Everyone has a favorite T-shirt that is just uncomfortable to wear or doesn't have the lived-in look you want. Maybe you picked up a memento from your favorite band at a concert or a friend gave you a special gift. You love what the shirt means to you, but not so much how it feels when you wear it. Don't you wish they were all wonderfully soft? After all, a soft T-shirt is the best for so many occasions, from kicking back and enjoying a Netflix binge or hanging out with friends at the local coffee shop.

Never fear! We found a sure-fire recipe on Pinterest that softens even the starchiest shirt - without washing it 20 times or more. The recipe softens your T-shirt and saves time, water and electricity.


  • 1 clean five-gallon bucket with a lid
  • 1 quart warm water
  • 1/2 cup sea salt or table salt
  • 3 tablespoons Tide Plus A Touch of Downy Liquid Laundry Detergent

First, choose your shirt. While any shirt can work, it's best to start with a shirt that is one size too big. Most cotton shirts will shrink during the softening or brining (yes, like a turkey) process.

Pour one quart of warm water into the five-gallon bucket. Add the table or sea salt and stir for about two minutes or until dissolved. Add your T-shirt and swirl it around until it is thoroughly wet. Be sure the air bubbles have all been released so there is nothing between the shirt and the saltwater solution. Soak for three days with the lid on. Stir the solution every day for one minute.

Wash the T-shirt alone - do not put other items in the washing machine at the same time. Use three tablespoons of Tide Plus A Touch of Downy Liquid Laundry Detergent for the brilliant clean you know and love. Tumble dry on the air setting.

And now you've got the most comfortable shirt you've always dreamed of.

Important Note: Be sure to use a lid on your bucket, particularly in homes with pets and children.