How To Care For A Dress Shirt

How To Care For A Dress Shirt

Charlotte Grainger

Dress shirts are the ultimate in classic style, but do you know how to care for yours? If you want this chic piece of clothing to last, you need to make sure that you do all you can to look after it. You may wonder how to wash your dress shirt or, indeed, how to care for it, but do you really know the facts? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place here at Original Stitch. We have all the answers you need. Here’s what you should keep in mind.

Types of dress shirt

Before we get onto the subject of how to care for a dress shirt, you should first know what types are out there. There are actually a wealth of different materials out there that you can find. You should understand what they are before you do anything so that you don’t end up making any silly mistakes at all. That way, you should find that it’s much easier to wash your dress shirt and ensure that it is clean and crisp! Here are two that you should know about:


Wrinkle-resistant shirts — These shirts tend to be quite light wear and easy to use. Despite the name, though, you will need to wash and clean these shirts as well as ironing them. The idea is that they are treated a little so that they don’t wrinkle as much as regular shirts. However, you can’t be sure that this will always be the case! They look and seem quite the same as ‘normal’ fabrics, which means that you won’t notice a huge difference.


Non-iron shirts — As the name suggests, these shirts will need to be cleaned, but you won’t need to iron them. The idea is that you should be able to wash them at home without having to iron them at all. If that sounds like a dream come true, they may well be the right shirts for you. They come treated with ultra-safe chemicals so that they hold their form no matter what happens. They are so easy!

How to wash a dress shirt

One of the major issues that people find when they invest in dress shirts is that they wear over time. When you have to wash a shirt over and over again, it’s sure to take its toll on the condition of the piece. After all, there’s nothing worse than wearing away a piece of clothing that you’ve invested money in. However, since you end up wearing your dress shirt a whole load of times, you will need to wash it too.


Believe it or not, there is actually a right way to wash a dress shirt. Before you do anything at all, you need to heed our advice and make sure that you just don’t end up ruining it. Being careless when you care for your dress shirt will only lead to further problems. Still, there are a couple of methods that you may want to try for yourself.


  1. Have your shirt professionally cleaned


If this is a particularly special shirt, you will need to make sure that you take the best possible care of it. Hence, having it professionally cleaned could be the answer. Remember, dry cleaners are experts when it comes to making sure that shirts are kept tidy and clean. They know how to work with the material so that they don’t ruin it or wear it down as they wash it. When considering how to wash a dress shirt, the answer could be easier than you first imagine. Just as a dry cleaner to ‘clean and press’ the shirt for you.


During the process, the cleaners will wash your shirt with water and detergent, remove the water using a standard spin cycle, and use a shirt press to dry and iron the piece. The ‘clean and press’ style of washing is the standard style that you can expect when it comes to clothing. That means that everyone out there will know what it means and how to do it. Visit your local dry cleaners today and have a chat with them about what services they have to offer. It really is that simple.


  1. Try the home washing method


Without a doubt, the home washing method is the most economical and perhaps the easiest way to go. With this method, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you learn how to get it right before you begin. There are a whole load of shirt washing blunders that can happen when you’re less than an expert in the field. Remember that. If you do want to try this method for yourself, all you need to do is follow some simple and easy-to-remember steps.


Step 1: Prepare the shirt — You should unbutton all of the buttons, unfold the collar, and stretch out the shirt before you begin. This will mean that you don’t end up creasing the piece at all. It’s that easy.


Step 2: Treat the stains — Stains happen. You may end up accidentally marking the shirt now and then. Perhaps you will spill a drink on it or get marks from scuffing. Should that be the case, you need to pretreat the shirt before you wash it. You can use a concentrated formula to do so. Simply rub the washing powder and water into the area where the stain is. After a few minutes of this action, you will see that the stain starts to fade. Then, rinse the shirt in some cold running water.


Step 3: Use a delicate cycle — If you’re using a normal cycle to wash your dress shirt, you’re doing it all wrong. Often enough, this is too much for a light wear shirt. (Of course, if you have a shirt with thicker material, you may want to opt for the normal cycle!) Make sure that you are sensitive to what type of cycle you’re using and how it will likely affect the material of your shirt. Overlooking this small fact could be a recipe for disaster.


Step 4: Remove shirt fast — Make sure that you remove the shirt fast after washing it. If you leave the shirt in the machine for too long, you will find that it crinkles up and looks messy. That’s the last thing you want. The sooner you remove and begin drying it as soon as possible. That way, you won’t come up against this issue.


Step 5: Iron and press — Be certain to iron and press the shirt right when it’s dried. That way, you can be sure that it will look its best no matter what. There is a meticulous way to make sure that you get this right. The sooner you do it, the better!


Once you have completed all of the above and washed your dress shirt, you should find that you have no issue whatsoever. Doing it yourself at home will take a little longer than usual, but you should find that it’s worth it. For one thing, it will save you money and once you get into the habit of it, it will be second nature.

How to iron a dress shirt

Once you’ve washed your shirt, the next step is to make sure that you iron it properly. You don’t want to get this aspect of the process wrong or it could look unkempt and a little messy. Instead, you should make sure that you iron the dress shirt well enough that it will look perfect every single day. Here’s what you need to know:


Step 1: Invest in quality — When it comes to getting your ironing equipment, you need to make sure that you invest in high-quality pieces. Your iron should never be a thing that you scrip on! Be certain to get a top quality brand. That way, you should have the best possible quality piece. You should also make sure that you have a long warranty. With your ironing water and your board, the same applies. Usually, the more you spend, the better things will end up being. Get a thick and sturdy cover for the board for the very best possible results.


Step 2: Iron the back first — First of all, you need to make sure that you iron the back of the shirt. This is the easiest area to approach first. You should make sure that you iron from the collar downward. When it comes to how to care for a dress shirt, this is a major rule. Avoid wrinkles and lines appearing as you do this. That way, you should find that there is no issue at all with the finished product.


Step 3: Next, the sleeves — The same rules apply when it comes to the sleeves. You want to iron away from the collar. Be sure to keep the iron on a medium heat as you do so. You may also want to use some spray or steam when it comes to this aspect of the ironing process as it could make all the difference.


Step 4: Iron the collar — Be sure to keep the collar as flat as possible when you iron it. You should make sure that you care for your dress shirt well enough that the collar does not suffer. At this point, you may want to turn the iron up and keep it hot for the duration of the collar ironing step. As it is a thicker material, it could make all the difference!


Step 5: Iron the front — Finally, when it comes to the front of the shirt, you will want to iron toward the edge of the shirt. Make sure that you avoid the buttons and use a swift and sturdy technique. Again, you may well find that using steam or spray does the trick here.

Conclusion: Caring is crucial!


When it comes to your dress shirt, taking a little extra care really is crucial. You want these things to last for years and years to come. They are investment pieces — not mere fashion items. So, you need to make sure that you wash your dress shirt and look after it with the utmost care and responsibility. In the long run, you will be ever-so-glad that you did.