idea for any item of clothing that has features such as tassels, buttons, zips etc. 

 

Should You Tumble Dry Shirts Buttoned or Unbuttoned?

unbuttoned shirts

Preparing your shirt for tumble drying is not much different from doing so when washing. As stated earlier, it is always better to leave your shirts unbuttoned before turning them into the dryer. 

While some schools of thought argue that keeping your shirt buttoned retains its shape, it rarely works that way. Rather, the consistent movement ends up dragging the button threads eventually causing a distortion in shape with the buttons more likely to fall off or threads to be broken. 

 

Should Shirts Be Washed Inside Out?

You might assume that washing the outside of your shirt is more important, but it is actually better to turn the shirt and sleeves inside out, as the inner parts are normally more stained.

Washing your shirt this way helps to reduce fading and generally makes it quicker for stains from body sweat, armpit sweat, and deodorants to be removed during the wash as they will have better contact with the detergent.

 

How Frequently Should Shirts Be Washed?

Frankly, there is no fixed time set for when to wash your shirts. How often you should wash largely depends on how much you sweat and your activities during the day. 

This simply means that apart from external influences such as stains, people who sweat more should wash more in order to retain the freshness of their clothes.

On the other hand, white clothes and light-coloured clothes should be washed mostly after double wear, or three at most. 

 

Common Laundry Mistakes You Should Avoid

laundry tips

Despite the necessity and frequency with which laundry is done, it is easy to keep engaging in several mistakes which can make it seem like washing is a never-ending mystery.

To achieve better results, here are some common laundry mistakes you should avoid below:

1. Not reading the care label attached to your clothes 

Every fabric has unique requirements. Checking the guideline on each care label will also make sorting your clothes less complicated.

2. Sorting clothes incorrectly 

Apart from sorting clothes based on their colour range (light and dark colour separation), you should also sort them based on the level of dirt and/or temperature requirements

3. Not making use of wash bags when necessary 

Wash bags, also known as laundry bags or delicates bags, are extremely useful for preventing mishaps and protecting your clothes.

4. Overloading the washing machine

Overloading the washing machine will prevent it from being able to clean clothes properly, as there will be a lack of space for them to move freely.

5. Washing your clothes without turning them inside out

As annoying as this might be, it is always best to turn your clothes inside out before washing.

6. Washing without pre-treating tough stains

Even if you use a high-quality detergent, pre-treating tough stains always produces better results at stain removal.

6. Not using the right detergent

If unsure of suitable detergents for specific clothes, use an all-purpose detergent that is mild.

 

Final Thoughts

Buttoned shirts are usually smart items of clothing and you want to be looking your best every time you put them on. 

To prevent stretching and pulling which can ruin the look of a shirt. It’s always best to wash them unbuttoned.