Care Guide for Button-down Shirts: How To Wash and Store

February 21, 2023

Button-down shirts are a classic and timeless wardrobe staple that can be dressed up or down for any occasion. Their crisp, tailored look offers a polished and professional appearance, but improper care can cause them to lose their shape and become wrinkled. In this care guide, we'll explore the best practices for washing and storing button-down shirts, so you can keep them looking great and ready to wear for any occasion. Whether you prefer cotton, linen, or other materials, these tips will help you maintain the quality and longevity of your button-down shirts.


After every wear


Hang, Fold

The Right Way To Wash Button-down Shirts

Washing Button-Down Shirts in the Washer
If the button-down shirt is machine washable, follow these steps:

  1. Check the care label to ensure that the garment is machine washable.
  2. Unbutton the shirt and turn it inside out.
  3. Sort your clothes by color and fabric type.
  4. Pre-treat any stains by applying a small amount of detergent or stain remover directly to the affected area. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Place the shirt in the washer and add other clothes if desired. Do not overload the washer.
  6. Select a gentle or delicate cycle with cool or warm water depending on the fabric type. Avoid using hot water as it may shrink the shirt or damage the color.
  7. Add a small amount of detergent according to the package instructions. Use a mild detergent for delicate fabrics.
  8. Start the wash cycle and wait until it's finished.
  9. Remove the shirt from the washer and gently shake it to remove wrinkles.
  10. Hang the shirt on a hanger and air dry. You may also use the dryer on a low or medium heat setting if the care label permits it.
Handwashing Button-Down Shirts
If you prefer to hand wash your button-down shirt, follow these steps:
  1. Fill a sink or basin with cool or warm water and add a small amount of detergent.
  2. Unbutton the shirt and turn it inside out.
  3. Submerge the shirt in the water and gently scrub the collar, cuffs, and armpit area to remove dirt and sweat.
  4. Rinse the shirt thoroughly under running water to remove all the soap.
  5. Squeeze out the excess water gently. Do not twist or wring the shirt as it may damage the fabric and cause wrinkles.
  6. Hang the shirt on a hanger and air dry. You may also lay it flat on a towel to dry. Do not hang the shirt under the sun for too long as it may fade the color.
Dry Cleaning Button-Down Shirts
If the care label on your button-down shirt says "Dry Clean Only," take it to a professional dry cleaner. Do not attempt to wash it at home as it may damage the fabric, color, or shape of the garment. Dry cleaning is the best option for delicate fabrics, such as silk, satin, or linen, or for shirts with embellishments or pleats that cannot be washed in water.

How Often To Wash Button-down Shirts

Button-down shirts are often worn in professional or formal settings and should be washed after every wear to maintain their appearance and prevent damage to the materials. They can absorb sweat and bacteria, which can lead to unpleasant odors and potential skin irritation.

The Right Way To Store Button-down Shirts

How to Hang Button-down Shirts

  1. Choose a hanger that fits the size of the shirt.
  2. Hang the shirt by the collar on the hanger.
  3. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases.

How to Fold Button-down Shirts
  1. Lay the shirt on a flat surface, front side down.
  2. Fold one sleeve across the back of the shirt.
  3. Fold the other sleeve to overlap the first sleeve.
  4. Fold the shirt in half vertically.
  5. Fold the shirt in half horizontally, tucking the sleeves and hem inside.
  6. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases.

Expert Advice for Maintaining The Quality Of Your Button-down Shirts

To keep button-down shirts in top shape, there are a few practical tips that can be followed. It's recommended to avoid washing them with heavy or abrasive materials, such as towels or denim, which can cause damage to the fabric. Instead, wash button-down shirts with similar materials to reduce friction and protect the fabric. To prevent color fading or bleeding, it's a good idea to use a color-safe detergent and wash clothes inside out, especially for printed or embroidered shirts. To protect the buttons, it's advisable to unbutton the shirt before washing, as it can prevent strain on the button threads. It's also a good idea to invest in mesh bags or a proper drying rack, especially for delicate items, to reduce wear and tear during the washing and drying process. Finally, it's important to follow the care label instructions, including the recommended washing temperature, to ensure that the shirt is washed properly and avoid damage to the fabric.


Just a friendly reminder that this care guide for button-down shirts only provides general advice. Your button-down shirts may have specific care requirements based on its material, style, and manufacturer instructions, so always check the care label before washing or storing it. If you're unsure about anything, it's always best to consult a professional cleaner. Please note that the author of this guide is not responsible for any damages or losses resulting from the use or misuse of any information from this blog.

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