Keeping (k)it clean!!
Updated: Dec 9, 2021
If you are like us, then you love your kit! But how do you care for it to ensure it stays in tip-top shape?
Yes, that’s right we’re talking dirty in this week’s VitxCycle blog and looking into the world of cycle kit laundry!!!!
So you’ve been out on a long ride, you’re tired (but feeling great) and all you want to do is take a hot shower, have a sit down and refuel. You normally chuck your sweaty kit in the laundry basket and it stays there, damp, sometimes for days, certainly long enough for microbial growth and odours to develop!!!
That doesn’t sound nice does it? What should we be doing instead?
Here are some tips, which will hopefully help your kit doing its thing for longer….
Dry your kit first!!! Yes, dry your kit by hanging it up, if you’re not planning to wash your kit straight away. Human sweat contains ammonia and salts that can damage the internal fibres if left to fester in the laundry basket. Drying will crystallise the salts and help prevent any damage.
Keep it separate. Wash your cycling kit separately from the rest of your laundry, especially from garments made from natural fibres. They don’t mix well in your washing machine and can damage your kit. Not to mention it reduces the risk of transferring smells from cycle kit to our everyday clothes!!!
Wash it inside out. Washing your kit inside out protects the colours and your detergent will penetrate the fibres and chamois more effectively. Also do up all the zips to avoid snagging and do not wash with velcro straps or similar abrasive material as they can catch on LYCRA and damage it.
Always read the care label. All good kit manufactures will provide clear care instructions for their garments, so follow them! Especially the maximum temperature recommendation.
Use the right washing machine programme. If your washing machine doesn’t have a specific sportswear setting, use a short programme, cooler water (30ºC max), avoid fast spinning and use the extra rinse to make sure all detergent is flushed out. Your kit will thank you for it.
Use a sports specific detergent, (we like Nikwax). These products are more effective in combating stains and odours. They also contain an antibacterial and antifungal formula (handy for kit that has been left unwashed for too long!). And they’ll work better at low temperatures.
Don’t use fabric softener. Cycling kit doesn’t need it, and it will clog up the fibres and the prevent sweat wicking properties of your kit.
Don’t use the tumble dryer. The high temperatures used by tumble dryers will damage your kit. Just don’t! It’s far better to hang your kit and air dry it.
Don’t iron. Why would you even think of doing this?!? It doesn’t need it and the heat will damage your kit. Just don’t do it!
We hope our tips help your kit last longer so that it can keep doing its job of looking after you.