How to wash a soccer jersey

Blue soccer jerseys hanging on the post of a soccer goal with dirt on them.
(Image credit: Getty)

Sports kits are potentially some of the dirtiest and smelliest items in your laundry basket, and if you’re an avid player, you’ll definitely want to know how to wash a soccer jersey. 

Washing activewear can be tricky to get right. The material that soccer jerseys and other gym kits are made out of is designed to ward off foul smells and stop you from sweating, so you don’t want to ruin this in one of the best washing machines. Whether your soccer jersey is maintaining an unpleasant odor or it’s coated in mud that’s hard to remove, it’s important to know exactly how to wash it so that you’re not ruining the material. After all, soccer jerseys (especially if they’re branded) can be expensive to replace. 

We’re committed to bringing you the best cleaning advice, so after you master how to wash a soccer jersey, you can jump right into learning about how to wash white shoes in the washing machine, so your whole kit looks brand new. 

How often should you wash a soccer jersey?

Unlike how often you should wash your bed sheets, you should be washing a soccer jersey after every use. A lot of running around occurs when you’re out on the field, so it’s only natural that it can become sweaty and smelly fast. This might seem like a lot of washing to keep up with, and frequent cycles can also have a negative impact on the quality of your clothes, so it’s important to always wash a sports kit on a specific sports setting if your machine has it.  

How to wash a soccer jersey

Jennifer Sharpe
Jennifer Sharpe

Jennifer Sharpe is the Chief Fragrance Officer at Fabulosa where she focusses on creating the best smelling cleaning products. Fabulosa is the UK's number one privately-owned cleaning brand and has products in home fragrance, shoe and trainer care, laundry care, surface care, garden care, and even car care. 

Now that we've covered how often you should wash a soccer jersey, it's time to get into the details of exactly how to wash it. The good news is it will be similar to other items in your laundry basket. You just need to exercise a little bit more caution. We've rounded up some step-by-step advice to make it even easier to learn how to wash a soccer jersey.

1. Rinse straight away 

As soon as you return home after a soccer game, take your jersey off and give it an initial rinse in the sink. This will loosen any mud and dirt on the surface and prevent it from creating a lasting stain. 

2. Pre-soak 

The easiest way to achieve a deep clean is with the right prep. Pre-soak the soccer jersey in a sink or bucket with water that is just warm to the touch. Then, add in some of the best laundry detergent and one cup of baking soda. If you have time to soak overnight, then this will be best, but a few hours will suffice if you're in a rush. 

3. Wash on a cold cycle 

Now that you've completed all of the necessary initial work, it's time to pop it in the washer. Most modern machines will have a sportswear cycle, but if not, concentrate on a cold water wash. This will prevent any damage to the material and prevent it from shrinking. 

4. Leave to air dry

When the cycle is complete, remove it from the washer and hang up to air dry. Most soccer jerseys are designed not to absorb excess water, so they should dry relatively quickly. 

Jennifer Sharpe, Chief Fragrance Officer at Fabulosa, has also offered some expert advice on banishing any tough stains. She recommends using their white vinegar spray and leaving it to soak before you attempt your usual cleaning methods. This is especially great for grass stains and dirty puddle water that has left a mark as it gives any stains a better chance of being dislodged in the washer. 

Follow these tips, and hopefully, you'll give your soccer jersey a head start in becoming squeaky clean. 

"If you're looking for an easy way to remove stubborn stains from muddy soccer kits, all you need to do is spray the stained areas with your Fabulosa white vinegar spray and leave the product to soak in whilst you fill a bowl with cold water. 

"Then, add a generous squirt of Fabulosa washing up liquid to the bowl, and leave the kit to soak again so the stains can loosen further.

"Finally, pop the kit in the wash with the rest of your everyday items (no need for a hot cycle!) to reveal a spotless, stunningly scented soccer kit!"

Holly Cockburn
Former Features Editor

Holly is the former Features Editor at Top Ten Reviews where she focused on creating informative, how-to advice. She has a degree in English Literature and previously worked as a copywriter at Howdens, specializing in kitchens and trend-led interiors. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her exploring the best London bars and brunch spots, or planning the next budget-friendly city break. 

With contributions from