How To Wash NFL Jerseys – Do’s & Don’ts

football squad ready to play

Due to the grubby nature of the game, football jerseys often get grassed and bloodied. You get tackled and tumble down, score touchdowns, and bolt at top speed – to constantly find yourself plummeted to the ground.

When you get home, you realize your jerseys need to be washed. But is it okay to wash your football jerseys? What if washing ruins your stitched NFL jerseys and breaks them up?

Most football jerseys are water resistant, especially the NFL jersey. Regardless, washing your pullovers still requires extra care. To clean your stitched NFL jerseys, you can resort to machine washing or simply the good ol’ hand scrubbing method.

But if you’re thinking of skipping a day at the laundry, we must remind you that washing is super important as your jerseys can host bacteria, mud, and sweat after a long day in the ground.

To make it easier, we’ve put up a thorough guide on how to wash your NFL jerseys and some do’s and don’ts to keep them in perfect shape.

Don’t Do This While Washing NFL Jerseys!

NFL jerseys are prized possessions of any football lover. So, before you wash them wrong and ruin the logo and stitching, look over these tips on what not to do while washing football jerseys.

  • Hot Water Wash: Avoid washing your stitched NFL jerseys in hot water. Your jerseys cannot withstand heated temperatures resulting in damage due to fabric shrinking and color fading.
  • Liquid Detergent: Strong in concentration, liquid detergent is not an ideal cleaner for football pullovers. As your machine spins, the liquid cleaner can leave water stains on the garment while over-frothing the washer.
  • Washing With Other Clothes: Don’t wash your jerseys with denim jeans or towels. Also, avoid putting zippered clothing with them in the washer. It can cause unnecessary tear-downs and reduce the life of the pullovers.
  • Fabric Softener: Fabric softeners make the cleaning process difficult. They hamper the cleaning agent from infiltrating the fabric to remove odor and bacteria and reduce the fabric’s ability to absorb moisture.
  • Tumble Dry: Under no circumstances should you leave your jerseys in the dryer. Apart from the heat that can deform the jersey digits, machine drying can also shrink and bobble your sports garments.

How To Correctly Wash an NFL Jersey?

Whether you have an NFL jersey replica or an original, the first step is to turn your jersey inside out. It will help to protect the letters and embroidery on your pullover and prevent the fabric from getting abrased. Moreover, this also guards the jersey color and keeps it from fading away.

Make sure to look over the manufacturer’s tag on your jerseys. These often tell you the dos and don’ts for every particular jersey material. You can even find the preferred temperature range, bleach, and iron settings on the tag.

Always wash your football jerseys with cold water. While hot water can shrink and discolor your jerseys, cold aids in maintaining the hues of the garment while ensuring no stains are left behind.

Before turning on the washing machine, gather similar colored jerseys. If you mix dull clothes with bright garments, there’s a high chance that the colors will smear. Make sure you don’t toss in colored garments with white.

We highly recommend pre-washing your jersey before cleaning it in the washing machine. Just soak it in cold water with a moderate amount of mild detergent; make sure to use a small amount – as too much detergent can develop a strong odor in the jerseys while making them crusty and bothersome to wear. However, before the pre-soak, check the label on your jersey to see if soaking is advisable.

The Best Way To Wash Your NFL Jersey

Machine washing is hands down the best cleaning hack for your soiled NFL jersey replicas. It saves up on the back-breaking task of scrubbing and gets your chore done in a short time. For your jersey to look new and spotless each time you wear it, follow the step-by-step below.

You’ll need:

  • washing machine
  • powdered laundry detergent
  • white vinegar

Step 1:

Fill up your washing machine with cold water. Washing with cold water protects the jersey’s decals and prevents it from flinching or fading. Remember to turn your jersey inside out and wash it with similar colors.

Step 2:

Add in powdered soap. These are better than liquid detergents when it comes to cleaning the most common stains that occur in the football field. The constituent chemicals in liquid detergents can also taint the color scheme of your jersey, while powdered soap has stain-fighting abilities that offer a complete cleansing experience.

Step 3:

Add a cup of white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser along with the washing powder to help deodorise your jersey. If any smells persist after the cycle, directly sprinkle half a cup of baking soda on your jersey and run the gentle wash cycle.

Step 4:

To prevent wear and tear in a fast cycle, set the washer to a low gentle spin, ideally at a temperature of 86°F (30°C) or lower, and let it twirl for up to an hour.

Step 5:

Once washed, dry your football jerseys on a flat rack surface or hang them up on the clothesline. After drying, the jersey should smell fresh and be ready for the big match.

Pre-washing the Stains

Another effective method to clean your jerseys is pre-wash and scrub. If your pullovers have grimy stains – you have to try this out.

You’ll need:

  • stain remover or powdered laundry detergent
  • washing machine
  • cold water
  • clean cloth or brush

Step 1:

Dab the stained areas with cold water. Make sure they are damp (and not wet) before moving to the next step.

Step 2:

Apply a stain remover/prewash on the stains. You can also apply synthetic vinegar or powdered soap. Let it stay for a couple of minutes so that the stain lightens.

Step 3:

Polish away the prewash with a brush or rag and dab off excess moisture with a soft cloth. After the prewash, machine wash your sports jerseys.

Hand Scrub Your NFL Jersey

Nothing beats a good old handwash. Unless you’re in a time crunch – handwashing is the way to go. Follow the steps below for an ideal handwash.

You’ll need:

  • stain remover or powdered laundry detergent
  • soft bristle brush
  • wash basin or bucket
  • cold water

Step 1:

Fill a tub or sink with cold water. Next, flip your jerseys inside out.

Step 2:

Add a mild soap cleanser or powdered detergent to the water. Stir well to form a soapy solution.

Step 3:

Dip in your jerseys and scrub with a soft-bristle brush. Ensure not to soak it too long, and check the label before soaking. Ideally, a 15-20 minute soak should do the job.

Step 4:

Finally, rinse it in fresh water and let it dry flat in an airy space.

Removing Stubborn Stains from Your Jersey

Getting stains on your stitched NFL jerseys is part of the game. It’s easy to catch grass, blood, and sweat smears, whether playing at quarterback or defensive end. This section is all about cleaning the stubborn stains on your favorite jerseys.

To battle tougher stains, OxiClean stain remover works like magic!

For blood blemishes, flip the jersey inside out and drain it under cold water. Later, submerge in cold water and scrub off the stains repeatedly until the garment is stain-free. You can lather shampoo or soap on the smeared areas and rinse them. An enzyme-based stain-removing detergent should save your day if the blood stains remain.

For grass stains, make a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts water. Soak your jersey in the solution for 1-2 hours before tossing it in the washer or dip a soft-bristled brush in the mixture and scrub it.

Sweat stains are easy to remove using the same vinegar-water mixture. This time, soak it for no more than 30 minutes and handwash it later on.

How To Clean NFL Jersey Numerals and Stickers?

Cleaning your NFL jersey numbers can be tricky. Football jerseys have embroidered or screen-printed digits that require special care. If not washed correctly, these numbers will crack, soften and shrink, leaving your jersey unpresentable.

Here’s how to deal with it.

You’ll need:

  • non-scratch sponge
  • stain remover or laundry powder
  • soft clean cloth
  • cold water

Dab the stained decal with cold water. Next, apply a stain remover powder or gel to the blemished spot. Lather and scrub the stain remover and let it rest for 7-12 minutes. Finally, wash the stain remover with a soft side of moist sponge and carefully dry it with a soft cloth.

Done! That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

How To Wash a White NFL Jersey?

With white jerseys, you have to be extra careful. Washing them with colored clothes would be a big blunder as the colored dye might stain your white jerseys. On the other hand, bleaching is not a suitable option either. Even though your jersey is white, it has colored decals and digits that can lose color in a chlorine bleach wash.

The washing cycle should function to remove the stains if you follow the steps mentioned earlier. Remember to soak your jerseys in cold water only. You can use an all-fabric or oxygen whitener on your white football jerseys. These indeed provide brighter whites and are a color-safe whitening option.

For more detailed information, follow this step-by-step guide to safely remove stains from white sports jerseys.

Tips for Drying an NFL Jersey

Keep in mind to avoid using a tumble dryer at all costs. Dryers exhibit a lot of heat that can shrink, damage, and decolor the jersey and its decals. Not to mention the wear and tear – if you want your stitched NFL jerseys to stay put and last long, keep them away from tumble dryers.

Instead of a machine, dry your football jerseys flat on a drying rack. You can also peg them on a clothesline or leave them flat to drip dry naturally near a window.

Follow our jersey drying guide to learn concrete details about this topic.

Can You Iron Your NFL Jersey?

While you can iron your NFL jerseys, we don’t recommend you do it often. Careless ironing can cause the numerals on your jerseys to melt and crack, while the scorch marks ruin the stickers.

Only iron your jerseys if it is necessary to remove the wrinkles from the machine or hand wash. For added protection, place an old shirt on top of your jerseys while pressing. Next, adjust the lowest setting on your iron which is often used to press polyester or silk clothing. Try to use the tip of your iron only. You can even use a cooled-down iron to hit out a few warm strokes.

Wrapping Up

So folks, it’s time to get your jerseys spic and span! Although washing your jerseys might be daunting, you don’t have to wear foul-smelling jerseys to every game. Following our step-by-step instructions should make the cleaning process simple. Give your NFL jersey replica a thorough machine wash or scrub the stains to get it clean and odor-free.

Make sure to check the label for any additional cleaning information. Never use a tumble dryer, chlorine bleach, or fabric softener. Next, dry it on a rack, and only iron it if necessary.

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