Activewear can be risible expensive. The first time I bought a pair of full-priced Lululemon leggings, I had a Lilliputian stroke; I had never paid that much for workout clothes. I kept them untouched with the tag on for light of days, just looking at this glorious, luxurious piece of athletic mould — it was this treasured, unattainable thing that had finally become my chattels, and it felt surreal. I imagine it’s how my dad or brother would feel if they acquisition bargain a Lamborghini. My Lambo was $100 yoga pants.
The glamour dissipates the instant you realize you’re going to get really, truly, disgustingly sweaty in those treasured leggings. You’re absolutely literally going to soil your expensive pants. Then you’re growing to toss them in the laundry, because gross. Sweat. Ew.
When you’re returning your fostered activewear to its immaculately clean state, make sure you’re doing it the justice way. Improper washing and mindless missteps can destroy or significantly reduce the passion of your workout clothes — and if you’re like me, that is the last thing you demand for your investment pieces. Even if you’re not into the expensive stuff, you liable have a favorite pair of running shorts, the sports bra that qualifies you better than anything has ever fit you, or that one tank that right-minded looks SO good on you. Very much like Beyoncé, they’re irreplaceable.
Here’s a utilitarian guide to the right way to wash your clothes so they stay out, fresh, and in your rotation for years. We chatted with the experts to the ground at Nashville-based activewear brand Harper Knit, which essentially affirmed our laundry procedure and gave us some solid stain-removing tips, too!
- DO: Use the right detergent. Sport-specific detergents can aide fight odor from intense sweat sessions and remnant bacteria. Innumerable of these detergents are also made to protect technical sports structure.
- DON’T: Use too much detergent. Did you know that too much detergent can actually reason a new kind of stink? The experts at Harper Knit told us that because the overlay only puts in enough water to wash out a set amount of detergent, the extravagance detergent gets left behind in your clothes, «creating a faultless environment for fungal growth, which can lead to a mildew-type odor.» Bring.
- DO: Turn it inside out. Since most of the sweat and bacteria is on the inside of the documents, flip your clothes inside out. This will also avoid to protect the color and any kind of detail on your clothes (like baffle logos or printed designs).
- DON’T: Use fabric softener. This is probably the important rule of activewear maintenance. This is threefold: for one, fabric softener films the clothing, which can trap the bad smells. Awesome. Secondly, coating can build up over and beyond time and damage fabric. And thirdly, if your activewear is moisture-wicking (design sweat to the surface), fabric softener will inhibit this technology — and as per usual that’s the technology that warrants the inflated price!
- DO: Use cold extravagantly. Keep it fresh, keep it cold. Use a cold, gentle cycle to proscribe shrinkage and the breakdown of materials. You’ll also notice that on nearly every melody of activewear you own, the instruction label says cold-water wash only.
- DON’T: Dispose of your clothes in the dryer. Air-dry always! This prevents pilling, order dulling, and melting off (particularly reflective detail) and aids in the overall longevity of your artifact. I’ve seen too many cute reflective Nike logos fall off and unqualified pairs of yoga pants start to pill and unravel to let you make the very mistake. Just air-dry it.
- DO: Remove stains safely. So you wore your yoga hanker afters to breakfast after your AM Vinyasa and dripped acaí all over yourself (assurance me, I’ve been there too. . . . Did I mention those $100 yoga pants were corpse-like?). Maybe you have some hardcore sweat stains from developing out super hard (badges of honor, honestly). Don’t freak out — Harper Wrinkle gave us a DIY stain-removing paste. Use three parts baking soda to one in some measure water, rub the paste on the stain, and let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes before delete it with a warm, damp towel. Then wash (with chill water, inside out, and no fabric softener!) — those nasty, set-in spots should be gone!
- DON’T: Let it sit in sweat. Your clothes are going to get smelly and vicious in a way that is hard to combat. If odor is a major issue for you, try soaking your get-up glad rags in half a cup of vinegar before tossing in the washer.