How to Take Care of Print-on-Demand Garments
If you’ve ever dealt with product returns for your online business, you’ll know washing print-on-demand garments comes with its share of stress. How do you clean it? How do you store it? How do you make sure it all looks as good as new for other customers? Whether you’re selling a returned item on a “gently used” sale or fell in love with a print-on-demand shirt you can’t live without, here’s how to care for them safely.
Order Quality Garments
One of the best ways to care for your print-on-demand garments is to buy quality products from the start. Some vendors like to cut corners to ink out a bigger profit & keep their inventory moving out the door. Instead of going cheap, go for quality & affordability instead.
You can start with CustomCat to find high-quality, affordable print-on-demand garments & products. We carry over 50 brands, including Hanes, Gildan, Next-Level, Bella + Canvas, Adidas, & more. You can order a sample for review to see how great they really are. Or, if you’re ready to sell, you can get started uploading your artwork & letting us produce, fulfill, and ship out items for you.
Follow the Care Instructions
We’re going to Mom-out on this garment care tip, but it’s worth repeating. You should always follow the care instructions when washing & storing any garments. Even if you think you’ve got this print-on-demand shirt care thing down, you may be surprised. Some brands have specific care instructions that differ depending on the materials & colors they use.
Turn the Garments Inside Out for Washing & Drying
Protect your graphics while extending their lifespan with a few simple washing & drying tips. Start by turning your garments inside out for gentle washing & drying. This quick tip helps shield your graphics from taking a direct hit from detergents & heat, and keeps them looking as colorful & fresh as possible.
Go for Low Wash Settings
It’s time to explore all the fun functionality of your washing machine that you never knew existed. Look for the lowest wash settings possible, including an option for delicates. The softer & gentler you can get your washing machine to turn, the better your print-on-demand garments will be.
Add Mild Detergent
Cheap detergents may work well for blasting the germs out of sweat socks & heavy-duty clothing, but don’t play well with print-on-demand garments. Opt for mild detergent intended for delicates to ensure the gentlest experience possible. If you can’t come up with any suitable options, diluting your regular detergent can also help cut down on its strength & potential for stripping out colors.
Wash Solo or with Like Colors
Washing machines with a mini-cycle or small load setting are ideal for print-on-demand garments that are being washed for the first few times. If your garment is already a pro at laundry day, or you’re trying to save on resources, opt for washing it with like-colors. Pair up light colors with cool & breezy garments, and reds with their vibrant friends. It could mean the difference between streaky garments & ones that come out looking their very best.
When it comes to washing print-on-demand garments, dryers are not your friends. Avoid them at all costs! Hang dry your garments indoors & away from the sun. If there’s really no choice but to throw your printed shirts in the dryer, keep the setting on tumble dry & the coolest heat setting possible.
Put Away the Iron
Your print-on-demand garments may look wrinkled but probably don’t need ironing. Instead, try tumble drying on low with a damp washcloth for a few minutes to pull out the wrinkles & look fresh again. However, if you can’t seem to get rid of unsightly creases, try covering your garment with a thin towel before ironing, or keep your iron on ultra low settings to help protect your clothing.
Hang Garments Away from Sunlight
Your print-on-demand products probably look fabulous & Instagram-worthy while soaking up the natural light but could end up fading during storage. Hang up your freshly laundered garments away from light & in a dark closet instead. Folding your garments is probably okay if you’re not creating any graphics, but why not hang them up instead? They’ll end up with fewer wrinkles & are easier to find!
Keep It Chill
Did we mention print-on-demand garments aren’t fans of the heat? Although they won’t melt from some warmth, they can get faded & worn over time in hot rooms. Extreme heat could also leave your decals & prints feeling sticky & looking less than spectacular.
Educate Your Customers on Garment Care
Now that you’re a master at print-on-demand garment care, make sure your customers know how to do it, too. Create a product care guide or quick video tutorial to walk through the process. You’ll end up with fewer complaints & returns when you empower your customers to take care of their products themselves. If nothing else, you’ve established that you’ve done your best to pass the torch on garment care to help your customers look their very best.
Washing & caring for your print-on-demand garments doesn’t have to be the low point of your day. Keep it simple & straightforward to take care of your products. Let us know your best tip for caring for print-on-demand garments below!