Washing a t-shirt sounds like something that should be simple, but choosing the right wash cycle is important for keeping the t-shirt both clean and looking like new for as long as possible. The proper washing cycle will depend a lot on how dirty the t-shirt is, what type of stains it has on it and how old the t-shirt is. It also depends on what the color of the t-shirt is.
A brightly-colored t-shirt might benefit from a slower washing cycle than a white t-shirt or one with a pastel color. Vigorous washing can fade a t-shirt color faster than if the washing cycle is slower. Cotton t-shirts don’t generally require a delicate cycle, but a bright t-shirt might benefit from a slow cycle to keep the color bright.
If a t-shirt is a white one or one with a lighter color, the wash cycle will not be as important for keeping the t-shirt’s color. The color still may fade, however, if it is washed in the fastest washing speed many times. To help extend the color and the life of the t-shirt, try to change the washing speed between gentle cycles and faster washing cycles. This will keep the t-shirt looking newer longer while still giving it the occasional vigorous cleaning.
The color of a white t-shirt generally will not be affected much by a fast washing cycle. It may fade the white slightly, but as long as the t-shirt is being washing with other white clothing items, the color should remain white for as long as you have the t-shirt. The fast cycle won’t have much affect on the color of a white shirt, but it may have an effect on how long the t-shirt lasts. The shirt may become covered with pills, tiny balls, if it is washed too many times on the fastest washing cycle. The cotton may also become thinner if it is always washed this way.
Unless a white t-shirt is extremely dirty or smells badly, using the same technique of switching the washing cycle between the fastest cycle and a slow washing cycle will extend the life of the t-shirt. It will keep the material from thinning as much and allow the t-shirt more life than if it is always washed on the fastest cycle.
If a t-shirt is extremely dirty, the fast cycle may be the only one that works well to remove the dirt and grime. This is often true if the stains are hard to get out. Grass stains and blood stains may require the use of the fastest cycle in order to loosen these stains. If the t-shirt is only slightly dirty, a slow cycle will work fine to loosen the dirt. It might even be cleaned just as well as if the t-shirt is rinsed out in the sink with some gentle soap. A quick hand wash in the sink will give the t-shirt a longer life and keep the t-shirt from developing pills or faded colors.