Don’t dry ’em

Background: our first batch of 60 white “hoop” jerseys had navy numbers. The 2nd batch of around 220 jerseys had orange numbers. It was Gazelle’s mistake. After considering reordering, and attempting to remove the orange numbers, we decided to leave the orange numbers and put navy numbers on top.

Peeling numbers

We first heard about a possible issue with the navy-over-orange numbers at the friendlies on Saturday. One player who had already washed her jersey had noticed that the navy was peeling off a bit. On the Monday following, the mother of another player sent me this photo of the numbers peeling off:

Navy number peeling off of orange number
Well, that’s not supposed to happen!

I asked that mom what laundry process she followed. The answer:
Tide liquid. Gentle cycle. Cold water. Regular dryer.  Mom #2 had a similar answer: Arm & Hammer detergent, reg cycle, reg dryer.


You may find the soccer numbering system confusing, but it’s got nothing on laundry symbols! Here’s the tag from our NB jerseys with the explanations in plain English:

laundry tag on Cincy SC NB jerseys
Side note: good thing we didn’t follow the “cut here” symbol!

The symbols

  • Wash at or below 40 degrees Celsius (104 F)
  • Do not bleach
  • Do not tumble dry
  • Iron at low temp
  • Do not dry clean
  • Further instructions: wash inside out with like colors, don’t soak, iron on reverse

Our test

We washed two jerseys with navy-over-orange numbers with Tide, on warm, normal cycle. After 49 minutes in the washer, the numbers were fine. After 30 minutes on a hanger, the shirts were dry and the numbers were intact.


  • Consider washing inside out
  • Keep ’em out of the dryer
  • Put on a hanger and air dry for about 30 minutes
Posted in Club, Uniforms & Gear
5 comments on “Don’t dry ’em
  1. Rick jamie says:

    Jerseys that can be put in the dryer are more convenient… sounds like a Gazell problem not a dryer problem… my 2 cents.

  2. Brett says:

    I agree that tumble-drying jerseys doesn’t seem to be a problem normally. However, it’s the manufacturer (New Balance) tag that says “do not tumble dry.”

    That’s probably true of a lot of clothes that most people choose to put in the dryer anyway. 🙂

  3. TJ Fariello says:

    These shirts are typically almost dry after the spin cycle and dry very quickly on a hangar or a line. I never dry any the jerseys or any of the dry fit style shirts I own. Nike, North Face etc… Nike says low heat because they know their cheap little logos peel off. Those swooshes are cheap. Good thing we have NB. Number over number has probably even less hold.

  4. Some says:

    Lilly’s second number is 50% peeled off, looks bad….

  5. Brett says:

    I might be able to swap out that jersey. What was your laundering process?

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