How to Care for and Wash Your Leggings + Other Activewear
Quick Guide to Keeping Your Leggings + Other Activewear Pristine
Most activewear is made of moisture wicking material that is meant to keep you dry after a sweaty workout. Your gear is likely to be damp after a workout or from all day use. Damp fabric can create an environment for mildew and mold to grow. To avoid this, consider following these tips on how to care for and wash your leggings and other activewear.
#1 Wash ASAP
After a sweaty workout, consider hanging your leggings up to dry before transporting them into your hamper. Throwing wet clothing into your hamper can create a stink that may be hard to remove from your activewear. The sooner you wash your gear, the better!
How often you should wash your gear? The best practice is after each wear. If your gear gets super sweaty, be sure to wash it immediately. You don’t want bacteria to grow in your clothing. If you wear your leggings around the house, then you can wait until the 3rd wear to wash them. Remember that the less you wash your leggings, the longer they will last!
#2 Wash in Cold Water
While hand washing in cold water offers the best care, you can also machine wash on the gentle cycle in cold water using a mild soap. I use Ecos natural laundry detergent that can be found at stores such as Whole Foods and on Amazon.
#3 Wash Inside Out
Always remember to turn your leggings inside out to prevent pilling and fading.
#4 Wash with Similar Fabrics
Wash with like fabrics and with like colors to avoid dye transfer. If you have a rare or expensive designer pair or high-performance leggings, definitely skip the dryer.
#5 Hang Dry Your Activewear
Always hang dry your leggings. I use this drying rack. It folds up and can be easily hidden in any laundry room or nook in the home. My clothing usually dries within a day. I recommend dring your activewear away from sunlight.
Want to avoid pants from stretching and sagging? Be sure to check the tag before you buy. If there is at least 2 percent stretch, the fabric will bounce back into shape. If there is any ratio of cotton in your fabric, then drooping fabric is inevitable.
Protect Your Activewear by Avoiding the Following
Do Not Iron: Avoid heat! Heat can warp and damage the elastic fibers in your fabric.
Do Not Bleach: We love our leggings because of the colors and patterns. Chances are, you will ruin the fabric. Bleach breaks down the elasticity. If the fabric was originally white and dyed by hand, it is possible to take some color out. If the fabric was commercially dyed, bleach will turn it a nasty color (greens turn orange, etc.). Bleach can also cause the elastic in leggings to harden and warp.
Do Not Wash with Cottons: Avoid washing with cottons. If the fabric has a tendency to pill or feels brushed, you may get annoying little balls of cotton stuck to your leggings.
Do Not Dry Clean: This is unnecessary. Just don’t do it!
Do Not Use Fabric Softener: Fabric Softener will clog the breathability of elastic fabrics, rendering them useless. If you accidentally use fabric softener, it will take a few correct washes to remove the fabric softener from your leggings.
Do Not Tumble Dry: To ensure your activewear stays looking and fitting like new, you should keep your garments away from the dryer opt for hang-dry instead. The high heat of the dryer can warp the strands of fiber of your activewear and weaken the material. This can lead to tears, holes, and permanently alter their shape, flexibility, and ultimately how they fit.
Do Not Store When Wet: Storing when wet will cause mildew and foul odors to form in your clothing. Avoid this at all costs!
Avoid Rough Surfaces: There have been so many times where my fabric has pilled and pulled due to sitting on rough surfaces such as brick or nails and staples on a bench. Be aware of where you are sitting, especially if you want your leggings to last.
I hope these tips were helpful for you. Activewear is very durable and meant to last a long time. However, there are things we can accidentally do to ruin the fabric and shorten the life of your activewear. If you have any tips, please send them our way!