Bike clothes & mixing your laundry

Ron the Spinengineer ponders the question, “Does everyone mix their cycling clothes with the rest of their laundry?”

Cleaning instructions

How about it, athletes? Do you launder your disgusting, sweat infused workout wear with all of your normal laundry? Or do you segregate and wash them on their own?

Do you wash your post-workout cycling clothes with the other laundry?

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24 Comments

  • April 12, 2010 - 7:51 am | Permalink

    You are missing a choice – my “bike clothes” are the same as my “other laundry”. So of course it is all washed together

  • mrobbert
    April 12, 2010 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    Its not just the stink, but the difference in fabrics. I never use fabric softeners with hi tech athletic wear.

  • Len
    April 12, 2010 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    My “bike clothes” are regular clothes. I don't race or pretend to. I just ride to work, store, pub, etc.

  • Charles Barilleaux
    April 12, 2010 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    We separate out “workout clothes” (my bike kit, my wife's dance kit, swimsuits, etc.) into it's own wash, referred to as a “lycra load”, if only for the alliteration.

    It's less about the stink, though. Most of this stuff–coolmax and lycra blends and what-not–are tagged as “don't wash with fabric softener.” The lycra load was created for those things, but other things have been known to make their way in (if there is something we need clean and the lycra load is the one we can best justify doing…).

  • kdt
    April 12, 2010 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    My bike clothes ARE my laundry! Whatever I'm wearing = Bike clothes.

  • April 12, 2010 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    In my case I wash all technical clothing together. I care more about my bike clothes than my regular street wear and treat them better and with more care. Smaller loads, low impact washing, special detergents.

  • April 12, 2010 - 9:16 am | Permalink

    They wash together, but don't go into the dryer. They have their own little drying rack.

  • April 12, 2010 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    In addition to the technical fabrics, I have a lot of wool bike stuff… so it all goes in a special load, super-gentle cycle (my machine actually has a “sport” cycle) with gentle cleansers — either Woolite or Sportwash. The bike clothes seem to last longer with this treatment.

  • April 12, 2010 - 9:55 am | Permalink

    “Lycra load” – I like that.

  • April 12, 2010 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    A “Sport” cycle? Curious about that.

  • April 12, 2010 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    That's generally what I do. As it gets warmer if the bike clothes are especially stinky I might was separately.

  • April 12, 2010 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I throw 'em in with the regular wash…I don't have any stink issues to worry about, and I don't use fabric softener. The only concession I make for my lycra-warrior ware is to put them in one of those mesh “delicates” bags. This keeps all that high-tech fabric from getting chewed up by zippers and velcro strips on the rest of our clothes.

  • April 12, 2010 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

    You don't sweat even with normal clothes in south Florida?

  • April 12, 2010 - 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I wash everything together in cold water with Woolite and hang-dry everything not cotton, which keeps my athletic socks looking their greyest but who looks at my socks anyway.

  • Brian
    April 12, 2010 - 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I wash my high-tech synthetic fabrics by themselves, partly to avoid fabric softeners, but mostly so that when necessary I can soak them in a vinegar solution for a while, which does a decent job at killing the stink (at least temporarily).

  • April 12, 2010 - 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Me too. I'm not an athlete, either, just a commuter.

  • April 12, 2010 - 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Heh, my once white socks are gray as well.

  • April 12, 2010 - 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I sometimes pre-soak in vinegar solution too.

  • April 12, 2010 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Yes, of course I sweat…come summertime, I get sweaty by the end of the block. Nothing ever stinks, though. I'm like the main character in Suskind's “Perfume”…utterly devoid of bodily odors.

    Regular clothes for the commute, warrior-ware for the really fun athleticky stuff.

  • medengineer
    April 12, 2010 - 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Soak your plastic ware in 70/30 Isopropyl alcohol. The osmotic pressure difference kills the bacteria. (100% won't do it.) Then soap and water to remove the polysaccharide biofilm.

    Check to see if the clothes dye is safe in the alcohol first.

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  • April 16, 2010 - 1:59 pm | Permalink

    It all goes in together but most of my synthetic riding clothes air dry. I used to be a plain clothes mountain biker but have come around to believing in my riding gear. Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age?

  • August 17, 2010 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    I wouldn't wash them with my regular laundry. They need extra stinky care!

  • September 23, 2012 - 3:43 am | Permalink

    I don’t think it makes a difference, or maybe it does. Who knows!

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