How to clean and care for your activewear
Whether working out at the gym, jogging on the beach, or finding inner peace with a yoga session, you probably rely on activewear to keep you cool and comfortable.
Activewear is functional clothing that wicks moisture away from your body and is easily stretched to accommodate a wide range of movement. To achieve this, it’s usually constructed from new-generation synthetic fabric that needs to be laundered in a specific way to retain its shape, properties, and appearance.
High-quality activewear can be expensive, so to ensure yours lasts a long time, here are our tips for keeping it clean and in top condition.
Air it out
While your first instinct is probably to throw your smelly gym gear straight into the wash, letting it air for a bit before you wash will make removing smells easy and stop them from transferring to other items. Never leave damp activewear screwed up in your gym bag – that’s the perfect breeding ground for mildew. Hang it up to dry while you’re waiting to launder it.
How to Wash Activewear - Wash it separately
The synthetic fibres in most activewear fabrics snag easily, so avoid washing your exercise gear with items that have buttons, zips, or rivets. Also, steer clear of washing activewear in the same load as cotton or fluffy fabrics that produce lint, which will stick. Ideally, turn it inside out and wash it in protective laundry bags – even better if they are the kind that keeps microplastics from getting into your grey water.
Wash it in cold water.
It’s tempting to wash smelly, sweaty activewear in hot water to get rid of odours, oils, and bacteria, but the heat will damage the fibres, reducing the lifespan of your clothing. To shift stubborn smells and stains, pre-soak items in a 1:4 mix of distilled white vinegar and cold water. Adding baking soda or laundry sanitiser to the rinse cycle can also help eliminate odours. Be sure to use a gentle cold water cycle and don’t overdo the detergent – too much will create a soap build-up which attracts dirt.
Avoid fabric softener
It might smell nice, but fabric softener works by coating fibres, which locks in bad smells and ruins the stretch in your exercise gear.
Try not to use the tumble dryer for your activewear; if you must, set it as cool as possible. As we’ve already mentioned, heat is bad for the lifespan of synthetic fabrics. Tumble drying can also cause shrinkage, increase static cling, and lock in any odours that didn’t come out in the wash. Ideally, you should line dry in the shade, as direct sun can degrade the fibres and colours.
Store it folded
Because of the high elastane content, activewear can stretch out of shape if you store it on a hanger. Synthetic fabrics aren’t as likely as natural fibres to develop creases when folded, so they’re easy to store in drawers.
Need a new clothesline or some TLC for your existing line?
If you’re looking for a new line to dry your activewear in the shade, check out our range of extendable clotheslines that are perfect for undercover drying outside or inside.
We ship across the country and if you are in Auckland or Christchurch we can arrange installation for you to at an affordable price. Give us a call to find out more.