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How to Wash Cycling Clothes

How to Wash Cycling Clothes

Cycling is a fantastic form of exercise—you can get your heart rate up, spend time outdoors, and enjoy the activity with friends. However, in cycling, perhaps even more so than in other sports, apparel is key to comfort. And it’s not cheap, so you need to care for it right to keep it in great shape. Here’s how to wash your cycling clothes and gear!

Quick Wash Guide

Are you reading this post while standing in your sweat-soaked cycling clothes? Use these tips to clean your cycling gear the right way:

  • Be gentle. The rule of thumb for washing delicate cycling clothes is to be gentle. If you can, wash everything by hand. If you prefer to use your machine, make sure to use the gentle cycle and set the water temperature to cold.
  • Brush it off. Some rides, especially if you’re a mountain biker, will leave you covered in dirt and mud. If that’s the case, take a moment to lightly brush off the dirt and debris that may be clinging to your clothes before beginning the wash.
  • Separate your gear. While it may be a bit of a hassle, it is best to wash your cycling clothes separate from your other items. These are delicate garments that may be damaged if you toss them in with rougher materials like jeans, or items that have lots of zippers, snaps, or buttons, like jackets.
  • Use the right detergent. Cycling clothes are made from synthetic, technical fabrics that standard laundry detergents aren’t typically designed to treat. If you’ve noticed your cycling gear tends to hold onto odor even after it goes through the wash, your detergent is likely to blame. To get the best results, you’ll want to use a detergent that is made specifically for synthetic materials, such as WIN Sports Detergent.
  • Don’t use the dryer. Avoid using your dryer after washing cycling gear. Again, it comes down to the delicate nature of the material: The warm environment of a dryer can be rough on these items, and may shorten their lifespan. Consider finding a place to hang them to air dry, instead.

Dealing with the Chamois Pad

Your cycling shorts likely contain a chamois pad, which is meant to add a bit (some might argue a very little bit) of comfort to your ride. If you hand-wash your gear, or even before you toss everything into the washer, scrub the pad with soap to get it as clean as you can.

Also keep in mind that you don’t want to let your shorts stay damp for long after your ride. Bacteria will take that opportunity to run wild in the moist material, making your shorts stink. If you aren’t going to wash your cycling shorts immediately, lay them out or hang them up so the sweat can dry.

Skip Some Cycles

This might sound counter-intuitive, given that this article is about keeping your cycling clothes clean, but try to limit the frequency with which you wash these items. If you go out for a light ride on a cool day and you don’t really work up a sweat, consider skipping the wash and just hang the clothes to dry before wearing them again. Washing your cycling clothes less often should help them last longer, which will help save you money given the hefty price tag on most cycling apparel.

A Critical Mistake

This is a quick and easy step that can make a big difference: zip all pockets before washing. Leaving a pocket unzipped when an item goes into the washing machine might not seem like a big deal, but it can have an ugly outcome. The teeth of the zippers on these items can damage other garments in the wash, or they can catch on something and wind up bent or misshapen, ruining the utility of the pocket. By zipping everything up, you can conceal the teeth and prevent them from causing tears, rips, or holes.

Consider a Mesh Laundry Bag

You may already own a mesh laundry bag for use with undergarments or other delicate items. If not, they are readily available for a modest price. By placing your cycling clothes in this type of bag before they go into the washing machine, you can protect them from getting damaged by other items or the machine itself.

Keep Your Cycling Gear Clean & Odor-Free

To clean your cycling clothes properly after a hard ride, keep a bottle of WIN Sports Detergent in your laundry room. Our formula is specifically designed to treat the synthetic materials used to make most cycling garments. With the power to wipe out the oils that allow bacteria to thrive, WIN Detergent knocks the stink out of your clothes with every wash.

Try WIN Detergent