How to wash your activewear properly

Recently splurged on some new yoga pants for your daily flows? Or maybe you have splashed out and bought some new running gear? Each time you break a sweat in your favourite workout outfit, you need to thoroughly wash it. You can easily damage your exercise clothes by washing them incorrectly, though. chatted to Deyan Dimitrov, CEO of the UK’s largest on-demand laundry service, Laundryheap, to find out how to wash your activewear properly.

Act fast

Don’t leave your workout gear in the washing basket for days. You need to take action straight away.

Mr Dimitrov said: “The synthetic materials that make up your activewear can hold on to bacteria and odours for some time, so your kit should ideally be washed after every use.

“As tempting as it is, don’t allow your activewear to sit and fester in a laundry hamper.

“This will transfer odours and bacteria to the rest of your laundry, and increase the chances of mildew forming.

“If you can’t wash your kit right away, allow it to thoroughly air dry first.”

Turn them inside out

Don’t just chuck your clothes into the washing machine without a second thought. Turn each item inside out before washing them.

Mr Dimitrov said: “Turning clothes inside out before they’re washed ensures the outer layer isn’t being rubbed against by other items in the washing machine.

“This is especially important for high performance activewear, which tends to have water-repellent coatings that are easily worn down.

“Better yet, opt for a netted laundry bag to keep your activewear away from the rest of your laundry in the machine.

“As a general rule of thumb, washing clothes inside out can drastically increase the shelf life of your wardrobe, so it’d be wise to practice this step when washing any load.”

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Pre-treat your gear

Before washing your kit, you should pre-treat it using this diluted kitchen cupboard essential.

Mr Dimitrov advised: “After a particularly sweaty workout or outdoor sports session, it’s best to pre-treat your activewear to remove any buildup of sweat and grime.

“Prior to washing, soak your garments in a solution of water and half a cup of white vinegar for an hour before washing.

“The vinegar smell will dissipate in the machine.”

Keep it cool

Watch the temperature setting on your washing machine.

It is essential not to wash your workout clothes on a scorching hot wash.

Mr Dimitrov said: “Heat can damage the elasticity of our clothes, so despite how dirty your activewear can get, always wash at the lowest temperature possible.

“Purchasing a trusted and effective detergent will ensure your activewear always comes out the machine as clean as possible – even after washing at 30 degrees.”

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Don’t overdo it

The more the better when it comes to detergent, right? Wrong!

Mr Dimitrov said: “There’s a common misconception that using more detergent will boost the efficiency of the wash cycle, when in fact the opposite is true.

“Using too much detergent will create an excess of soap suds which will trap dirt, bacteria and odours there, instead of lifting it away.

“Instead, always stick to the recommended dosage.”

Ditch fabric softener

Fabric softener and activewear are not compatible.

Mr Dimitrov explained: “Activewear tends to be made from moisture-wicking synthetic materials, which work well to shield off sweat and keep us cool during exercise.

“Fabric softener does not interact well with these materials.

“Fabric softeners work by leaving a waxy coating on our clothes, to make them feel softer.

“When this is left on activewear, it inhibits its ability to ward off moisture, and instead, traps it there.

“To avoid this, skip the fabric softener entirely, or opt for a natural alternative: by pouring half a cup of white vinegar into the drawer of your washing machine during the final rinse cycle.

“You won’t need to worry about the smell as this will dissipate in the machine.”

Don’t tumble dry

Letting your activewear air dry is much safer than tumble drying it.

Mr Dimitrov said: “As mentioned, heat does not interact well with the elasticity in activewear.

“For the same reason, keep your activewear well away from the tumble dryer, and allow them to air dry instead.

“You wouldn’t want to ruin those brand new yoga leggings with such an elementary mistake!”

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