You feel you can throw anything at your body when working out in your high-performance sportswear and compression garments, but that doesn’t mean you can treat your clothing the same way. The irony is that the hardest-working clothes are actually very delicate, but in the end, they’re just like your body – if you give them the right care, you can make them last longer, perform better and continue to look good.
The first thing to do is get your wet, sweaty gear out of your bag – it’s the torture chamber for sportswear. Sweat (and chlorine if you’ve been in a pool) will accelerate the degeneration of elastane, the part of lycra that gives the material its stretch, plus it’s an important component of sports bras. Ladies, that means washing your bra every time it gets sweat-soaked (air-drying won’t cut it!), paying special attention to the bands of the bra.
The next common mistake people make is not reading the label on the clothes – or they do, but they treat the instructions with all the doubt and suspicion reserved for pop-up news items on Facebook. All these instructions have very good reasons behind them.
Let’s go through them and a few extra tips that will help keep your gear fit and healthy.
TURN CLOTHES INSIDE OUT BEFORE WASHING
This helps preserve the colour and any markings on the clothes, such as logos and reflective markings. It also means the fabric that’s been against your skin gets a good wash so that dead skin cells don’t clog the cloth’s fibres (especially in compression gear, where the weave is very fine).
Since a large portion of 2XU’s training gear and compression pants include reflective highlights and fun logos, it is a good idea to go ahead and take extra precautions by turning these clothes inside out. Especially if you are using your reflective clothing to remain safe in low-light running conditions, you want to ensure the reflection's strength is not damaged in any way to ensure you are as visible as possible to oncoming traffic and other runners.
We know hand-washing is a pain, and it’s hard to believe the cold water will get rid of anything. However, the “hand wash” tag is there because of the delicate nature of the fabric or the type of treatment that has been applied to the fabric (fabric cooling technology or SPF treatments).
In both cases, the clothes don’t handle the friction against your other clothes when they’re being tossed around inside a washing machine. If you really want to use your washing machine, wash your workout gear all together in cold water using the delicate cycle, or even better, put your training clothes in a lingerie bag before putting them in the machine.
In general, all of our 2XU training gear is safe to machine wash in cold water; your clothes won’t fall apart or undergo significant damage if you choose this method of washing. But for an increased lifespan and to ensure you are able to maintain the original quality of the clothes for as long as possible, hand washing is a great alternative.
USE COLD WATER
Hot water can break down fabric fibres, especially elastane, which gives clothes their stretch. It also fades colour. And what about that pong?
Not only does washing in cold water help prevent damage to your activewear, but it is also better for the environment and can help reduce your carbon footprint. When washing machines run, 90% of the energy used goes towards heating the water. This means that if you wash with cold water, when heating the water is not necessary, you can greatly reduce the amount of energy your washer uses, benefiting both the quality and lifespan of your clothing as well as the environment.
SKIP THE FABRIC SOFTENER
The ‘no softener’ rule on many labels is there because it can get in between the fibres of fabrics that are supposed to be breathable to wick sweat away and dissipate odours. Go easy on the detergent and soap, too, because it can build up on your clothes to trap in oils and skin cells, which can cause fungal growth such as mildew. Always rinse your clothes really well and NEVER use bleach.
AIR DRY IN THE SHADE
Tumble drying can cause shrinkage and static in sensitive high-performance workout gear, plus it’s a death sentence to compression gear. The dryer wrecks the elastane, which tends to degrade faster than the polyester and nylon fibres that are also in the weave. Even direct sunlight can be too much, plus this also causes colour to fade. Wherever possible, dry your workout gear in the shade where there’s some wind or good air circulation – fresh air acts as a good deodoriser. Dry your gear flat if you can and avoid using pegs on compression clothing and sports bras – you’ll wreck the elastane and the marks will be permanent.
NEVER USE AN IRON
Performance fabrics don’t need to encounter the burn of a hot iron - they actually don’t need it because, in most cases, performance fabrics don’t crease. Ironing can cause burning or melting of fabric and its embellishments, such as screen-printed branding. Ironing is a quick way to ruin your costly gear.
If you are concerned about creases or notice them in your sportswear for whatever reason, washing in cold water, as mentioned above, is a great way to reduce the appearance of these pesky wrinkles and ensure your clothes come out of the wash smooth and ready to hang dry.
DEODORANT - TIPS AND TRICKS
Working out and staying active is essential for a healthy lifestyle, but it often leaves our workout clothing with stubborn deodorant stains. Whether it's on your favorite pair of leggings or the gym shirt that lives in your gym bag, these unsightly marks can be frustrating to deal with.
Clothing made from materials like cotton, linen, and synthetic fabrics like nylon will be more susceptible to deodorant damage, but it is still important to be cautious and protect all of your activewear. A good place to start is to buy deodorant with a more neutral pH level and less aluminum chloride, the chemical that usually causes the most damage.
However, with a few simple tips and the right ingredients, like white vinegar and laundry detergent, you can easily remove deodorant stains and keep your workout clothes looking fresh and clean.
- Pre-Treating with White Vinegar and Laundry Detergent: Before tossing your workout clothing into the washing machine, it's important to pre-treat the deodorant stains. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and laundry detergent in a bowl or directly apply a few drops of undiluted white vinegar to the stained areas. Gently rub the solution into the stains and let it sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the ingredients to penetrate the fabric fibres.
- Washing on a Gentle Cycle: Once the deodorant stains have been pre-treated, it's time to wash your workout clothing. Set your washing machine to the gentle cycle using cool or lukewarm water. Add your regular laundry detergent and add half a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle for an extra boost. The white vinegar helps eliminate odor-causing bacteria and acts as a natural fabric softener, leaving your clothes fresh and clean.
- Using Baking Soda as a Stain Remover: For particularly stubborn deodorant stains, consider adding a tablespoon of baking soda to the pre-treatment mixture. Baking soda is an effective natural stain remover and can help lift the residue from the fabric. Apply the baking soda paste to the stains, gently scrub, and let it sit for a few minutes before washing as usual.
- Drying Methods: After washing, it's important to choose the right drying method to prevent any potential damage to your workout clothing. For best results, avoid machine drying, as the heat setting can set the stains permanently. Instead, opt for air drying on a drying rack or hanging the clothes in a well-ventilated area. This allows the garments to dry naturally and helps maintain their shape and quality.
FRESH FEATURES - 2XU ACTIVEWEAR
All of our workout gear is designed to help you feel fresh, stay cool and dry, and train in comfort throughout any workout. We want you to be able to devote your full attention to your training and not have to worry about distractors or discomforts like sweat stains or excessively sweaty clothes.
Here are a few included fresh features within our sportswear fabrics:
Moisture-Wicking and Quick Drying Material
The vast majority of our training gear is made with moisture-wicking or quick-drying material to help you stay cool and as sweat-free as possible. Moisture-wicking material actively draws sweat away from the body, promotes sweat evaporation, and disperses it across the surface so your skin remains drier.
Quick-drying material simply means that the material is quick to dry once wet, whether this be from sweat or water. Because sweat stains can permanently damage fabrics, especially underneath the arms, these features help preserve your gear and keep clothes fresh for longer.
This material will also provide you with boosted confidence while training, as you won’t have to worry as much about visible sweat stains on your clothing or the equipment you’ve used. Of course, this fabric doesn’t eliminate sweat completely, but it will help reduce the severity of sweat damage and visibility.
A few of our high-quality workout clothes include built-in anti-odor technology so you can stay fresh for longer and even avoid washing after more mild, low-sweat workouts.
Our anti-odor activewear is protected by FreshGuard, an odor-neutralizer integrated within the very yarns of the material for thorough coverage. It helps to reduce the build-up of odor-causing bacteria so you can focus on your workout and reduce wash damage, helping your gym clothes last longer than ever.
A few of our workout clothes that include this great feature is the Ignition Base Layer Tee, which is perfect for cold-weather running. Another option is the Form Crop Tee within the Form collection, which will provide you with a fun, breathable, and stylish top for summer or indoor training.
A SUMMARY OF 2XU’S RECOMMENDED CARE
While all of the tips, tricks, and hacks described above will work well for any of your 2XU training gear (wetsuits will have different care instructions), here is a concise, easy-to-follow guide to what we recommend specifically for our garments:
WASHING AND DRYING GUIDE
- Machine wash in cold water with like colours
- Do not use a machine dryer
- Hang dry in a shaded area away from the sun
- Do not use additives (bleach, fabric softener, dryer sheets, etc.)
- Do not iron (or apply heat in any way)
How you wash your clothing is up to you, but adhering to these suggestions is sure to allow you to get the most out of our products and ensure they remain in peak condition for as long as possible.