One Tough Cookie.
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: West Hartford, CT
Bikes: Too many and not ENOUGH!
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You don't need to hand-wash shorts...
Originally Posted by Machka
I've been drying lycra in the dryer for 16 years. It's been fine ... no shrinkage, no change of shape, no excess wear ..... completely fine.
In fact, I read somewhere that you're supposed to dry your shorts in the dryer so that your chamois (the fake chamois, not the real leather ones) will return to their original shape ... basically fluff up, I guess.
Once again, an urban legend debunked! It's perfectly fine to dry Lycra cycling shorts (actually, Lycra-containing...the majority of the material is nylon or some other synthetic) in the dryer. The instructions to NOT use the dryer date from the days of wool
shorts with the real leather
chamois; such shorts would NOT have survived a trip through your dryer unscathed (or come out of the dryer in the same size that they went in!). All you need to do is set the dryer for a lower heat setting (which all of them seem to be on home dryers these days) and watch what you put in with the shorts so they don't pick up damage that way (other items containing mechanical or hook fasteners--especially Velcro(tm)--can snag the fabric).
The reason the care labels are so "conservative" with the instructions has really more to do with trying to minimize legal liability (some people see normal wear as "defective" and will sue the maufacturers) and produce the least damage possible to the fabric during cleaning. The truth is, damage from washing is likely to be minimal (unless one is really careless); the apparent damage to your shorts which seems to have come about from machine washing and drying is, in reality, simple wear-and-tear--such as from friction between the shorts and the bike saddle...