Save Money By Laundering Your Own Dress Shirts


I used to think nothing of spending $20-30 a month on getting my dress shirts laundered at the cleaners.

If memory serves, they were about $2 apiece.  Wearing a shirt two times meant that I was getting roughly 10 shirts done per month.

At a certain point, I started at looking at costs that I could reduce and thought, why not do my own shirts?

As it turns out, dress shirts take time to do, but in my opinion, they’re well worth the costs.

Here’s a simple procedure to wash your own dress shirts:

  1. Before throwing in the laundry, undo all the buttons including sleeves and collars, and take out the collar tabs
  2. Wash them with the normal laundry pertaining to that cycle
  3. Dry until almost dry.  If you leave them in for the full cycle it’s not that big of a deal, but I prefer to take mine out slightly before they’re dry just to ensure that they don’t shrink
  4. Keep them aside until you have enough to iron.
  5. Ironing seems to be the part that scares most people, but it is easy.  If you like your shirts a little stiffer, use some starch, or just iron them.   Do one sleeve at a time then button them.  Do the area behind the collar.  Then do the back.  Then do the front, one side at a time.  Put the collar tabs in, hang up, buttoning 2-3 of the buttons, and voila, you’ve got clean pressed shirts.


  • Watch some mindless TV while you iron.  Each shirt takes about five minutes, so if you have ten shirts a month, you’re looking at about an hour.  That’s two episodes of Storage Wars, which I enjoy watching anyways but not enough to sit down and just watch.
  • Don’t be afraid of heat.  I put my iron on just about the hottest setting.  The trick is constant movement.  You can burn your shirts if you leave them in one place for too long.  Once it hits the surface, get it moving.  The wrinkles will disappear like that.
  • Buy wrinkle resistant shirts.  I buy most of my shirts from the Haggar outlet store and they are wrinkle resistant.  You still have to iron them but they iron through very easily.
  • Use the spray on your iron.  Most irons have a button that you can use to spray out a little extra water.  Use this if you’ve got a deep set wrinkle.  If your iron doesn’t have this, a simple spray bottle will work just fine.
  • Use wire hangers.  I use the wire hangers from my cleaners to hang them.  They look just like they came back from the cleaners (minus the plastic wrapping which is a waste anyways).
  • Use shirt hangers, too.  I typically wear shirts twice. After the first time, I’ll hang it on a thicker shirt hanger.  Then, when I go to wear it again, I’ll know that it’s on it’s second wearing and OK to put in the laundry.  Barring any stains or tough perspiration days, you’ll not wear shirts too often or not enough.

Just an hour or so extra a month and we save between $200-250 a year.  It adds up!

Do you ever launder your own shirts?

Thank you for reading.

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