How To Wash Sublimation Shirts With Washing Instructions

After printing and sublimating the creative graphics on the shirts, the next concern comes is washing the sublimated shirts or apparel. However, the sublimation printing will prone to fade or washout if you utilize chemical detergents and the wrong type of garment material.

So for the long-lasting shelf life of your apparel, you must know the proper method of how to wash sublimation shirts with the care instructions that I’ve mentioned below. So go ahead and start.

How To Wash Sublimation Shirts

How To Wash Sublimation Shirts

Before getting started with washing the shirts, you should know the washing, drying, hanging, and pressing instructions.

Sublimation Shirt Washing Instructions

Sublimation Shirt Washing Instructions
  • Do not wash the outside of the shirt but instead wash the shirt inside by turning it out.
  • Always avoid bleaching chemicals to remove the stains because the bleach might be splash-less or contains chlorine that may fade the sublimation prints.
  • Always use cold water to rinse the shirts because hot water may open the pores of the polyester cloths and the prints will be ruined.
  • Use mild soap or detergent that doesn’t contain phosphorus.
  • Always wash the colored clothes and sublimated shirts separately.
  • Do not let the sublimation shirts soak in the water or in the washing machine for a long time. Immediately remove them after cleaning.
  • Do not wash them daily.

1. Wash The Sublimated Shirts

After knowing the washing instructions, now it’s time to wash the shirt using cold water and mild soap or non-phosphorus detergent. As sublimation printing is printed on polyester shirts, and polyester will open up the pores when it is soaked in the hot water.

So it is essential to use cold water while washing the sublimated shirts. If your sublimated shirt has stains of ketchup, grease, or other types of stains then simply spray the peroxide mixed with some water on the specific stained area and rub it with the cleaned towel will disappear the stains.

After drying, the stains will be disappeared. After removing the stains, add cold water to the washing machine or wash the sublimated shirts with your hand.

2. Add The Mild Soap

Now add the mild soap or non-phosphorus detergent to rinse the clothes. Also, ensure that you’re not adding too much detergent that will cause uneven results on the shirt. Make sure, that you’re using an adequate quantity of the detergent.

Never use chlorine bleach or splash less to clean the shirts as it will fade the sublimation ink. Secondly, avoid using a fabric softener if you’re washing a cotton-sublimated shirt.

Fabric softeners contain the chemicals like silicone or ammonia type or some oils that form a layer on the fabrics to soften the material. However, they might increase the chances of fading the ink and will prevent the clothes from drying up completely due to the layer.

3. Rinse & Dry The Shirts

After washing the sublimated shirts for a couple of minutes, remove the shirts immediately from the washer machine. The recommended drying method is to use air drying or hang them up with a wooden cloth hanger.

  • Do not dry clean due to heat that will ruin the sublimation ink.
  • Adjust the dry clean on the lower heat settings if you are willing to dry clean them.
  • Do not dry them in direct sunlight.

After drying them up, you can iron the washed and dried sublimated shirt at a medium temperature but it is recommended to iron inside-out to avoid any mishap on the sublimated images.

You May Check how to remove sublimation ink from the shirt. Also, can you use iron for sublimation printing?

Can You Wash Sublimation Shirts Right Away?

Can You Wash Sublimation Shirts Right Away?

Once the sublimation heat transfer process is done, the sublimation ink will become a part of the fabric after drying. Therefore, you can wash the sublimated shirts right away after the sublimation ink will be dried up.

Also, you need to keep in mind the washing care instructions every time that are mentioned above. Despite that, some garment manufacturers recommend waiting for 24 hours to get the ink cured.

But to be honest, I sublimated the shirt of my husband for a birthday party, on the same day he wore it and jumped into the pool at the party right after the sublimation printing. Nothing happened to the colors of the shirt but it was 100% polyester.

How Long Do You Wait To Wash A Sublimated Shirt?

You don’t need to wait for a long time to get the shirts washed. 5 minutes are enough to wash a printed or sublimated shirt with cold water.

Should I Wash A Shirt Before Sublimation?

You should not prewash the sublimation shirts because a washed t-shirt will leave its sophistication and most customers love to wear brand-new sublimated shirts.

You can check how to make sublimation brighter.

On the other hand, if you’ve bleached the shirt for sublimation, then it is essential to wash the bleached sublimation shirt with peroxide and water in order to stop the bleaching process. After washing and drying, you can proceed with the sublimation heat transfers.

How To Prevent Sublimation Fading After Washing?

How To Prevent Sublimation Fading After Washing

Your sublimation prints might fade even after a single wash the reason can be the non-compatible fabric. Even if you use the poly-blended fabric, it will fade or wash out but still some dyes will be there in the polyester. Sublimation on cotton will also be wiped out if you have sublimated it without the proper instructions.

To prevent fading prints, make sure that you’re using 100% polyester with quality sublimation ink, sublimation paper, and a quality t-shirt sublimation printer.

Read the full guide here on why my sublimation prints faded after washing.


So you can wash the sublimation apparel with the care instruction kept in mind. Now you can wash them with ease. However, you should not use harmful chemicals like bleach, chlorine, fabric softeners, or any other that may cause fade results or direct sunlight to dry. Washing them with proper instructions will keep the sublimated shirts as it is for at least 100 times after washing even the fabric will wear out but the sublimation won’t fade.


  • Jessica Warner

    A printing enthusiast is here to serve you the vision of art. I’m working as a printing artist since my childhood and running a successful business online and offline. I inspire you to create beautiful printings via my select products and How-To tutorials. Warner Jessica

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