GOOD TO KNOW
HOW TO WASH ACTIVEWEAR AND CARE FOR THEM PROPERLY
Activewear, leggings and biker shorts are made for sport so they must be indestructible right? Unfortunately not. This is a very common misconception that leads to many of us ruining our activewear without even realizing it.
While yes, your activewear are made to perform during exercise (sweat-wicking, compression, etc.), the technical fabrics are actually quite delicate and need to be carefully washed and used if you want them to last. Many of us care for our activewear in the same way we care for our cashmere and wool sweaters!
Here are 10 things to keep in mind when you wash and care for your activewear.
WASH YOUR ACTIVEWEAR IN COLD OR COOL WATER
You’ve probably heard that clothes don’t get clean in cold water, well its time to be told that this is not true. Most activewear is often infused with elastane/spandex/lycra – the expensive stuff that makes your leggings stretchy and comfy.
Now, elastane and heat are not the best of friends. In fact, elastane gets severely damaged when exposed to heat resulting in a loss of elasticity, saggy fabric, and worst of all, pilling.
It’s best practice to cold wash (we usually wash in 20 or 30 degrees celsius) your activewear with a gentle wash setting in your machine or hand wash the old school way (as you would with your cashmere pieces). Also, try to find a washing detergent that works best in cold water - most modern detergents work well.
WASH YOUR ACTIVEWEAR INSIDE OUT
Washing your leggings inside out is crucial for two reasons.
First, it ensures that your leggings’ exterior isn’t exposed to unnecessary abrasion in the wash so they hold their look longer. This is crucial if you want to avoid fabric piling on your leggings!
Second, the inside of your leggings gets exposed to the most sweat and yuck stuff. Turning them inside out ensures you keep them fresh.
WASH YOUR ACTIVEWEAR SEPERATELY (AWAY FROM HIGH LINT ITEMS AND DIFFERENT FABRICS)
It’s tempting to throw all your same color clothes in the same wash. I mean it’s all black, its all good right?
Washing your spandex infused activewear together with rough fabrics such as denim or towels is a sure way to ruin your tights and welcome pilling. The softness of leggings can easily be ruined by rough fabrics, zips, and buttons.
Instead, you should wash your same colored activewear together. Some of us even wash our leggings in a delicates bag.
AVOID THE TUMBLE DRYER
Never ever tumble dry your tights, leggings or elastane infused activewear. The dryer is arguably the worst thing you can ever do to destroy your activewear as the heat will break down the fabric.
We recommend that you hang dry your activewear at room temperature on a drying rack.
AVOID EXPOSURE TO HEAT
High heat and activewear do not mix well as it ruins the structural properties of the fabric. Please avoid if you want to prolong the life of your activewear.
BE CAREFUL OF FRICTION AND ROUGH SURFACES
Excessive friction on rough gym floors, running tracks, concrete, wood, backpacks etc. is a sure way to say goodbye to your activewear and encourage pilling or worse, rips. This is also why you need to avoid velcro which will pull your leggings to bits, so keep velcro far away from your leggings and biker shorts.
So when it’s time to do a core workout at the gym or box, we recommend that you use a mat to avoid unnecessary friction. Doing situps or hip raises on the gym floor is like rubbing your fabric on sand paper.
EASY ON THE DETERGENT
Synthetic materials that make leggings and activewear are pretty sensitive. Using heavy detergents, and too much of it can quickly break down the fabric and encourage piling. Try to use more sensitive detergent and you don’t need too much of it!
Softener should be avoided as it adds a wax-like layer to your activewear. This waxy layer of stuff reduces your activewear’s ability to wick moisture and get clean. Worst of all, the wax-like layer produced by the softener attracts bacteria growth, which can cause unpleasant smells.
AIR-DRY YOUR SWEATY ACTIVEWEAR ASAP
We all know what happens when you leave dirty dishes in the dishwasher for too long…it stinks! Leaving your leggings in sweat, oils, salt is saying hello to bacteria growth and nasty smells. Always air dry your used activewear ASAP.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT FABRICS FOR YOUR ACTIVITY
We often find people ruining their activewear from this overarching mistake. Most fabrics are designed for certain activities. For example, super soft and brushed/peached fabrics feel amazing but are usually less resistant to friction compared to their non-brushed counterparts.
Wearing soft peached yoga leggings during ab workouts at CrossFit on the floor is not recommended.