How Do I Get a Stain Off of the Number on My Jersey?


Sports jerseys are made of polyester with heat-pressed decals on them, displaying numbers, team logos and athlete's names. Although the polyester jersey portion of the garment is simple to clean, removing stains from the number decals requires special care. These heat-sensitive decals are prone to crack, melt or shrink when not washed properly, resulting in a jersey that's no longer presentable. Use of proper cleaning techniques and supplies successfully removes stains from sports jersey numbers without damaging the decals.

Things You'll Need

  • Prewash stain remover
  • Clean cloth
  • Stain erasing sponge
  • Delicate wash laundry detergent
  • Drying rack
  • Dampen the stained number area on the jersey with cool water. Cover the site of the stain with prewash stain remover. Use a stain remover that's easily applied without rubbing, such as a a gel or liquid stain remover.

  • Rub the stain remover gently into the stained number before allowing it to sit for 10 minutes.

  • Rinse the prewash stain remover off with cool water. Pat the number decal dry with a clean cloth.

  • Moisten a stain erasing sponge with water and then squeeze out excess moisture. Rub any remaining stain on the jersey's number with the sponge until removed. Use a light touch to avoid damaging the decal.

  • Hand or machine wash the sports jersey in warm water with a delicate wash laundry detergent. Hang the jersey to dry on a drying rack to preserve the condition of the decal, as well as the jersey material.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a soft toothbrush to gently rub prewash stain remover or liquid laundry detergent into the stained area.
  • Avoid sources of heat, such as the dryer or clothing iron, when caring for sports jerseys. Both the decal and polyester fabric will be permanently damaged by heat.


  • Photo Credit Darrin Klimek/Digital Vision/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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