How to Remove Stains From an Authentic Football Jersey

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Wearing an authentic football jersey is a great way to show you're a dedicated fan of your team. If you wear the jersey to a tailgate party or while you're playing a game of pickup football, however, your jersey may get stained. The stain removal process you use depends on the kind of stain you've found on your jersey.

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Football Jersey Fabric

An authentic football jersey is likely made of polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is washable, and the manufacturer may recommend washing it in cold water.

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A football jersey may also have decorative lettering, piping, and other designs or decals in contrasting colors, which can complicate stain removal even if you're cleaning a white sports jersey. Check the care label on your jersey to see any recommendations for laundering the shirt. However, the label won't address specific stain removal tips for your jersey. You need to know what the stain is to figure out how to treat it.

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Removing Food Stains

If your jersey has food stains, such as ketchup, pretreat the stain with a heavy-duty liquid detergent before washing it. If the detergent doesn't get out all of the stain, soak the shirt overnight in a solution of water and bleach that is safe for all fabrics.

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If those methods don't remove the stain, you can try chlorine bleach. However, chlorine bleach will likely remove the color from the jersey. On a white jersey, bleach could affect the contrasting edging or lettering. Test the bleach on a hidden seam to see how the fabric reacts. If the color bleeds during the test, chlorine bleach will likely change the color of the shirt or leave a discolored spot. In that case, you may prefer to live with the stain.

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Don't launder and dry the shirt until you've removed the stain or have tried all the stain removal methods. Washing and drying could set the stain permanently.

Removing Grease Stains

If your football jersey stains are grease-based, such as from mayonnaise or a hamburger, spray the stained area with a laundry stain remover as quickly as possible. Use enough spray to saturate the stain. If the stain persists, rub some heavy-duty laundry detergent on the spot and wash it as soon as possible.

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For really stubborn stains on a polyester jersey, try a color-safe oxygen bleach. If that doesn't work, place the shirt over some paper towels (to protect the work surface) and apply dry cleaning solvent. Allow the solvent to dry and then rinse out the solvent and launder the garment.

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Removing Grass Stains

Getting tackled and falling on the grass is part of football, so you may get grass stains on your jersey. Your best bet for removing a grass stain is to use a commercial prewash stain remover. Apply the stain remover to both sides of the fabric and let it sit for a few minutes. Wash the shirt with heavy-duty laundry detergent and a color-safe bleach.

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