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How to Wash a Sports Jersey That Has Been Autographed

Posted by Patricia Spencer on
How to Wash a Sports Jersey That Has Been Autographed


One of the best moments in any sports enthusiast’s life is watching their favorite professional athlete sign their sports jersey and hand it back to them.  An autographed jersey is something that’s worn with pride for many years to come.  But, what about when the time comes to clean it?  Thankfully, there are completely effective ways to wash a sports jersey to keep it clean and smelling fresh without ruining the autograph whatsoever.  And, all you need are some basic natural cleaning products like natural dish soap and eco friendly laundry pods, which you already have lying around in your home.

Cleaning Your Autographed Sports Jersey: What to Know

There’s no reason to keep your signed jersey smelling bad or looking dirty just because you’re afraid of ruining the autograph.  As long as your favorite athlete used permanent marker, which is standard, then it can usually be washed properly while leaving the ink perfectly intact.  With just a couple gentle, non toxic cleaning products, you’ll be in the clear.

Treating Any Stains

If you’re dealing with a jersey that’s been stained, you can treat the stain independently of the rest of the jersey.  There are different natural cleaning products that can be applied directly to the stain in order to lift away whatever’s in the fibers, whether that be beer from a particularly rowdy game, or some salsa that spilled on your jersey while you were watching the game intently. 

For spot-treating stains, our customers use the Grab Green Liquid Dish Soap, which’s a non toxic dish soap that is gentle enough for delicate garments.  This sustainable dish soap can be dabbed directly onto the stain and worked into the fibers with your fingers, being left there for 15 minutes before getting a rinse in cold water.

Washing by Hand  

To be on the safe side, skip the washing machine and wash the garment by hand.  Fill a bucket, basin or stopped sink with cold water along with a natural laundry pod broken up and dissolved into the water.  We always suggest non toxic laundry pods like 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods or Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods.  These are eco friendly laundry pods that are gentle, so they won’t harm your autograph.  Still, to be on the safe side, we recommend gently handwashing every section of the jersey except for the autographed section, unless that section is particularly dirty as well.

To do this, keep the autographed section out of the water with one hand, with the rest submerged.  While holding the jersey with one hand, use your other hand to massage the sudsy water into the rest of the jersey.  Then, dump the water and rinse the jersey under cold water.  Cold water is critical, as hot water is bad for jerseys overall, causing the colors to bleed.


Now that your jersey is clean, simply dry it by hanging it.  From there, you’re good to go.


If you want to be extra careful, bring your jersey to a drycleaner’s, and tell them that your jersey is autographed so they know to use a special cleaning method that will keep the autograph fresh. 

Keep That Autograph Looking Fresh Forever

A signed jersey is a badge of honor for any sports lover, so you want to keep that ink looking fresh for as long as possible.  Thankfully, a jersey can be cleaned without damaging the autograph, with some natural cleaning products, or by bringing the garment to the dry cleaner’s.  Either way, you won’t have to worry about ruining such an important piece of memorabilia.

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