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How to Wash a Jersey

How to Remove Stains from a Basketball Jersey

Whether you’ve just dropped sauce on your top or have sweat stains from playing in it, nothing is more heartbreaking than getting a mark on your immaculate jersey. The key to removing stains from your jersey is to get rid of them before you start washing it, ideally as soon as the stain appears.

  1. Start by dampening the stained area with cold water.
  2. If you can’t gently rub the stain out by hand with just cold water, apply a small amount of vinegar to the area. This will work to lift the stain from your jersey.
  3. Now rub in the vinegar, being careful not to stretch or tear the fabric.
  4. Rinse the area off where the stain was and pat dry with a towel.
  5. If the stain is still there, repeat steps 1 to 4 until it has disappeared.

Although tough-wearing, our throwback NFL and NBA jerseys should still be treated as delicate garments to prolong their life. Avoid using chemical stain removers and bleach, as they could cause irreversible damage to the fabric and colours.

How to Wash a NBA Jersey

When it comes to washing your favourite NBA or NFL number, whether it’s an authentic or swingman jersey, they all need to be cleaned in a cold water, either in the washing machine or by hand. The reason is that hot water may make the colours run, while also weakening the adhesive of any screen-printed details.

How to Machine Wash a Jersey

  1. Separate your jerseys from the rest of your clothes. We recommend washing it by itself rather than with other clothes, so any zips or buttons don’t accidentally tear the jersey while being washed. Likewise, only clean similarly coloured jerseys together, as the colours in the fabric may run during the wash cycle (in particular if this is its first wash).
  2. Before placing your jerseys in the washing machine, turn them inside-out to protect the logos, number, name and embroidery.
  3. Select cold wash and either the hand wash or delicate setting on your washing machine. Ensure that the spin cycle isn’t on high or fast, as this could stretch the jersey.
  4. Use a colour-safe, natural laundry detergent or liquid for your jersey. Avoid fabric softeners and other laundry additives.

How to Hand Wash a Jersey

  1. Start by separating your jerseys by colour. For the best results, wash each jersey individually.
  2. Next, fill a basin or sink with cold water and a small amount of natural laundry detergent or liquid. Make sure that the detergent is well mixed through the water before putting in your garment.
  3. Add the jersey to the cleaning solution, gently cleaning it with your hands. Avoid stretching and pulling the jersey, instead toss and turn it in the water until the whole jersey has been thoroughly cleaned.
  4. Once you are done cleaning it, rinse the jersey off, either in another sink or bucket of clean water. It’s important to ensure that the jersey is completely free of detergent before drying, as it could irritate your skin when you put it back on.

How to Dry a Basketball Jersey

Regardless of if you hand washed or machine washed your jersey, air-drying your now-clean sports jersey is the safest method. Never use a dryer to dry your jersey, as it may not only shrink it, but the stitching and adhesives used on the jerseys may wear out.

  1. If you turned your jersey inside-out to machine wash it, flip it back the right way.
  2. You can either hang dry or flat dry your jersey, although hang drying it may be faster due to better air circulation.
  3. Ensure that the jersey dries out of direct sunlight, especially on hot summer days.

When air drying your jersey, it will likely take two to four hours to completely dry depending on the fabric—less if it’s an authentic jersey using a high-performance fabric, more if it’s a swingman jersey with a slightly thicker material.

Basketball Jersey Cleaning Tips & Tricks

When it comes to safely cleaning your jerseys, there are a few tips and tricks to always keep in mind:

  • Before starting, always read the label on your jersey. It will give you specific instructions on how to correctly wash your jersey.
  • You can choose to dilute the vinegar with water (50:50 water and vinegar) for lighter stains.
  • Never iron your jersey, as it will lift the adhesives used on any printed parts.
  • Never dry clean your jersey due to the harsh chemicals they use.
  • For unwanted smells, you can also use vinegar to spot-clean them or pre-soak the jersey before washing in your detergent and cold water solution.
  • Completely avoid hot and warm water, both when machine or hand washing.

Is it getting time to retire your old jersey? Shop our full range of throwback jerseys from all the best NBA and NFL teams and players at Mitchell & Ness now.

Mitchell & Ness Jerseys


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