Keeping a jersey clean can be tricky when you’ve got a strict schedule. If you’re a player, you know the routine: pick up your gear from the locker room, get to the field and do your thing, then hit the showers when you’re done. When it comes time to put on your uniform again, you're probably not thinking about how to care for it properly. It’s easy to ignore for a little while, but not for long if you want to be looking (and smelling) good on the field.
Here are a few ways to help make your jersey last longer.
What You Need to do Before Putting on Your Jersey
Before you put on your jersey, take a moment to examine it for any signs of wear and tear. Pay close attention to the seams that hold your shirt together. If they're starting to come apart, you'll want to get them repaired quickly before they get worse.
Another thing you'll want to check is your numbers or letters on the back of your jersey. If they're starting to peel off, check with your coach about getting them replaced right away - otherwise, it will be harder for teammates and coaches on the field to distinguish who's who on the field. It's always better if everybody knows who is playing!
Lastly, look at the inside of your jersey. Make sure there are no loose threads that could cause irritation when wearing your jersey. The last thing you need is a distraction within your own uniform.
Keeping Your Jersey Clean
A clean jersey will last longer than a filthy one. A few ways to keep your jersey clean is by washing it after every game. Dirt and sweat can become embedded in the fabric, so washing will help remove those contaminants and keep the shirt looking newer for longer.
You should let any excess water drip off of the shirt before hanging it up or putting it away, too. Excess moisture can damage fabric and lead to rips and tears later on down the road. Hang your jersey in a cool dry place, not a hot attic where humidity can cause mold. Keep your shirt out of direct sunlight. UV rays can cause discoloration and fading of the fabric.
How to Dry It
When drying your jersey, use a clothesline or hang it up to air dry. Don't put it in the dryer, as this can cause it to shrink. If you need to use a dryer, be sure to use a gentle cycle.
If you have an old jersey that you want to keep but need to get rid of surface stains, try using a solution made of one drop of dish soap and two cups of water. Use the solution to scrub the stained areas with a sponge or cloth. Rinse well with clean water and let air dry for at least 24 hours.
With these few simple tips, you’ll be able to keep your jersey fresh until it’s time to hang it up in the hall of fame!