wash football shirt immediately

How to Wash a Football Shirt

As a member of a football team, we know how much pride you take in your football shirts.

This is more than just a shirt; it represents all your victories and highlights your passion for the sport. Therefore, you want to take good care of your football jersey, and we are here to help!

Whether you have one football shirt to wash or are responsible for looking after your entire team’s kit, this guide walks you through the basics. You’ll learn how to wash your football shirt the right way!

Get rid of all dirt and sweat from the game without destroying the material, shrinking your jersey, ruining the print, or having to splurge on a new shirt.


1. Wash Your Shirt Immediately

When you come home from a football match, take your shirt off and wash it immediately.

Football games can get messy, and your shirt is likely covered in numerous stains, such as grass, mud, and even blood.

With stains, you need to act fast! The longer you leave your shirt, the deeper any stains work into the material. If they’re particularly bad, consider pre-treating the stains first.

The same is true for odours. Leaving your sweaty shirt unwashed for days allows more time for unpleasant smells to work their way into the fabric.

The deeper the smells are embedded, the harder they are to eliminate. Immediate washing is key to success!


2. Turn Your Football Shirt Inside Out

Once you’ve taken your football shirt off, ensure you turn it inside out before washing. The outside is the important part of your shirt where your player number and club information are printed.

Turning your shirt inside out protects these parts and prevents them from peeling, cracking, or sticking together during the wash.


3. Wash Colours Separately

sort clothes by colour

If you’re washing shirts for an entire team, separate the loads by colour. It is usually best to do a dark and a light wash, but this depends on the colours of your team kit.

Be particularly cautious if you have red football shirts to care for. Red pigments are known to bleed more than others, and accidentally leaving a red shirt in with white shirts can turn the entire team pink!

It can also be tempting to throw all your football kit in the wash together, but make sure to separate different coloured socks and shorts, too.

As football shirts require special care, we recommend washing them alone or with other team jerseys.


4. Always Wash on Cold

Football shirts are usually made from polyester, a light and breathable material perfect for wearing when running around a pitch. However, the material can fade or shrink if washed at high temperatures.

Higher temperatures can also damage the printed letters and numbers, even with you having turned the shirt inside out.

Therefore, football shirts should always be put on a cold wash cycle. You can also check the label on the shirt to see if there are any temperature recommendations and use these as a guideline, but generally, colder is better!

You can use standard laundry detergent, but should avoid using fabric softener.


5. Consider Handwashing to Be Extra Safe

handwash football shirt

Most football shirts can be washed in the washing machine without any damage. However, there is always the chance that something can go wrong!

Is your jersey particularly sentimental? Was it expensive, or have you only just purchased it? Is it a rare shirt from your favourite team?

If any of these apply, you might not want to take the risk! Instead of putting your football shirt in the washing machine, wash it by hand.

Ensure the shirt is still turned inside out and that you use cold water and gentle handwashing detergents. If you’ve never hand-washed anything before, you can read our ultimate guide to hand-washing clothes


6. Let Your Football Shirt Air Dry

air dry football shirt

After washing, always hang your football shirt up to air dry. This can be inside on an airer or outside on the line, but never put your shirt in the tumble dryer. The heat from drying can cause all kinds of damage!

When air drying your clothes, consider nearby heat sources, too. For example, you should never hang your football shirt on a radiator to dry or even a heated airer. The heat can cause the print to melt and stick to your shirt.

This is another benefit of washing your shirt immediately after a game; you’ll never be in a rush to get it cleaned and dried in time for another match!

Tips for washing football shirts