How To Wash Sublimation Shirts In 2022 | 5 Super Easy Steps

Ready to wash your sublimation shirts and make them clean?


This article includes a step-by-step guide on how to wash sublimation shirts.

Additionally, it includes the things you should avoid when washing sublimation shirts.

So, let’s dive right in.

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Sublimation shirts are great for people who love to wear clothing that’s unique and different.

They’re also perfect for those who want to express themselves through fashion, and to maintain that fashion, you have to clean the shirts frequently.

But How?

Washing Sublimated shirts has always been challenging for many people, especially when the colors start to run and fade.

Well, it isn’t that difficult. Washing sublimation t-shirts is very much the same as washing regular clothes, but there are some sublimation shirt-washing instructions to take into account.

What are sublimation Shirts?

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A sublimation shirt is a shirt made by the process of sublimation printing.

The design is printed on sublimation paper with sublimation inks and then transferred to the shirt using a heat press.

The sublimation shirts are either 100 percent polyester or poly-cotton(a mixture of polyester and cotton).

1. Fill the bucket with cold water.

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Take the bucket and fill it with cold water. Cold water will help keep the color vibrant and prevent fading.

You’ll destroy the dye if you wash your sublimation shirt in hot water.

Fill up the washing machine or bucket in cold water and put the shirt inside.

Note: Soak the white and colored garments separately.

Related: How to sublimate on dark shirts.

2. Add Mild Detergent.

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Add the mild and phosphorus-free detergent to cold water.

Detergents work by breaking down dirt and grime, so they should be used with care when washing your sublimated shirts.

You can use any laundry detergent brand, but ensure that they don’t contain any harsh chemicals.

Harsh chemicals can cause the sublimation ink to fade.

3. Submerge And Clean The Shirt.

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Submerge the shirt in cold soapy water and clean it gently with your hands or brush.

Avoid using hard hands while cleaning. Agitating the shirts with light hands cleans the shirt and makes sublimation colors brighter.

Agitate the shirt until it’s clean.

4. Rinse The Shirt And Repeat.

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Drain the bucket filled with soapy water and refill it with cold clean water.

Rinse the garment until all soap is removed. You have to repeat the process multiple times to remove all the soap.

5. Dry The Shirt.

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After cleaning, dry the shirt. Hang the shirt on a hanger in a dry place for several hours.

Don’t use dryers to dry the cloth; they might degrade the quality of the sublimation ink.

Iron press the shirt when it’s dry and store it in a cool place.

And you’re done!

Things To Avoid When Washing Sublimation Shirts

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Now you know how to wash sublimation shirts.

Let’s discuss the things you should avoid when washing sublimation shirts to get even brighter results.

1. Avoid Using Warm Water.

If you wash your shirts by hand, make sure to use cold water and mild soap.

Avoid washing them in hot water because it will damage the ink. High heat can cause the dye to fade or even melt off completely.

2. Avoid using harsh detergents.

Do not use harsh detergents when washing sublimation t-shirts.

Harsh detergents contain chemicals that degrade the vibrancy of sublimation inks and make them fade much more quickly.

3. Avoid dry cleaning the shirts.

Don’t dry clean sublimated shirts. Instead of cleaning, it ruins the shirts.

4. Avoid using bleach and fabric softeners.

Avoid using any bleach or chlorine bleach and fabric softeners in washing sublimated t-shirts.

They contain chemicals that can damage clothing.

Fabric softeners also trap moisture inside the clothes, making them feel heavy and damp.

5. Avoid using dryers to dry shirts fast.

Do not use dryers for drying sublimated shirts.

Dryers use high temperatures and pressure to dry clothes unsuitable for sublimation shirts. Instead, hang the shirts to dry after washing.

Washing Sublimation Shirts Key Takeaways

So, before you start washing sublimation shirts, make sure to follow the sublimated shirt-washing rituals from above.

The most important thing is to wash shirts in low temperatures. Other key takeaways:

  • Add mild and phosphorus-free washing powder to the water.
  • Agitate the shirts gently with light hands.
  • Make sure to wash colored and white shirts separately.
  • Rinse the shirt two to three times until it’s clean.
  • Dry the shirt on wooden or plastic hangers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does sublimation fade after washing?

Sublimation does not fade after washing. However, the ink will eventually fade if you wash sublimated shirts frequently in warm water with harsh chemicals.

Will sublimation wash out of cotton?

No, sublimation will not wash out of cotton. Sublimation is not something that will wash out of fabric. It is a permanent dyeing process that uses heat to transfer color into the fabric’s fibers, which means it will stay permanently on the cotton fabric.

How many washes does sublimation last?

Sublimation prints are usually good for about ten washes before they start fading. But if you wash and dry the shirt at high temperatures, sublimation will only last a while.

Should you wash a shirt before sublimation?

No, you should not wash a shirt before sublimation. Washing shirts before sublimation may break the fabric’s fibers, preventing the ink from transferring correctly to the shirt.


That’s all; I hope you enjoy this post! You’ve now learned how to wash sublimation shirts.

This information is essential, as a simple washing mistake can ruin your sublimation shirts.

I know washing sublimation shirts is intimidating, but these straightforward sublimation washing and care instructions can help ensure your shirts stay in the best condition possible.

Ask in the comments if you have questions about how to wash sublimation apparel!

Talk with you again soon, and happy washing!

About Shoaib Saqib

Hello there! It's Shoaib, the creator of PrinterTip. I am a printing expert and have worked in the printing business for more than five years. I have completed tens of thousands of printing tasks and have an extensive understanding of secrets. And I love writing about printing, mostly Sublimation Printing.

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