How to Wash an Authentic NFL Jersey
You have gotten your hands on an NFL jersey. Not a kids' version, not a replica, but the real thing. You couldn't be prouder and of course you wear it every Sunday when your team plays a game. You wear it all day and at the end of the day you may have sweated as much as your favorite players. You need to clean your prized jersey and you want it to come out in as good a shape as you got it.
Hand wash your jersey. It is recommended by NFL equipment managers to use a non-abrasive, color-fast detergent to wash jerseys. Woolite matches this description. Run cool water in a large sink, pour one cap of Woolite into the running water and suds will appear. Put the jersey in and wash immediately.
Rinse the jersey thoroughly by emptying the sink and getting rid of the suds. Then put the jersey in running cold water and get all of the detergent out of it. Check your jersey once the soap is out and it is rinsed; it should be clean and it should have a very pleasant and fresh smell.
Wash the jersey again in the color-fast detergent if all the stains have not come out. A second washing will remove all stains except anything permanent. It will take out blood. After washing it a second time, rinse thoroughly.
Line dry your NFL jersey. The worse mistake you can make is to put it in the dryer. Putting it in the dryer will damage the numbers, letters and symbols on the uniform. Let it line dry for about 24 hours in a non-humid area.
Take your jersey to the dry cleaner if you are not adept at hand-washing it. The dry cleaner uses chemicals and not heat drying, so your jersey will be safe.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.