Your football kit is likely a prized possession. Maybe yours represents your favourite team or the local group you play with. You might even have multiple kits because some collect value over the years.
Football kits can be a pricy investment but will last you a while if properly taken care of. Even if you just want to wash your child’s kit after their game, the following tips will help you maintain a kit and keep it looking brand new. There are companies out there that specialise in cleaning football equipment and these are many of the same guidelines they use.
When your kit is dirty, wash it ASAP
If you just got done with a tough match, it can be tempting to toss aside your bag and not start laundry right away. Neglecting your dirty uniform, however, will only make it harder to get any stains out. Plus, leaving it in your bag with your other gear will not leave it smelling the best. As soon as you get home, get to work to make sure your kit stays clean.
If it was especially rainy or muddy at the game, you might want to rinse off large chunks of dirt when you come home. Swirl your kit in a utility sink filled with cold water to make laundry easier. Throughout the whole washing process, it is important to avoid hot water. Hot water can ruin the printed parts or shrink the kit, so make sure to only use cold water or water that is of the recommended temperature on the label.
Once the kit is free of large debris, it is a good idea to pre-soak it. Fill a large basin with the water of the appropriate temperature and mix in a cup of oxidizing stain remover and washing powder. Biological washing powder is preferred as it attacks natural stains better than the non-biological kind. Scrub the kit and let it soak in the basin for a couple of hours. If you have the time, leaving it overnight is ideal because the longer it soaks, the better off your kit will be. Prewash If your washing machine has a prewash option, definitely do not skip this step. Like with the presoak, add a cup or oxidizing stain remover and biological washing powder. This process will make the main wash much more effective.
Like with the previous steps, use water of the right temperature, oxidizing stain remover, and washing powder. Avoid fabric softeners and bleaching products. Do not put it in the machine by itself because it will not get washed properly. Wash your kit with other similar fabrics (such as other jerseys) and make sure the washing machine is not overfilled. Separate fabrics of different hues so you do not end up with a discolored jersey. Before you throw it in, ensure that you inside out the shirt to prevent damage to the print.
Because heat and kits do not mix well, allow yours to air-dry. If you must, you can use a low heat to tumble dry it for a short period of time. The materials kits are made of tend to dry quickly, so even if you are in a hurry, you can avoid using a dryer.
If you want to smooth out the wrinkles, despite the heat, ironing is usually a safe method. Have some sort of barrier between the iron and kit, and iron around the printed sections.
For when you are not wearing it, keep your kit away from moisture and light. If it is in your closet, buy a quality hanger so that the shirt’s structure is maintained. Make sure you know what you are doing when you clean your kit, otherwise it won’t last. When it doubt, read the manufacturer’s label for the best guidelines to follow!