Jul 092012

I was browsing Pinterest this morning while having my coffee, which is now my daily routine, and I found a great tutorial I wanted to share. I hate scratchy t-shirts. In fact, I haven’t bought a “new” t-shirt in a long time, because I hate the feel of them so much. If you’re like me.. Ocatane has given us the solution, here it is:


Who knew one cup of salt, a quart of water and time could transform a brand new t-shirt and make it buttery soft? I certainly didn’t, but I am so happy I know now! I’m thinking I can fit 10 t-shirts in a five gallon bucket of the brine solution. I guess I have an excuse to go shopping today :)

  19 Responses to “Make New T-Shirts Feel Vintage Soft”

  1. Here’s a novel idea – why not just buy an actual vintage t-shirt and stop wasting water, products and time? :)

    • :) Wow. Jimmyj you sure missed the mark this time. A pause to read the post, or look around my site would have let you know I am your target market. No wonder 95% of women say advertisers don’t understand them. Its all about the approach.

    • Yes, Jimmy. Sometimes you like a print on a t-shirt but now the fabric or the way it feels. This solves that problem and I hardly think 1 quart of water will deplete the earth’s resources.

      • Patricia,
        I decided to pay no attention to Jimmy, since he’s a salesman with misguided marketing techniques. I reduce, reuse and remake on a consistent basis and have most of my life. If he couldn’t tell that by coming here, he has bigger issues. Thanks for stopping by and weighing in!

  2. I’m actually trying this idea as well!!! I’m SO excited.
    As per Jimmy. Throughout the years I’ve collected MANY t-shirts, mostly band ones that are always TOO CRUNCHY. I’ve never even worn them. Therefore this is AWESOME! :)

    • Laura,
      I have quite a collection as well. I’d like to wear them at least once before they meet their destiny as a quilt!

      • LOVE that word “crunchy”. it fits the situation perfect. pun intended. long live the comfy t-shirts! a great idea here.! thanks!

  3. Does this dull the color at all?

    • Delana,
      It didn’t discolor my t-shirts, but it doesn’t make them as soft as I had hoped. It does soften the graphic on band t-shirts so that they mold to the body better. I was glad for that because I had a nice collection, that were stiffer than boards.

      I know many people are using different versions of this technique, but I am not willing to throw chemicals on my clothes. I can wear the t-shirts now when I couldn’t stand them before so its a huge WIN for me.

  4. Do you have to do this every time you wash it? Or just once?

  5. SAVVY- I’m currently soaking a couple of my graphic tees now! .. I’m on day 1 and a half lol.. I can’t stand stiff tee shirts either and I really like these ones I got so I hope it will soften a little bit at least! I will let ya know how they turn out!

    • Jordann,
      I definitely got wearable shirts after the soak. Before that I was thinking about turning those tees into a Twilight inspired blanket. lol I have learned not to allow the shirts to completely dry in the dryer. I launder them to about halfway dry and hang them up after that. Let me know how it goes!

  6. I tried it… Didn’t work for me, I followed the directions exactly too. Logically, it makes sense since your sweat makes old t-shirts soft. This is how I found your blog, googling for another way that might work. Let me know if anyone else had success.

    • Lannie,
      This method seems to be hit or miss for people. I wonder if it has to do with the graphics on the t’s as well as the blend of the fabrics?

    • Did you use fake salt? Like table-salt or lo-sodium etc? Sodium Chloride should work but Polyester won’t respond to brining, so it works best on a 100% cotton tshirt. Even then, some cotton tshirts will be pre-brined during manufacture.

  7. Oooh i had success actually, and tried it with a variety of shirts which were 100% cotton – not sure if this works too well on polyester or blends. Anyhowwwww my success was probably due to the fact that I dumped in about a cup of baking soda and totally forgot about the bucket for a good 5 days until I tripped on it. hahaha I say salt + baking soda would be a better solution than just the salt since baking soda is an effective water softener.

    • Dani,
      I will definitely try the baking soda trick next time! I’ve left some of my batches in too long also. Sometimes I just don’t have time to deal with it, and well they don’t seem any worse for the wear :) Thanks for stopping by!

  8. If you do the backing soda and salt water method will it discolor your clothing at all?

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