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How to Wash Your Dress Shirts at Home

Replicating your dry cleaner’s process is easier than you think.

By: TIM GALLANTDate: 2020-03-20

Machine or hand-washing clothing can ensure garments will last much longer when not subjected to the dry cleaner's harsh chemicals.  Dry cleaning – not actually a dry process – involves the use of solvents rather than water-based cleaners.

In the case of dress shirts, dry cleaners typically perform a "wash and press" service. Your dress shirt will be laundered with water and detergent, the way you do at home, then pressed while it’s still damp. Aside from convenience, you're essentially just paying for pressing, which takes a toll on fabric.

Harry's Tip

"Rather than wait until laundry day, treat stains on your dress shirt with a pre-laundry treatment product before putting it in your hamper. This allows ample time for the product to work."


Tempted to skip the dry cleaner? Follow our instructions for perfectly crisp and clean dress shirts:

1.  Use a pre-laundry treatment product on any stains, then rub the fabric against itself to work the product into fibres.

2. Wash shirts on the delicate setting, with cold water.

3. When removing shirts from the washing machine, grab them by the shoulders and give them a good snapping shake to uncrumple.

4. Hang wet shirts to air dry (the shower rod is ideal) and give them a good tug at the sleeves and button placket to ease wrinkles.

5. Once dry, give shirts a light pressing.