How To Wash Vintage Polo Shirts

You need to know how to wash vintage polo shirts if you want that preppie indie look. Authentic vintage polo shirts like Polo by Ralph Lauren and Izod Lacoste fetch top dollar, so require special care. To wash and keep your vintage polo's retro polished look, you will need the following items:
  • Stain remover spray for laundry
  • Woolite or other gentle handwash laundry detergent
  • oxygen bleach for colors
  • washing machine
  • fabric softener sheets


  1. Check the pocket. Empty it.
  2. Pre treat any obvious spots and stains on the front of the shirt with a small amount of stain remover spray.
  3. Turn your vintage polo shirt inside out. Lay it out flat.
  4. Measure out 1/4 cup of liquid detergent. Pour half the detergent along the neckline of the collar. This area is at risk for the dreaded "ring-around-the-collar." so you want make sure it gets especially clean. Gently rub the collar against itself if there are any obvious sweat stains.
  5. Pour the other half of the detergent on the under arm area of the sleeves. Rub if there is any visible staining here.
  6. Let the polo shirt sit for 10 minutes while the detergent is loosening up dirt and sweat.
  7. Wash the shirt in the washing machine on the gentle, or hand-wash cycle with cold water. Use half the recommended amount of oxygen bleach. Avoid washing anything that has zippers, velcro, or that is not color fast in the same load.
  8. Lay your shirt flat to dry on a mesh sweater drying rack.
  9. When your shirt is almost dry, put it in the dryer with a softener sheet on the air dry setting for about 15 minutes. Avoid drying your vintage polo with any heat whatsoever.
  10. When your shirt is dry, turn it right side out.
Enjoy looking retro fantastic in your 1970's vintage polo shirt. Take good care of it, and you'll still be wearing it for another thirty-five years.
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