The Right Way To Wash A Dress Shirt

Men’s formal dress shirts are made with the purpose of being enjoyed by the wearer. They add to a man’s character and when pristine create a polished look like no other. The washing of the dress shirt is essential for it to retain its crisp look and quality. It is also the answer to combat the damage which will occur from any inevitable soiling.

Emmett London 140s Fine Poplin Shirt

140s Fine White Poplin Shirt


If you have a preference for dry cleaners, be sure to choose a high quality service to ensure the best care for your shirt. However, occasions will arise when you may need to wash your formal shirt at home.

However, this is not as daunting a task it may originally present itself to be. Despite the name, dry cleaners often use a ‘wash and press’ service in order to clean a shirt. This technique is similar to the way in which you would wash your shirt at home, just with the added convenience of someone else carrying out the task and pressing for you.

Similar results can be achieved in a home wash by following these steps. 

How To Wash A Dress Shirt:

  1. Take time to ensure the shirt is entirely unbuttoned. Any buttons remaining clasped will lead to excessive pulling when in wash and will damage the shirt.
  2. Turn the dress shirt inside out as this will help with removing deodorant and perspiration stains from the underarm.
  3. Take care to pretreat any stains on the garment remembering to pay attention to the collar and cuffs.
  4. Wash the shirt using cold water as this prevents the placket stitching from shrinking which in turn will create a puckered look where the buttons are.
  5. A high quality detergent is essential, so do not cut costs.
  6. It is also worth investing in a whitening booster, or an enzymatic cleaner, in your wash to help give your shirt an extra refreshed look.
  7. Remove shirts immediately after the wash by either the top of the sleeve or collar and gently shake out any knots. This will prevent any creases immediately.
  8. Return the orientation of the shirt from inside out and hang on a thick wooden hanger away from heat sources


Although you may think you are saving time, do not put your shirt in a dryer as this runs the risk of causing fading and wear to the dress shirt.


All our shirts at Emmett London are of the highest quality, and we recommend taking great diligence in the aftercare for your shirt to ensure a lifetime of smart dressing.


If you look after your Emmett shirt, it will go above and beyond to look after you too.  Click here to find out for yourself the wonders of Emmett London formal shirts for men.