There’s just something so comforting about putting on a soft t-shirt in the morning. It sets an excellent tone for the day and gives your confidence a boost!

A rough and itchy tee, though, can irritate not just your skin but nerves too, especially if it’s your favourite piece that lost its softness over time.

A new tee can also be itchy and stiff, so it can be a real bummer to realise that the new purchase is just not that great.

Whatever the case, while annoying, the stiff t-shirt issue can be remedied with some simple techniques.

Here are 3 simple ways to make a t-shirt softer.

Why is my t-shirt stiff and itchy? 

Let’s pretend to be Bill Nye, the Science guy, for a moment and answer this fashion’s burning question. Why do some tees get stiff and itchy after a while?

The simple answer is – it’s the quality of the fabric. While it may seem that all cotton tees are the same at first sight, it’s actually not the case (hence the difference in t-shirt prices).

To save costs and increase profits, some cotton and t-shirt manufacturers will cut corners. They do it by skipping certain steps of the fabric treatment, using cheaper dyes that cause the fabric to stiffen or adding lower quality synthetic fabrics into the blend.

All this results in a fabric that’s not as soft, to begin with, less breathable and more susceptible to wear and tear.

How to soften a t-shirt 

Softening a t-shirt is actually not that difficult or daunting as it might appear at first. And you need only the basic ingredients.

This process will not only make the t-shirt softer and more pleasant to wear (yes, even those band t-shirts your cousin gave you!), it will also protect your skin from harmful chemicals that are often used to dye cotton.

Here are 3 simple ways to make a t-shirt softer. Whichever of these techniques you choose, you’ll enjoy great results in no time!

#1 Salt solution

According to eHow, this softening method involves making a solution of one part salt to eight parts water and soaking the shirt in the solution for three days, after which you rinse the shirt and machine wash it with a little gentle detergent.

If you want results quicker, you can speed the process up by heating the water. Fill a pot with water, mix in a cup of salt, get it to a boil and add your stiff tees. Lower the heat and allow the tees to simmer for up to an hour. Drain and wash your t-shirts regularly after. Air dry and wear with pleasure!

#2 Vinegar solution

Vinegar is like a natural fabric softener, so making a vinegar solution is one of the most popular ways to soften itchy tees. Just remember to use clear vinegar and not wine or apple one (those will leave stains).

You can either use vinegar instead of fabric softener in your washing machine together with detergent (add a few cups), or you can make a solution of cold water and a couple of spoons of vinegar and soak your tees in it.

Rinse your clothes out to get rid of the vinegar smell and air dry them.

#3 Use a pumice stone

If you’re not into salt or vinegar solutions, you can always use the old-school way of softening a t-shirt with a pumice stone. Yes, it’s the stone you get at your local drugstore to soften your heels!

Simply rub your t-shirt with a pumice stone all over, then soak it in a mixture of water and regular fabric softener overnight and wash it the next day. It takes minimum effort, will make your t-shirts soft and even give them that vintage look!

Find out more softening tips here in this guide from Fresh Clean Tees:

Incredible Planet Staff

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