If you've got one or more flannel shirts in your wardrobe, you probably already know that they're comfortable and easy to care for. Although flannel can be made from various materials, the flannel used for shirts is crafted from 100 percent cotton and brushed on both sides to achieve an ultra-soft texture. Check out the following guidelines for keeping your flannel shirt clean and ready-to-wear.
Cotton flannel is machine washable. While that sounds straightforward enough, there are a few strategies that can help you ensure your flannel lasts for years to come. Wash your flannel in warm water with similar fabrics, using the gentle or permanent-press cycle on your washing machine. Fill the basin with water before adding laundry soap. This ensures an even distribution of the detergent and prevents spots on clothes.
Even if you use dryer sheets, it's important to use a fabric softener to keep your flannel looking and feeling its softest. Add the liquid fabric softener to the rinse cycle or toss in a fabric softener ball when you fill the washing machine. The same fabric softener rules apply whether you're washing flannel sheets, shirts or duvet covers. You'll find that not only is the fabric super-soft, there's also a lot less static cling. Use the gentle or regular cycle on your dryer to machine-dry your flannel. Make sure to clean the lint trap after each use to prevent buildup.
You can also hand wash flannel, which is convenient if you don't have access to a washing machine or don't have an entire load of clothes to wash. Fill a basin or tub with warm water and add a small amount of detergent. You'll need substantially less laundry soap to hand wash a flannel shirt than you will to do a load of clothes. Place the shirt in the water and scrub it with your hands, moving it around to agitate the soap and water. Let it soak for 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Wring it out and lay flat to dry or hang on an outdoor clothesline.
If you're worried about staining your petite or plus size flannel shirts, consider a stain repelling product. The majority of these products come in spray form for easy application. Simply spray the stain repellant on your clothes before wearing them. The product creates a barrier that prevents spills from locking into the fabric and causing stains. When you launder your shirt, you're less likely to have any remnants of the spill left behind. It's the same technology as you'll find in upholstery protectant to keep furniture stain-free.
Whether or not you use a stain repellant on your flannel shirts, you may have to spot-clean them at some point. For convenient cleaning on the go, toss a detergent pen into your handbag. If you spill something on your flannel, simply blot the liquid away and cover the area with the detergent pen. Let it sit on the spot for a few minutes, then blot again with a lightly dampened cloth. If you don't have a detergent pen, any kind of gentle soap, warm water, and a cloth can be used. Avoid using bleach on spills or stains to ensure the colors of your flannel shirt stay vibrant.
Ironing your flannels is a matter of personal preference. Cotton flannel is a smooth, wrinkle-resistant material, so you certainly don't have to iron it. However, if you love a crisp look, you could press the shirt using your iron's gentlest setting. It doesn't take a lot of heat to smooth out any wrinkles and make the creases sharp. There are also wrinkle-releasing sprays that simulate the results of an iron — with no heat required. Hang your flannel, spray it with wrinkle releaser, and then tug and smooth the wrinkles out.
There are two ways you can store your flannels, which also work for your regular tees. You can hang them in the closet or store them in a dresser. If you choose to hang them, button at least the top button of the shirt to keep it from sliding off the hanger. When storing your flannels in a drawer, roll them into a cylindrical shape instead of folding them into a square. This makes it easier to tuck them into the drawer and lets you see each shirt more easily.
You'll find that flannel is one of the easiest materials to keep clean and care for. That's why once you own one flannel shirt, you'll want one in every color. Flannels are a versatile wardrobe staple that can be worn with skinny jeans or skirts, and they can be dressed up or down with various accessories. They're great for layering, so you can wear your flannel shirt through every season.