How to Wash Dress Shirts? (Hand, Washer & Dry Cleaner Methods)

We all know that dress shirts are expensive. These are clothing pieces that we should be investing in. But, before we jump to that, let us teach you the proper ways how to wash dress shirts. We don’t want you to let your money go to waste!

Whatever your gender is, we believe that learning the skill of washing a dress shirt is essential. This blog is your initial step in achieving that skill.

There are numerous ways to wash dress shirts. This post will run through all of it and teach you how to do it properly.

General Instructions In Washing Dress Shirts

Wash Dress Shirt

Indeed, there are different ways to wash your dress shirt properly. But, there are still standard guidelines that you should follow to avoid ruining your shirt. Some of these are written below:

  • Sort the white dress shirts and the colored ones.
  • Check the label of the dress shirt. Identify which material is used in making it. In the tag, most manufacturers include the washing instructions too.
  • Do the Pre-treat process. Not checking what stain or dirt you will remove is a mistake. Most of the time, these are the indicators of what method you need to do in washing the dress shirt.
  • Use a wooden hanger when drying the dress shirt. Wooden hangers don’t bend, so they will not ruin the fit of the garment.
  • Beware of using the wrong detergents. It is better to use the ones that will not change the quality of the shirt. Doing some research is the key to this one.
  • Remove the collar stays of the shirt.

Again, these guidelines apply to all ways of washing your dress shirts. Now, we will teach you how to wash dress shirts by hand.

How To Wash Dress Shirts By Hand?

Wash Dress Shirts By Hand

The first step in washing the dress shirt by hand is to check its label. Know if the material used for the shirt fits a hand washing method.

(Note: Although hand washing is the safest method, we cannot deny that some materials are better washed using other ways.)

It is necessary to separate the colored dress shirts from white too. Do this to avoid further staining due to the color differences.

If you have already identified the material, proceed with the pre-treat process. Scan the dress shirt and look for any dirt, sweat, or stain. After, put cloth detergent on these. Let it stay for 5 minutes, so the cleaning agent can do its job– soften the marks.

The next step is to immerse the dress shirt into the water with cleaning powder. Wash the shirt in this phase, but ensure you will not overdo it. The more gentle, the better; it is to avoid wrinkling the garment. We also recommend not to twist and scrub the shirt because it will result in visible lines and scratches.

After the crucial phase, rinse the shirt with clean water. Remember that the excess powder and bubbles should be gone after this process. Do this multiple times until the goal is achieved.

Decide whether to use a machine dryer or an air dryer. Air drying is ideal for lessening the possibility of dress shirt shrinking. It will also minimize wrinkles. If you are doing it the recommended way, please use a wood hanger.

Lastly, iron the dress shirt. This part is not mandatory; it depends on your judgment if the shirt still needs it or not anymore.

This video is an example of hand washing a white dress shirt.

How To Wash Dress Shirts In Washers?

We cannot discredit the impactful help of using washers in doing the laundry. But, you should not be complacent and only look on the good side. There are still disadvantages when using a washer; to lessen those, you should follow this guide accurately.

As usual, read the care label and prioritize the white dress shirts. Do not wash the colored ones with the whites.

Next, you must unbutton the shirts. If you leave the shirt buttoned and wash it in the machine, there is a tendency that the buttons will get ruined. It can also affect the washer. Collar stays must be removed too.

Afterward, add or spray a detergent to the stained area. It is to pre-treat the dress shirts; it can also result in a more satisfying result than if not pre-treated. Leave it for 5 minutes, turn the dress shirt inside out, and it is ready to be washed.

The most important part of the process is washing the dress shirt. We recommend that you set the washer in its standard setting. You can also consider what is instructed in the care label.

Use a delicate and not harmful powder detergent. There are chemicals in these powders that might damage your shirt. We don’t want that to happen!

Remove the shirt immediately after the cycle stops. Shake it to prevent wrinkling; leaving it inside the washer is not an option. If possible, hang it outside for natural air drying.

Iron the dress shirt if needed. Also, hang the shirt in a cabinet using a wooden hanger. So it will not get deformed.

Here is a video illustration of the guide for you to better understand.

Let us continue with the last method!

How To Wash Dress Shirts Using Dry Cleaners?

Typically, dry cleaners are found in laundry shops because investing in them is costly. That’s why if people need to dry clean a dress shirt, the ideal way is to go to a dry cleaning shop.

Before we proceed with the process of washing a dress shirt using dry cleaners, here’s little trivia for you, dry cleaning does not literally mean there is no liquid involved. In this method, a chemical solvent is used rather than water.

This way of washing a dress shirt is only recommended if there is grease or oil in the garment. Other than that, the two other options can much better do the trick. It is because there are stains that are only soluble with water.

Now with the actual process. You will need to prepare the dress shirt by unbuttoning it and removing the collar stay. Also, do the pre-treatment and check the dirty areas of the shirt.

If you leave it at the dry-cleaning shop, that would be the end of instruction for you. Just get it back at the assigned time. But, if you’ll do the dry-cleaning yourself, continue reading this post.

After the pre-treatment, ensure enough chemical solution is inside the machine. Put the dress shirt inside and set the cycle with what is accurate for the garment. Wait for the process to stop. Get your dry-cleaned dress shirt and have it pressed.

Scan if there are missing buttons or if there are loose threads. You can also check for other damages like scratches and holes. When everything is good, you can now pay and go home.

Remember that usually, the staff will help you throughout the process. It would be best if you asked for guidance as well. After all, you won’t want to damage the machine! Most shops will do the dry cleaning for you.

Should you unbutton dress shirts when washing?

Should you unbutton dress shirts when washing

Yes, you should! It is a mistake not to unbutton your dress shirts. It is recommended for every kind of clothing.

How will you clean the dress shirt inside out if it is unbuttoned? You should think about this question!

Whether it is pants, underwear, shirt, socks, or dress shirt, you should wash it inside out to ensure that you will remove all stains and grease.

How to wash dress shirts without wrinkles?

There are practical ways to prevent wrinkling your dress shirts. First, remove it from the washer immediately after the cycle, ideally if it is still damp. When you are handwashing, avoid over twisting or over squeezing.

Using a dryer sheet is also beneficial in resolving the wrinkling issue. Anti-wrinkle sprays will help too.

How often should you wash dress shirts?

How often should you wash dress shirts

If you are new to using dress shirts and can’t figure out how often you should wash them, this part of the blog will help.

There is no definite answer to that question because you can wear it multiple times. So, as long as it does not have stains and sweat, or it doesn’t smell like rotten socks, you can still wear it.

Only wash dress shirts if it is already dirty. Please do not ruin the quality of the garment by washing it every after use. It is expensive clothing, and you must take good care of it. You can wash it 1-3 times a week if you are not used to wearing it multiple times.


Again, there are three methods to wash a dress shirt. Handwashing is ideal, but using a washer and dry cleaner is doable too.

We gave you the general guidelines for washing a shirt, and please do not forget the other essential information. These will help you master the skill of washing a dress shirt.

You are here to know how to wash dress shirts; that means you want them clean, not ruined! So, you better follow this guide.


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