How to Wash White Shirts

15 Jul 2019

How to Wash White Shirts

The white shirt, where do we start? Every man owns one. It’s smart, simple and classic but it’s hard to keep white. While it’s tempting to outsource this work to a dry cleaner, men’s shirts last longer when washed at home. Knowing how to wash a shirt is an essential part of taking care of it, so, we’re sharing our tips on how to prolong the wardrobe staple.


  1. Sort your laundry into whites, coloured and delicates. You must wash whites separately.
  2. Check that the washing machine is empty before using it. Word has it that a single coloured sock can ruin an entire load of white shirts.
  3. Read the care instructions on the label inside your shirt before throwing it into the drum. Trust us, it’s always worth checking the tag.
  4. Prepare the shirt by ensuring all the buttons are undone, including the collar and cuffs. This will avoid the buttonholes stretching and any buttons loosening.
  5. Remove the collar stays if present.
  6. Apply a pre-wash treatment to stains and spot clean by gently rubbing the treatment into the fabric. For tougher stains you can rub it in with a toothbrush.
  7. Place the shirt into the washing machine along with any other whites.
  8. Wash on a low temperature of 30°C or according to the care label, but no higher than 40°C.
  9. Allow shirts to dry naturally.


  • Do wash whites separately from colours.
  • Do be gentle with shirts to ensure longevity.
  • Do wash shirts at low temperatures to protect the fabric and retain the whiteness.
  • Do use a gentle eco-friendly detergent that is kind to fabric and skin.
  • Do use a colour remover in the washing machine once a month when whites become dull.
  • Do dry white shirts in the sun to bleach them naturally.


  • Do not wash white shirts with coloured clothing.
  • Do not dry clean shirts. Dry cleaning uses chemicals and harsh industrial processes that are bad for cotton, distress the buttons and shorten the lifespan of a shirt.
  • Do not put shirts in a tumble dryer (or any clothes for that matter). It is likely to shrink and damage clothes. You’ve seen the fluff the collects inside tumble dryers? That is fabric stripped from garments while they dry.

Use our care guide to keep your favourite oxford shirts, business shirts and casual shirts crisp, clean and white. It’s Calibre approved.

Shop men’s white shirts here.

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