How to Wash Sublimation Shirts?

How to Wash Sublimation Shirts

Sublimation goes long and the beauty of sublimation is that the quality of design and the colors also remain the same after several years, the day you got the sublimated shirt. But it doesn’t mean that without taking care of it, the design will remain for long. The important factor that decides the longevity of the sublimation design is how to wash sublimation shirts. Yes, you heard it right but don’t fear because we have brought the best method of how to wash the sublimation shirts with all the instructions.

I will assist you to protect your design from any kind of harm with all the important tips and tricks. Washing the sublimated craft totally depends on the material construction. As we are talking about the shirts, you can wash the sublimation shirts in cold water. Don’t use warm water for the sublimation shirts. And you can’t use the clothes dryer as well for the sublimation shirts.

Now let’s talk in detail about why we can’t use warm water, a dryer machine, and all the factors that make can be dangerous or unhealthy for those shirts. If you wanna wash sublimation shirts, make sure to note and understand all the instructions for perfect results.

Washing Instructions: How to Wash Sublimation Shirts?

First of all, the factor that keeps the significance in washing those shirts is the use of water. Yes, you must use cold water for the sublimation shirts. Because the warm water disintegrates the garment fibers when it heats up. As a matter of course, the design will be fading away over time. Also, the warm water enhances the chances and the percentage of fading sublimating areas.

Another handy sublimation washing instruction is never dry the shirts in the dryer. Always use the natural air to dry by hanging the shirts outside or onto the roof of the home. Because the natural air with mild sun keeps the shirt smelling newfangled and garden-fresh if washed in cold water. Importantly, if your desired shirts for sublimation are having food strains. Make sure to remove the strains through the stain remover or use the oxygen cleaner.

Read More: 10 Best Sublimation Printers of 2022, Best Heat Transfer Sublimation Printers, how to use heat press machine

Sublimation Care Instructions

One of the most essential care instructions for sublimation shirts is never use bleach and fabric softener. It can be extremely dangerous for the sublimation designs and the printed colors. Because adding the bleach to the water destroy the dyes. And as far as the fabric softener is concerned, it doesn’t let your shirts completely dry. So our personal and expert recommendations are neither to use bleach nor fabric softener for washing.

The individuals use the soap but the vinegar as it’s a natural whitener and give the best results. If your shirts have stains, it removes all the stains spots overnight and works brilliantly on parched stains.

Read More: Do you need a special printer for sublimation, Best T Shirt Printer for Sublimation, types of sublimated shirts

Sublimation Washing Instructions

Another important and attention-taking tip is don’t use too much detergent when washing your sublimation shirts. Because adding more amount detergent can lose the shining and smoothness of the sublimation design. And if we talk about the sufficient and recommended detergent amount for washing, heaping tablespoon of powder would be the best to go.

Also, temperature instructions are there, never turn on the washing machine at more than 200 degrees. Because it can be dangerous for the sublimation design and can damage your shirts. So be careful when adjusting the temperature settings and use the appropriate detergents without visual brighteners for amazing results.

Drying your sublimation shirts can also be vicious for the sublimation shirts. Because the dryer machine keeps a lot of heat and agitation and for this reason, your image gets destroyed. It would be much better to hang up your washed sublimation shirts and don’t wear them until the shirts get completely dry.

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Drying the Sublimation Shirt

how to dry sublimated shirt

The Dangers of Heat and Sublimation Shirts

Sublimation prints are particularly susceptible to heat due to the nature of the sublimation ink. The ink, having been transformed from a solid to a gas during the sublimation printing process, can react adversely to heat, potentially causing the print to fade or blur. This is also true for dye sublimated shirts and bleached sublimation shirts.

A common mistake people make is using a screen print dryer or any other heat-based drying method for their sublimation clothing. While screen print dryers work well for certain types of clothing, the excessive heat is detrimental to the integrity of sublimation prints. Exposing your sublimation prints to hot water or high drying temperatures can cause the dye sublimation ink to break down, compromising the color and quality of the image.

Recommended Drying Methods

After washing your sublimation shirt in cold or lukewarm water with a mild detergent, it is best to air dry your sublimation clothing to maintain the vibrancy of the print. Laying the shirt flat to dry, away from direct sunlight, helps maintain the shape and print quality. If laying flat is not possible, use plastic hangers rather than metal ones. Metal hangers can potentially rust and stain your shirt, while plastic hangers are safer.

If you must use a dryer, opt for the lowest possible heat setting. Remember that heat can affect the sublimation ink, causing the colors to fade or the print to peel. As a general rule, the less heat, the better for maintaining the integrity and longevity of your sublimation prints.

Read More: Sublimation printing vs DTG

Ironing the Sublimation Shirt

Why Ironing Can Be Harmful to Sublimation Prints

Direct heat application through ironing can be harmful to sublimation prints. The heat from the iron can cause the sublimation ink to react, potentially leading to color bleeding or fading. This is due to the unique properties of sublimation ink, which turns into a gas when heated, infusing the fibers of the fabric. Therefore, when an iron’s heat is directly applied, it can cause the sublimation ink to redistribute or fade, damaging the design.

Appropriate Ways to Remove Wrinkles if Necessary

Using Fabric Softeners: One way to minimize wrinkles is to use fabric softeners during the machine wash. They can help to reduce creasing, which lessens the need for ironing. Fabric softeners, along with a cold-water wash, can help prevent sublimation fading.

Drying the Shirt Inside Out: Another useful tip is to dry your shirt inside out after washing. This prevents the printed side from rubbing against other garments or the sides of the dryer, which could create wrinkles.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight: Drying in direct sunlight can cause the shirt to wrinkle and may lead to the fading of sublimation prints. Opt for a shady, well-ventilated area for drying.

Steaming: If your shirt is already wrinkled and you need to smooth it out, consider using a steamer instead of an iron. A steamer can gently remove wrinkles without the direct heat that an iron would apply.

Dry Cleaning: In certain cases, you might consider professional dry cleaning. Dry cleaners have specific tools and techniques to remove wrinkles from delicate fabrics and prints without causing damage.

Washing Sublimation Shirts FAQs

Yes we do wash a shirt after sublimation but make sure you are using cold water for washing the sublimated shirts. And also don’t use the dryer machine to dry the shirts, use natural air to dry them. And keeps your temperature below 200 degrees in your washing machine for better results.

No, sublimation doesn’t fade if the right method and the right material have been used for the washing process. just use the cold water, and appropriate detergent, and wash the material below 200 degrees.

The reason for washing out the sublimation is that the machine doesn’t wash cold and keeps the print intact. Also, don’t wash the different colors together in one washing machine. The other reason can be the use of bleach and fabric softener, don’t use bleach.

We keep our sublimation washing out by using a mild amount of detergent to overcome the chances of reducing the design shine and smoothness. And also by using the vinegar to keep our sublimation washing out. Also, use the right temperature to avoid the design from being yellowish(200 degrees).


Now let’s wrap up, whatever material you choose for the sublimation, the wash-out instructions will be mentioned there for the sublimation blanks. If not, then ask the manufacturer to tell you about the washout guidelines. Apart from this, now take on all the important points we have discussed in the whole guide.

First of all, for washing the sublimation shirts use cold water to have the expected results. Avoid drying the shirts through the dryer machine and dry them naturally instead. And don’t use a large amount of detergent and wash your sublimation shirts easily with the best results.

Read More: Using sublimation papers, sublimation versus infusible inks, are sublimation tumblers dishwasher safe? Dye sublimation on 100% cotton

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