Do you love a crisp, fresh-looking dress shirt? Us too. A well-cared-for dress shirt has the power to make you feel put together, confident, and ready to take on the world. But let’s be honest, caring for dress shirts isn’t always easy. If you’re not careful, your shirts can wind up looking lackluster.

We’re here to help. We’ve compiled everything you need to know about how to wash dress shirts, complete with the top dress shirt care FAQs. So, whether you’re a first-time dress shirt owner or a seasoned pro, keep reading for all the tips and tricks you need to make sure your dress shirts impress!

Launder and Press at the Cleaners

If you don’t love doing laundry or the idea of ironing makes you break out in a sweat, not to worry. ZIPS Cleaners offer a launder and press service for dress shirts. During the process, your shirts go through a cycle in a commercial grade washing machine and then straight onto a hot clothing press to dry. Here are just a few reasons why this process is a preferred option for many:

  • You don’t have to do any work yourself.
  • Your shirts get a crisp, professional finish.
  • There’s no damaging tumbling in a dryer (more about this later).
  • It’s less expensive than dry cleaning.

Dry Cleaning Your Shirts

If any of your shirts are wool, rayon, or silk, dry cleaning is your only option. It’s also an excellent choice for your cotton dress shirts because it’s gentle on fabric and preserves your garment’s shape. In addition, you should definitely dry clean dress shirts if they have oil-based stains because, unlike water, the solvents used in the process can remove them altogether. Other advantages include:

  • Again, no labor on your end.
  • Minimizes wear and tear, extending your shirt’s useful life.
  • Eliminates the risk of shrinkage.
  • One of the only effective ways to eradicate oil-based stains.

Home Wash and Iron

If washing your shirts at home is more your style, we have a few tips below to help you get optimal results!

  • Have you ever wondered what’s up with the delicate cycle? It’s designed to simulate hand washing (after all, who has time for that) and is your best choice for your button-ups.
  • Use cold water for dark colors and hot water for lights.
  • Buy a high-quality, gentle detergent specially formulated for delicates to prevent fading.
  • Carefully spot treat any stains before washing.
  • Unbutton all closures (failure to do so puts unnecessary strain on button threads and can stretch button holes).

Also, avoid the dryer when possible. The tumbling action can prematurely break down fibers, and over-drying can lead to shrinkage. If you must use the dryer, opt for the lowest heat setting, remove your shirt while it’s still slightly damp, and iron out the rest of the moisture. Remember, you’ll always have better results ironing damp shirts, so if a dry shirt needs ironing, top off your iron’s reservoir with distilled water and use the spray button and steam setting for best results.

Best practice: Hang your shirt until it’s only slightly damp, then iron until dry.

Dress Shirt Care FAQs

We’ve got the basics covered for you below. For even more helpful garment care tips, check out ZIPS Tips!

How often should I wash my dress shirts?

Clean your dress shirts as needed. If you wear them in a tidy environment (like an office) and don’t break much of a sweat on a given day, you might be able to get in 3 to 4 wears between cleanings. If you plan to wear a shirt more than once without a cleaning, hang it up between wears to let the fabric air out and prevent wrinkles.

Best Practice: You’ll get more wears per wash if you wear an undershirt daily. Not only does it look better (especially under white or light-colored shirts), but it prevents unsightly sweat stains.

How do I remove sweat stains from my dress shirts?

If your shirt is cotton, linen, or a blend, you can pretreat the stain with vinegar or lemon juice before laundering as usual. If the fabric is wool, silk, or rayon, take it to your local cleaner and point out the stain.

What’s the best way to store dress shirts?

Store dress shirts in your closet on wooden hangers at least 1/4 inch thick. Why? Wooden hangers are designed for maximum air circulation to keep your shirts fresh. When you put your shirt away, starting with the collar, fasten every other button, and don’t forget to align the shoulders with the hangar to preserve their shape. Steer clear of wire hangers for long-term storage. They can cause permanent shoulder creases over time.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, when it comes to cleaning dress shirts, you have options! The best method for you will come down to a number of factors, including your budget, time constraints, and your shirt’s fabric type. Whatever method you choose, following the tips above for cleaning shirts will help keep your shirts looking their best.

If you’re looking for professional launder and press or dry cleaning services for your button-downs, reach out to your local ZIPS Cleaners today. You won’t find a better price!