How to Wash a Sweatshirt? (Comprehensive Guide)

Ready to wash your sweatshirt and make it appear bright and new?


This post contains a comprehensive step-by-step guide to washing your sweatshirt safely and effectively.

The steps outlined in this guide are safe and easy to follow.

Here’s what you will learn in this guide.

Let’s get started

What is a Sweatshirt?

Sweatshirts are types of clothing made from soft, absorbent materials such as heavy cotton, Jersey Fabric with fleece inside. A premium hoodie or sweatshirt is made from 100% cotton, fleece, or French Terry.

Sweatshirts come in many different styles, including hoodies and polos, likewise, they are available in a variety of colors and can be worn as part of an outfit or just for comfort.

Sweatshirts are very versatile and can be worn to work, school, or just around the house.

What are sweatshirts made up of?

Sweatshirts are made up of several different materials such as cotton, fleece, and French terry. They are also sometimes made with synthetic materials such as polyester and modal.

Sweatshirts are typically 100% cotton, but can also be made with a combination of cotton and other materials.

They are often made with a soft, looped fabric that is comfortable to wear and is also machine washable.

How to wash Sweatshirts?

When it comes to washing sweatshirts, most people think of them as being dirty and needing to be washed separately.

However, this is not always the case because sweatshirts can be washed in the same machine as other items with some additional care.

Pre-Requisites to Wash a Sweatshirt in Washing Machine

Before you start washing your sweatshirt in the washing machine, it is important to know the pre-requisites to get the best results.

Let’s take a quick look at some important pre-requisites that you will need to follow.

1.) Choose the correct size

A large sweatshirt will take up more space in the washer and may require more agitation than a small sweatshirt.

The same goes for different colors or patterns – One color might require less agitation than another.

As a best practice, never mix different colors of sweatshirts in the same wash cycle.

A sweatshirt that is too large may come out wrinkled and misshapen if there isn’t enough room in the washer.

2.) Choose the correct cycle

Be sure to select the one that is designed specifically for delicate clothing items like sweatshirts. 

You may refer to the garment care label to be sure.

Otherwise, you may end up with more wrinkles than you would have otherwise.

It’s best to refer to the washing machine’s user manual to get an idea of choosing the correct cycle.

The Ideal setting to wash a sweatshirt are:

  • Wash Type: Delicate/Gente
  • Spin Speed: Low-Medium
  • Soil Level: Normal
  • Water Temperature: Cold

3.) Drying your Sweatshirt

As a best practice, always dry your sweatshirt by hanging it on a hanger OR Clothesline.

This will help reduce frizzing and avoid wrinkles.

4.) Laundry Bags

If your sweatshirts are made up of a lot of different colors and delicate materials, you may want to consider laundry bags.

Using a laundry bag can prevent wear and tear to the delicate fabrics during the wash cycle.

Consider this option when you are washing different types of fabrics along with sweatshirts at one go.

5.) Handwash

Sweatshirts can also be handwash to avoid any wear and tear to the fabric.

If your washer includes a handwashing program simply run through it or you may prefer handwashing them manually.

Note: Always refer to the care label of your sweatshirt before Machine Washing OR Hand Washing them.

How to Wash Sweatshirts in a Washing Machine?

The easiest way to wash a sweatshirt is to use a washing machine.

Follow the below steps to wash your sweatshirt in a washing machine.

Step 1: Read the Care

The very first step is to read the care label carefully.

Care Label has a lot of information about the care of your sweatshirt.

In fact, it also includes the washing instructions and the Ideal water temperature for washing your sweatshirt.

Some labels also give you the washing instructions as well as best practices and things to avoid.

Step 2: Check the Sweatshirt

If your Sweatshirt has pockets, empty them.

As coins and other foreign objects may be accidentally dropped into the washing machine, thereby causing unnecessary blockage to your washer’s drainage system.

Step 3: Pre-Treat the Sweatshirt

If your sweatshirts are heavily stained, it’s always a good idea to pre-treat them before washing.

In order to pre-treat the sweatshirt, you may use a stain remover and gently scrub the heavily soiled areas of the sweatshirt.

Alternatively, you may prepare a vinegar solution and pour it on the stained areas and let the liquid settle.

Next, rinse the solution off the sweatshirt.

In order to prepare the presoak vinegar solution, you may simply use 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 cup of water and then mix them thoroughly.

Step 4: Put the SweatShirt Into the Washing Machine

The next step is to put the sweatshirt into the washing machine.

Do not cramp your washing machine with a variety of fabrics. It is recommended that you put your sweatshirt into the washing machine separately.

This will help reduce wringing and stretching of the fabric, thereby reducing wear and tear.

Consider using a laundry bag if you have a mixed load of delicates.

Simply put your sweatshirt into the laundry bag and load them into the washer.

Step 5: Add Suitable Detergent

Add a suitable detergent and make sure the quantity is according to the instructions on the detergent box.

Too much detergent can cause excess suds and may make your washer inefficient.

Step 6: Select the Right Settings in the washer

It’s recommended that you perform a cold water wash with the following settings:

  • Wash Type: Delicate/Gentle
  • Water Temperature: Cold
  • Spin Speed: Low
  • Soil Level: Normal
  • Prewash: Not needed if already pre-treated.

Step 7: Run the Wash Cycle

Let the washer run and complete the wash cycle.

Once the wash cycle is complete, remove the sweatshirt from the washer and hang it to dry completely before wearing or storing them.

A Quick Note

For making your sweatshirt softer you may use vinegar as a natural fabric softener.

Simply pour some vinegar into the fabric softener compartment and let the washer complete all the cycles.

If you are not using an automatic washer, you may pour the vinegar solution directly post the wash cycle. However, you may need to run a rinse cycle so that the residue of the vinegar is removed.

Why are Sweatshirts unclean after the wash?

If your sweatshirt isn’t washing well, there are a few things you can do to try and fix the problem. 

First, make sure that you are loading the sweatshirt alone into the washer and not a combination of other items.

With some room available in the washtub, it will help ensure that the sweatshirt is being agitated evenly.

If you have a larger load, then you may want to split the load and use multiple wash cycles. 

Next, check to see if there is any debris or dirt on the garments.

Remove any debris or dirt before adding them to the washer.

You can simply, soak the dirty garments in a bucket filled with water and leave it for around 10 minutes and gently squeeze the excess water out before you add them to the washtub.

As an alternate option, you can make the use of Extra Rinse cycle, if your washer supports it.

How to Handwash sweatshirts?

Handwashing a sweatshirt is a great way to safely keep them clean and fresh.

Here are four easy steps to follow to get your sweatshirts to look new and smell great.

What you will Need

  • A large container or a bucket that fits your sweatshirts.
  • Cold or warm water.
  • A suitable detergent.

Steps to Handwash your sweatshirts

  • Fill a large container or a bucket with cold or warm water. Make sure the bucket is not filled completely and has enough space to load the fabrics.
  • Add a tablespoon of detergent to the bucket filled with water and let it dissolve.
  • For Heavily soiled items you may simply rinse them with water under a running tap before wash.
  • Place your sweatshirts in the water and agitate them with your hands for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the garments from the first bucket and add them to the second. Leave it to settle for another 10 minutes.
  • Finally, rinse the sweatshirts with warm and clean water until they are clear.
  • Gently squeeze excess water and hang them to dry either on the drying racks or the clothesline.

The entire hand wash process should not take more than 30 minutes.

Final Thoughts

Washing a sweatshirt is not as difficult as it might seem.

In fact, with a few simple tips, you can ensure that it lasts longer and looks new each time you wear it.

With that said, Sweatshirts can become quite dirty, and if not washed regularly they can start to smell bad, therefore it requires a regular wash.

Just ensure to use suitable cleaners and cold water to wash your sweatshirts.

Lastly, Do not ignore the care labels on your sweatshirts as they will help you to keep them clean, fresh, and safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about washing a sweatshirt that may be of help.

How can I wash a sweatpant?

It depends on the type of fabric, but the best way to wash a sweatpant is to handwash them in cold water. Having said that, if the care label on the sweatpant allows machine wash, then you can wash them on a delicate wash cycle using cold water.

How to Dry a sweatshirt?

The best way to dry a sweatshirt is to hang them to dry. If you are using a dryer, you can tumble dry them on a low heat and low spin setting to dry them safely. Alternatively, you can the sweatshirt on a flat surface and let it dry normally.

What are Sweatpants?

Sweatpants are a type of pants that are made from a thicker or heavier material such as cotton with polyester fleece, Cotton Blend, OR Wool. They are also known as joggers pants or tracksuits. Most sweatpants are 100% cotton, but can also be made with a combination of cotton and other materials.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)