5 Tips for Safely Cleaning Soccer Jerseys

Soccer jerseys get used hard and need to be washed frequently. To make sure your young player's jersey looks good throughout the season, follows these tips for how to safely clean your child's jersey no matter how dirty it gets.

Youth soccer jerseys are designed to fit comfortably while helping players manage moisture and temperature. They also get very dirty, especially when playing in the rain or on a muddy field. Given the frequent washes required, many people wonder how they can keep jerseys looking sharp throughout the season. The good news is that most jerseys are well-made with high-performance material, and with proper care they can look good for a long time. Here are some tips to keep your player's jersey in top condition.


Machine Wash - Cold Water & Gentle Cycle

In a perfect world, all jerseys would be hand-washed. If that's not possible, before machine washing, turn the jersey inside out. That will help preserve the name, number, and any logos. For added protection, put the inside-out jersey in a garment bag before you wash it to prevent snags and pilling. By washing in cold water on gentle cycle, you'll further reduce the chance of damage to the letter and prevent the colors from fading. Avoid using fabric softener which builds up over time and makes athletic wear harder to clean. Softener can also trap odors, which is the last thing you want.


Never Tumble Dry

Don't machine dry jerseys - always air dry them. Tumble dryers can cause significant damage by shrinking a jersey or just breaking down the fabric. Besides, jerseys are designed to air dry quickly, so you don't need a dryer. If you're in a hurry, hang it in the sun for extra-fast drying.


Pre-Soak for Stains

When you're dealing with an epically soiled jersey, try to rinse it out as soon as possible then pre-soak it before washing. Fill a sink or bucket with water that's warm to the touch but not hot. Then add two tablespoons of your favorite heavy-duty laundry detergent along with one cup of baking soda. Soak the jersey for at least one hour, although the longer, the better. Letting it soak overnight is optimal. Don't soak colored and white jerseys together in the same bucket which could result in the colors running.


Vinegar to Deodorize

When a jersey gets especially pungent, add one cup of white vinegar to your wash. White vinegar is a natural deodorizer and is very effective at getting rid of stubborn orders without causing any damage to the fabric. If that's not enough, pre-soak the jersey in cold water with one cup of vinegar. Another option is to add the juice from one lemon into a presoak which can kill odor-causing bacteria.


Hydrogen Peroxide for Blood Stains

Hopefully you won't need this tip, but if you ever have to get blood stains out of a jersey, the most effective method is to sponge the area with hydrogen peroxide. This method even works with dried stains, although you'll get better results if you act quickly. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent that triggers a chemical reaction when it comes into contact with blood molecules. If you douse the area with hydrogen peroxide, you'll see it begin fizzing only where there's blood. The fizzing action breaks down the blood stain without damaging the fabric. Rinse and repeat as needed.



At European Sports, our goal is to keep your player looking and playing their best. Check out our apparel and gear at one of our soccer specialty stores located in Schaumburg, Glen Ellyn and Naperville. We have everything you'll need to get your child ready to play soccer.

Soccer tips