You are a diehard fan. You know all the statistics about every player on your favorite team. You go to every game you can get to, even if it means you have to cross six states to cheer on your boys to victory. You have a room in your house devoted to the team, festooned with every piece of memorabilia you can buy as a tribute to their skill. You even have rituals on game day that must be respected and you actually think that if you don't keep these traditions, your team could lose the game. You once wore the same pair of smelly socks for half a season because your favorites were on a winning streak.
You are a true fan and the only jersey that can touch your back is one that is officially licensed.
While it is admirable that you want quality team wear, it brings about a problem on laundry day. Licensed jerseys are expensive and they are also temperamental when put in the wash. You wouldn't want any thing to happen to your game day jersey, because that might jinx the team.
With the fate of the game in your hands, it is important to pay careful attention to the care that goes into laundering your favorite jersey.
Most clothes will easily survive a romp through the washer and dryer even if it is set at the wrong temperature or cycle, but take no chances with your team jersey. Read the label carefully and do everything that it recommends. If it calls for cold water, by all means, use cold. If it instructs you to dry your jersey flat, don't you dare throw it in the dryer.
Don't take even a minor liberty with the label directions on your jersey.
When you first purchase your official team jersey, carefully look over any hanging tags before you pull them off and throw them away. Sometimes they include special care instructions and need to be read carefully. If they do contain information about washing your jersey, set them aside or at least wait to throw them away until you have laundered the item at least one time.
Always wash your jersey right away to remove stains like mustard, ketchup, or beer.
The longer these stains sit on your jersey the harder they will be to remove. Pre-treat them and then wash the jersey according to the label directions. Some store bought pre-treatment products can be too harsh for your official team jerseys, so homemade solutions like baking soda, vinegar, or plain seltzer are much better options.
When you put your jersey into the washer, make sure that you always turn it inside out. This will help to preserve the life of the numbers and logos on the front and back of the jersey.
Whether they are sewn or ironed on, turning the shirt inside out will keep them looking newer longer. There is nothing worse than wearing a jersey that has cracking numbers on the front.
If you are afraid to put your jersey in the dryer, you could lay it flat to dry or even line dry it. If you decide to line dry it, just make sure it doesn't spend the day in direct sunlight or it could fade. If the instructions on your jersey allow you to place it in the dryer, make sure you remove it as soon as it is done.
This will prevent wrinkles and save you from having to iron the jersey. If for some reason you do have to iron your jersey, make sure that the iron you use isn't too hot and test a small area in an obscure area before you iron the whole thing. If it tests ok, carefully iron around the numbers or any designs on the shirt. The heat of the iron could burn or melt the designs, ruining your favorite jersey.
If you take good care of your jersey, it should last through many seasons of rooting for your favorite team and you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are doing your part as a fan to ensure a victory.
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Linda Polansky writes about Sports and Sports Team Memorabilia.
By: Linda Polansky -