How to Wash An NFL Jersey: A Guide To The Safest & Best Methods

An NFL jersey is more than just an article of clothing; it’s a symbol of team loyalty and personal fandom. Whether it’s a jersey from your favorite current player or a vintage piece that carries historical significance, each jersey deserves proper care to maintain its look and longevity. Here’s a detailed guide on how to wash an NFL jersey correctly.

Preparing to Wash

Check the Label

Before doing anything, check the care label on your jersey for any specific instructions on how to wash an NFL jersey. Manufacturers often include crucial information about the material blend and recommended care on these tags.

Spot Cleaning

If there are visible spots or stains on the jersey where perhaps you spilled your beer celebrating your NFL bet win, address these areas before washing the entire jersey. Use a mild, bleach-free detergent and a soft brush (like a toothbrush) to gently scrub the spots. This prevents setting stains deeper into the fabric during the wash cycle.


Turn It Inside Out

Turning the jersey inside out protects the numbers, letters, and logos from direct abrasion and excessive exposure to water and detergent.

Choosing the Right Detergent and Settings


Opt for a mild, color-safe detergent. Harsh chemicals can damage the fabric and affect the adhesives used for logos and numbers, causing them to peel or crack.

Washing Machine Settings

Set your washing machine on a gentle cycle with cold water when figuring out how to wash an NFL jersey. Hot water can risk shrinking the jersey and damaging the glued-on or stitched embellishments.

Do Not Overload

Wash your jersey with similar items or alone. Overloading the washing machine can cause the jersey to stretch or tear due to excessive twisting and rubbing.

Washing the Jersey

Hand Washing

For the utmost care, hand washing is recommended. Fill a sink or basin with cold water and a small amount of mild detergent. Submerge the jersey, gently work the soap through the fabric, and soak for up to 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cold water.


Machine Washing

If you prefer using a washing machine, place the jersey in a mesh laundry bag to offer additional protection during the wash cycle. Follow the previously set machine settings to maintain the method on how to wash an NFL jersey.


Rinsing and Drying


Ensure all detergent is rinsed out. Excess soap can leave residue that attracts dirt and can stiffen the fabric.


Never wring out your jersey, as it can stretch the fabric and distort the shape. Instead, press out the excess water gently and lay it flat on a clean, dry towel. Roll up the towel with the jersey inside to absorb more water, then unroll.



Hang the jersey to air-dry in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight, which can fade the colors. Avoid using a mechanical dryer as the intense heat can damage the material and adhesives when considering how to wash an NFL jersey.


Ironing and Storage


Only iron If necessary. If so, iron the jersey inside out using a low heat setting. Place a towel over the jersey while ironing to protect the decals and prints.



Store the jersey hung up in a closet away from direct sunlight or folded neatly in a drawer. Ensure the storage area is dry to avoid mold or mildew growth.


Special Considerations


Vintage Jerseys

Extra care should be taken with vintage jerseys. These may require professional cleaning, especially if they contain materials that are no longer used or are particularly delicate.


After a Game

If you’ve worn the jersey to a game or an event where it got particularly sweaty or dirty due to the game going to overtime, try to wash it as soon as possible to prevent odors and stains from setting. This urgency underlines the importance of knowing how to wash an NFL jersey effectively.

By following these steps, your NFL jersey will stay looking sharp game after game, season after season. Remember, proper care not only preserves the look but also the value of your jersey, especially if it’s a collectible item. Enjoy wearing your piece of sports history, and take pride in maintaining its condition!

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