How to Care For Your UV Shirts (Washing & Drying)
by Nick Hammond on Sep 23, 2022
UV shirts provide excellent sun protection by using special fabrics woven with fibers that block UV rays from reaching your skin. However, you need to take proper care of these shirts to keep them in good condition so they can keep protecting you. Follow these tips on washing and drying to extend the life of your UV shirts.
Washing UV Shirts
Washing UV shirts requires a gentle approach to avoid damaging the special UV blocking fabrics. Here are some specific tips:
- Always turn the UV shirt inside out before placing it in the washing machine. This protects the UV inhibiting fabric on the outside of the shirt during the wash cycle.
- Wash UV shirts in cold or lukewarm water, never hot. The heat from hot water can break down the chemicals in the fabric that provide the UV protection.
- Use a mild, gentle laundry detergent that does not contain bleach or fabric softeners when washing UV shirts. Harsh detergents with brighteners can be too abrasive and degrade the UV blocking properties over time.
- Wash UV shirts separately from your regular clothes. The chemicals that provide UV protection can leach out of the fabric and transfer onto other clothes in the wash.
- Spot treat any stains on UV shirts gently by hand before washing. Do not aggressively scrub or brush stains as this can damage the fabric.
- Be sure to rinse the shirt thoroughly after washing to remove all traces of laundry detergent. Leftover detergent residue can feel irritating when wearing the shirt.
Drying UV Shirts
Drying UV shirts requires the same gentle approach as washing them. Here are some tips for proper drying:
- It's best to line dry UV shirts in the shade when possible instead of using a clothes dryer. Direct sunlight can eventually cause fading on prints and fabrics over time.
- If line drying is not an option, tumble dry the shirts on a low heat setting. The high heat inside a clothes dryer can damage the fabrics in UV shirts.
- Always remove UV shirts from the dryer immediately when finished and fold or hang them up. Do not leave them sitting inside the hot dryer after the cycle ends.
- Iron UV shirts inside out only on a medium heat setting to remove wrinkles. Too much direct heat from ironing can damage the fabric and UV protection.
- Do not take UV shirts to the dry cleaner! The chemicals used in the dry cleaning process will degrade the fabric and remove the UV protecting properties.
Storing UV Shirts
Caring for UV shirts continues when storing them between wears. Here are some storage tips:
- Fold or hang UV shirts neatly to prevent wrinkles and damage. Do not overstuff them in crowded drawers which can misshape the fabrics.
- Keep UV shirts in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight when storing. Avoid damp locations like basements or garages which can encourage mildew growth.
- Inspect UV shirts periodically for holes, tears or damage. Discard any shirts that are very worn or damaged since their UV protection will be compromised.
- Consider storing UV shirts over the winter if you only wear them in summer. Keep them fresh in a storage bag or box.
By taking proper care when washing, drying, and storing your UV shirts, you can keep them in good condition so they last for many years and provide reliable sun protection. Treat them gently and they'll keep protecting you!
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