Washing T-shirts with salt doesn’t make them vintage

Washing T-shirts with salt doesn’t make them vintage

The best type of clothes are the kind that you feel great in, and super soft vintagey T-shirts will always be my favorite. It’s those T-shirts that never lose their shape, fit perfectly and come out of the wash feeling super soft and comfy.

I, like so many other Badgers, have an obscene amount of Badgers apparel. I have more Badgers T-shirts than I can fit in my closet so some of them live in plastic drawers in the back of my closet. I’ve always thought that I would wear more of my basically-unworn Badgers T-shirts if they were soft and comfy instead of super new, starchy and stiff. And that’s why the pin on Pinterest promising the vintage T-shirt feel with a couple washes was appealing.

The pin says to dump 1/4 cup of sodium carbonate washing soda and 2 cups of salt into the washing machine with the T-shirts you want to age (or towels if you only want to age one shirt). Then you add your regular detergent and run the washing machine on the highest temperature. After it’s done you dry the shirt on the highest heat, and then repeat the process three to five times.

The post says to use a smaller batch of the salt and washing soda mixture for the rest of the washes, but after the first wash didn’t do anything to change the feel of the eight shirts I was trying to age I decided to continue using the same amounts.

After three washes with the full amounts and three high-heat drying sessions my shirts did shrink a decent amount (the post warned about that), but they are definitely not soft like a vintage T-shirt. They might be ever so slightly softer than before, but not to the point where it was worth the effort of the three washes.

The post also says to use sandpaper to scrape off parts of the logo or design. I tried it on one of the shirts and the sandpaper definitely does what it says it’s supposed to. After just a couple seconds of scraping, the logo was noticeably worn down and less stiff.

Pinterest do or don’t? The post shows a picture of a perfectly vintage Adidas shirt so that’s what I was expecting. But after three full washes and drying sessions the shirts I was trying to age kept coming out just as stiff and new-feeling as before. The sandpaper scraping definitely ages the logo, but the washing mixture doesn’t do anything to age the T-shirts. I guess I’ll just have to wear a Badgers shirt every day to start aging them the slow way!