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How To Wash NFL Jerseys

We all know authentic NFL jerseys aren’t cheap.

If you own one, you’ve probably had to budget for it or make some kind of sacrifice. See this guide for the best places to buy NFL jerseys if you have not.

Now the worst thing you could do is throw that hard-earned money down the toilet – or the laundry machine.

If you’re wondering how to wash NFL jerseys, you’ve come to the right place, as I’ve curated a list of three tips to know to prevent damage to your beautiful football jersey.

Keep in mind that you always want to wash your NFL jersey inside-out.

An NFL jersey is rather delicate, so you’ll want to turn it inside-out to protect the numbers, designs and logos of the jersey from peeling off or getting damaged by the laundry machine.

How To Wash NFL Jerseys

Tip #1: Treat Tough Stains First

You can help your laundry machine by first removing the hard stains like grass, dirt, or mud.

Simply dampen the stained area in cold water, then spray vinegar and rub gently with a sponge or a soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure to rub delicately so you don’t cause damage.

Some people advise dropping the jersey in a bucket of water and vinegar, but anecdotally I’ve noticed that removing the stains right away is the surest bet to removing them for good.

Tip #2: Wash Jersey Alone (Or With Other Jerseys)

It might seem more convenient to wash your jersey with your other laundry, but the worst thing you can do is mix and match your jersey with other garments.

We all know mixing white clothes and coloured clothes causes fading and bleeding, but did you also know that washing your jersey with jeans, for example, can cause color streaks in your jersey?

Of course, if you own multiple jerseys and one of them is white, you won’t want to wash that with your coloured jerseys as those jersey colors will bleed on your white jersey.

If you only own one jersey and don’t want to run a full load for a single item, weigh the load down with some towels of the same color (white with white, black with black, etc.).

Tip #3: Run Laundry On ‘Delicate’

Jerseys need a delicate touch. If possible, use a detergent made for jerseys – something that is color-protectant and can remove stains.

Do not overfill the laundry machine with detergent, as this will cause soap suds that can damage your jersey and your machine!

Once you’ve started the cycle and water has filled the machine, pause it for one minute to allow the jersey to soak. Avoid using anything with bleach as this will permanently damage your jersey.

WikiHow has a great explainer on washing jerseys by hands and washing machine. 

What You Should Avoid Doing

  • Never, ever wash your jersey in warm or hot water. Some places that you can run the laundry at a certain degree of warm, but this, in my opinion, is too much risk. Always wash your jersey in cold water!
  • Do not run a long or “Heavy Load” cycle. It’s better to run multiple 10 to 20 minute cycles than one long 45 minute cycle. If stains still persist after wash, simply repeat steps 1 through 3 above until the tough stains are gone.
  • Don’t even think about using the dryer! I’m personally guilty of this one. When I was younger, I ran my large jersey through the dryer once and it came out extra-extra-extra small. 
  • Always air dry! ProTuffDecals has a great guide on how to properly air dry.
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