Activewear is probably the section of your closet that is used the most and the one that needs to be replaced the most frequently as well. But maybe the reason your yoga tights, t-shirts and more are wearing out before their time is not that you sweat too much, but because you’re not washing them properly. If you’re willing to replace your activewear frequently just for the comfort of not having to wash it by hand and just being able to throw it in the washing machine, that’s fine. But if you want your clothes to be more sustainable and not burn a hole through your pocket, then you need to give your clothes some TLC (tender loving care).
Read on as we look at the different ways and the different products you should use to keep your activewear in good shape and become a part of a sustainable lifestyle movement.
What Affects Your Activewear?
Workout and sports clothing are usually made of a slightly elastic fabric, which doesn’t bode well in the washing machine or when it needs to be scrubbed clean of grease stains and more. Once your clothes are stretched out, they’re useless, and it’s time to go shopping again. Activewear is more delicate than your other clothing and exposure to the movement of the washing machine, or even frequent use of fabric softener can wear it out.
How to Wash Your Activewear
Whether you’re washing by hand or in the machine, the following steps will guide you on the ideal water temperature, the types and amount of detergent to use, and the right way to dry your clothes after.
- In the Washing Machine
If you and everyone in your family wear workout gear often, it seems slightly ridiculous to wash that giant load by hand every day. Luckily, with the right setting on your washing machine, you can make your job easier. Put your activewear and other delicates into the washing machine and adjust the setting to cold water and the gentlest setting. Preferably, you should also use a detergent designed for delicate clothing. If you can’t find such a detergent, use whichever one you have but in a much smaller quantity than you would for a regular load.
Skip the drying cycle/using the dryer entirely.
Don’t add any fabric softener or similar product since they are likely to leave some remnants on the fabric, which can reduce the elasticity of your clothing and block the fabric from releasing the buildup of sweat, and so on.
- By Hand
Alternatively, you can rinse your activewear by hand using cold water, don’t wring it out, and let it dry in a slightly shaded space, away from direct sunlight. Again, use the same mild detergent and skip the fabric softener or other cleaning chemical products.
General Tips When Washing Activewear
The inner side of the clothes is the one being exposed to all the oil and sweat. Turn your clothes inside out before washing them to keep the exterior intact and to avoid damaging any logos or designs. If you don’t have the option of running a separate washing machine cycle just for your activewear load, you can place your clothes in a soft cloth beg, preferably a mesh one, and then add them to the machine. This will prevent them from getting twisted around with the rest of the clothes and a) maintain their elasticity, b) avoid getting stuck in the buttons or hooks of any other clothes.
Products to Use When Washing Your Activewear
If you’re wearing your activewear to work out, you’ll obviously sweat, and the smell will collect in your clothes. Now, the question is, if you’re not using fabric softener and the detergent is also mild, how do you get the smell out and keep your clothes smelling clean and fresh?
Vinegar & Baking Soda
Considered to be staples in every household, vinegar and baking soda are the solution to nearly every domestic problem you have. You can use the vinegar in place of the fabric softener in the washing machine, and it’ll get the job done. Alternately, you can a small amount of baking soda which will help clean out the smell from your clothes. Again, this can be used as a substitute for fabric softener. You can also leave your activewear to soak in the vinegar for around 15-20 minutes before washing it to get all the odor out.
Note: Do not soak your clothes in the vinegar for too long since this may have an adverse effect on the fabric.
How to Dry Your Activewear
Hang out your clothes immediately after washing (regardless of whether it is by hand or in the machine) and don’t rinse them. The longer they sit twisted up in the washing machine or your bathroom sink, the weaker the elastic fibers will get. If you live in an area where it’s not warm enough for your clothes to dry naturally, you may use the dryer at the lowest setting for the least amount of time. Endnote The most important point for keeping your athletic wear in good shape is to change and wash your clothes almost immediately after you’re done. Since you’re already on board the train to keep your activewear in good shape for longer, sustainability is definitely on your mind.
At Eco Blvd, you can find eco-friendly activewear that will make you look and feel good when you work out or go about your other daily activities. And with the tips mentioned above, you can keep your clothes in good shape without having to invest in new clothing too frequently.