Close this search box.

How To Wash A Soccer Jersey: 2 Best Methods To Use On Smelly Soccer Clothes

If you want to learn how to wash a soccer jersey, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve seen so many people ruin a good-quality jersey because they treated it like any other item in their closet.

You must avoid washing the jersey with hot water, and soak it in cold water with a simple homemade solution. You need to make sure that it isn’t mixed in with items like a fleece top or towels. This will increase the chances of pilling.

You should also air-dry your jersey and avoid the air dryer altogether. 

A soccer jersey washed with care is going to last a long time. Follow the steps in order below to stop the chances of a soccer jersey going in the trash before it needs to. Here’s how to wash a soccer jersey.

Always Check The Care Instructions

Taking this pre-washing step might seem like unnecessary work, but it’s vital you follow it to avoid ruining the jersey.

Most soccer jerseys are synthetic fabric or polyester that is machine washable. This means a washing machine is more than fine. But some kits have embroidered numbers, letters, and badges. Meaning if they go in the wash they are going to get ruined. You might see cracks begin to appear on the lettering or the number might begin to fade.

This means you must use cold wash and avoid the dryer altogether. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to do less and wash it with the most amount of care.

You also need to was the jersey inside out. This protects the embroidery and will clean off sweat and oil that has built up on the inside of the jersey. If you don’t turn it inside out, there’s no guarantee you’ll have a  fresh jersey to wear.

Prepping Your Jersey

My best tip and something you should always do is to presoak the jersey in cold water. You can use water, or you can add white vinegar and baking soda for those tough stains.

I would reserve this method for muddy and grass-stained jerseys. You know those matches where it rains from start to finish and the pitch looks more brown than green!

Don’t use more than a cup of white vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda. Let this soak for 30 minutes. An hour is better. Once you have soaked the jersey, you can either wash it in the washing machine or go for a hand wash.

How To Wash A Soccer Jersey In The Washing Machine

As I’ve already mentioned, avoid washing this at a high temperature. In fact, it’s best to avoid hot water altogether and to use a cold wash.

You should also avoid washing different types of clothes together. This means putting a jersey in with towels, a fleece, or heavy-duty items like jackets, as this can increase the chances of pilling.

Pilling is when small knots due to broken fibers appear on the jersey. Always ensure you wash your jersey with other types of exercise attire.

There’s nothing wrong with using your normal washing detergent. But there are detergents that are specially designed for washing sportswear. They don’t cause superficial damage to the jersey and can help to remove stubborn grass, mud, and blood stains.

I would avoid using a fabric softener. Softener makes it difficult for the detergent to do its job and penetrate any trapped odors and bacteria build-up.

Avoid a hot water setting and choose a cold spin to avoid damaging the letters and numbers on the jersey.

How To Wash A Soccer Jersey By Hand

There is nothing against washing a soccer jersey by hand. In fact, it’s the safest way to keep your jersey from losing quality.

All you need to do is follow the steps above. But instead of putting the jersey in the washing machine, wash it straight from the bowl you have soaked it in using your detergent as soap.

I appreciate not everybody has the time to hand wash one item of clothing. Using a washing machine is more than acceptable and you shouldn’t worry if you follow the washing machine guide above.

What Happens If My Jersey Stains Beyond Repair?

There are going to be times when no matter how well you wash your jersey, it will be impossible to return it to its original quality.

Maybe the jersey has a bunch of holes in it from overuse, or it has lost quality with too many washes over time.

If this is the case, then it’s time to throw out the old jersey and buy a new one. Let go of nostalgia and get the latest design (as I’m sure your team has changed this by now!)

If your soccer team jersey needs updating, request a replacement from the coach or team chairman. You shouldn’t have to play through a soccer season with an old jersey. Not only does this not feel good for you, but it will also make the team presentation look bad.

What Other Soccer Items Can You Soak?

Follow the tips above and your soccer jersey can last a long time. Even one that is used in matches over a long season.

Washing your soccer jersey isn’t the only item that can be soaked, though. I’ve covered how to stretch a pair of soccer cleats and show you how to do this by soaking the cleats in water.

You can also check out my guide on how to find the perfect fitting pair of soccer cleats.


What About Presoak Treatments?

Some grocery stores will sell a presoak treatment designed to soften stains and help remove them during washing. These are fine, but it’s much easier to use the white vinegar and baking soda treatment. You might even have some lying around the house so you can save some money.

Either way, ensure the jersey soaks long enough before transferring it to the washing machine.

How To Dry Your Soccer Jersey

Avoid the temptation to put your jersey in the dryer. The embroidery will thank you for it. Always air-dry your jersey, even in cold and wet weather. It shouldn’t take as long as you think, because most modern jerseys are weather resistant. This means they hold on to less moisture such as sweat and rain for the benefit of the soccer player.

A sports bag lying on grass with items in it
A soccer player holding a large sweeper
Two soccer players battling for the ball
The letters FC on a grass field
a soccer player striking a ball
A person being applied a bandage by another person with sterile gloves