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Old 04-21-11, 09:04 AM   #1
bluefoxicy
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Clothing and laundry

So I've been looking at these guys since I moved in 2008, and I think I'll finally drop some coin and give it a shot:

https://www.laundry-alternative.com/

Aiming at the obvious: Wonder Washer and large ($150) spin dryer.

My thoughts here are, of course, the obvious: Summer wear Under Armour HeatGear, $25/shirt plus whatever for shorts. Your cycling t-shirts are pricey too. All in all you've got a base layer, t-shirt, light pants ... you're wearing $100 of stuff just to ride. Winter wear isn't much better. So a week's worth of cycling wear is going to cost you $500, yes?

But washing clothes every day is also expensive. So much water, electricity, and I live in an apartment and have to pay $1.25 to use the machine and $1.00 for the dryer! I sidestep the utility bills but that'd be like $11.25/week just for daily commute or $15.75 for every day. In a month and a half I'd pay off each extra set of clothes, so in about a year I'd have recovered my costs for just buying 5 sets of cycling clothes.

And ... here I am again, looking at this stuff. Maybe I could get 1 or 2 sets of cycling clothes and wash them every other day. That would make sense, it'd be convenient (I'd only need 1 set really).

Anyone do frequent washings? Or do you just have lots of extra clothes? Or do you keep a pile of base layers, and reuse mid layers for a couple days?
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Old 04-21-11, 10:32 AM   #2
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I wear my clothes multiple times between washings. 15 minutes into a ride, my jersey is soaked with sweat whether it was clean and fresh when I put it on or not. Look at it another way. If you're on 8 hr ride and stop every two hours for 20 minutes, you don't change outfits, do you? That's basically wearing the same stuff on four 2hr rides.
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Old 04-21-11, 10:57 AM   #3
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Take a shower with your gear on to solve your problem.
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Old 04-21-11, 03:31 PM   #4
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I wear my clothes multiple times between washings. 15 minutes into a ride, my jersey is soaked with sweat whether it was clean and fresh when I put it on or not. Look at it another way. If you're on 8 hr ride and stop every two hours for 20 minutes, you don't change outfits, do you? That's basically wearing the same stuff on four 2hr rides.
If I re-wear my shorts, I get nasty infected saddle sores.
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Old 04-21-11, 03:50 PM   #5
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We live in apartment with a laundry room with pay machines. We wash a full load at a time and hang all clothes to dry ina spare room. Can't remember that last time I used a dryer. It's better for your clothes too. Get a $10 folding dry rack at a box store. Most things will dry overnight if hung so they get a bit of air circulation.
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Old 04-21-11, 04:08 PM   #6
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I use a lot of the quick dry undergarments, only have 4 sets of each item. Typically I only take two sets with me when I travel and hand wash a set every night. My cycling clothes are my street clothes. I have 2 pair of cycling shorts and in the summer wear lightweight cotton long sleeved shirts.

We have a washer and dryer, only do heavy laundry once a week if that.

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Old 04-21-11, 04:14 PM   #7
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handwash. did that when I traveled.

At home, we have a washer and dryer. Some times we hang dry our stuff but we haven't lately. You could always hang your stuff in the shower.
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Old 04-21-11, 05:50 PM   #8
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Hand wash in the sink, hang to dry. Problem solved. You are way over analyzing this laundry issue. Are you an accountant or work for the IRS by any chance?
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Old 04-21-11, 05:56 PM   #9
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We only wash once a week. and there are at least 3 loads.

Maybe you're one of those people who uses a new towel every time you shower.
I wear my shirts at least 2 times a week. I guess that's gross. I don't know.
oh and pants, they never get dirty. lol jk
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Old 04-21-11, 07:31 PM   #10
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Hand wash in the sink, hang to dry. Problem solved. You are way over analyzing this laundry issue. Are you an accountant or work for the IRS by any chance?
Actually no, I'm analytical by nature. That's another reason I play Go: it forces my brain to balance its thought processes out. I do get paid to overanalyze things though.

Besides, budgeting is a good skill; and lack of projective analysis is what makes poor people poor. They continue to get scammed by businesses based around selling you things for "low, low prices!" which require a much bigger total investment (like clothes that fall apart, shoes that fall apart, washing machines that fall apart, cars that fall apart...). The only reason I could afford all my nice bike gear so far (along with some other luxuries) is because I eliminate a lot of costs by better planning. This is counterbalanced by my tendency to consider education expensive, and thus dive head-first into things and somewhat overspend on new stuff (for example, I'm probably going to rid myself of the bike basket and get panniers; I may go with double-sided clipless pedals some day; etc).

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Maybe you're one of those people who uses a new towel every time you shower.
I wear my shirts at least 2 times a week. I guess that's gross. I don't know.
oh and pants, they never get dirty. lol jk
New towel every other shower, yes; although I'd use one every shower if it was convenient, cheap, and efficient to wash them. It'd be somewhat nicer. I also don't use shampoo at all btw; my barber loves this, because she has a degree in cosmetology and wanted to be a hair stylist, and well... my hair's gotten soft like puppy fur and naturally has good hold. Well, it did after the first 2 months (a LOT of excess grease until the sebacious glands calmed down! Degreaser is NOT good for your head!). So she has a field day with this

I'd just prefer to not rewear. I have, but I prefer fresh, clean clothes when I go out. I just don't want to put up $500 for a full week's supply (now that I've gone from "2 days a week to work" to "every day, everywhere" commuting), and wouldn't mind putting up 10-15 minutes a day to sidestep that.

In any case the consensus here seems to be between "Reuse everything" and "I hand wash stuff" ... interesting. I don't even know how to hand wash clothes, though I guess the process is obvious: soap, water, grease (elbow recommended).
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Old 04-21-11, 08:37 PM   #11
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Hand wash in the sink, hang to dry. Problem solved.
Ditto. Simple answers to simple questions rule!!!!

Last edited by AlmostGreenGuy; 04-21-11 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 04-21-11, 08:47 PM   #12
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So I've been looking at these guys since I moved in 2008, and I think I'll finally drop some coin and give it a shot:

https://www.laundry-alternative.com/

Aiming at the obvious: Wonder Washer and large ($150) spin dryer.. . .
I have one of those washers. It works really well, but is flimsy and leaks. Not a long term solution.

What works best for me is to start with a clean body and take off my cycling clothes as soon as I can. Just getting wet from sweat isn't that big of an issue. The clothes dry and don't really have a chance to grow bacteria (that's the purpose of being clean yourself before riding).

But, if I spend significant time on the bike, like 2 or 3 hours, those clothes just need to be washed. Wearing "bacterially enhanced" clothes on a regular basis is asking for skin problems.
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Old 04-21-11, 09:13 PM   #13
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I have one of those washers. It works really well, but is flimsy and leaks. Not a long term solution.

Interesting. And yeah, I'm going for a solution that doesn't involve re-wearing a lot. I'm commuting to work so it's like 2 hours total, plus wherever else I go in the day. I prefer to control the bacteria I interact with outside normal daily levels; unexpected symbiosis is unlikely.
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Old 04-21-11, 10:05 PM   #14
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The little washer thing actually works well enough that I am trying to figure out how to make one out of metal. (Old pressure cooker maybe?)

It works because it is sealed. The warm wash water heats the air, pressurizing the load of laundry. This drives in the soap to get a better cleaning. In my experience it works better than a washing machine. It gets my clothes cleaner and subjects them to less wear. Great for small loads like one or two sets of cycling clothes. It also uses less water and soap.

BUT, that particular product is made of plastic that doesn't hold up too well. The bushings creak, the handle and stand flex, and there gets to be a lot of wear on the important parts of the lid.

It was a good proof of concept for me. I just wish they made one that was more durable.
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Old 04-21-11, 11:05 PM   #15
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Over the years, I've used various detergents to clean my cycling clothing. This includes "sports specific" detergents such as WIN. I've used them both in the machine and in the sink.

Oddly enough, I have gotten the best results by hand washing with this:

http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/fami...goryId=4191863

Pick your flavor. It's a great product, and I'm glad to be done with my old routine.

I start by quickly rinsing the items. Then I work some of the soap into the chamois, sleeves, collar and any area that deems itself dirty. As I'm doing this, I'm filling the sink with water. In a minute or two, once the sink is full enough and garments are well soaped, I drop them in the sink where the water effectively becomes an antibacterial bath. Now I jump in the shower while the clothes soak for a few minutes. Once I'm showered, I agitate the clothes again, rinsed and hanged to dry. The soap rinses very easily and removes every hint of odor. It's an easy procedure that's time-efficient, effective, garment-friendly, and requires very little water and only human power.

I agree with the earlier poster about starting out clean. If I'm going out for a mid- or late-day ride and feeling the slightest bit grubby beforehand, I'll quickly wash up before suiting up. Makes the ride feel a bit better from the start and makes the clothes that much easier to keep clean.

If you don't have a Bath & Body Works near you, I see that other stores (Target, Lowes, etc) also sell similar products.
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Old 04-21-11, 11:45 PM   #16
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New towel every other shower, yes; although I'd use one every shower if it was convenient, cheap, and efficient to wash them. It'd be somewhat nicer. I also don't use shampoo at all btw; my barber loves this, because she has a degree in cosmetology and wanted to be a hair stylist, and well... my hair's gotten soft like puppy fur and naturally has good hold. Well, it did after the first 2 months (a LOT of excess grease until the sebacious glands calmed down! Degreaser is NOT good for your head!). So she has a field day with this

I'd just prefer to not rewear. I have, but I prefer fresh, clean clothes when I go out. I just don't want to put up $500 for a full week's supply (now that I've gone from "2 days a week to work" to "every day, everywhere" commuting), and wouldn't mind putting up 10-15 minutes a day to sidestep that.

In any case the consensus here seems to be between "Reuse everything" and "I hand wash stuff" ... interesting. I don't even know how to hand wash clothes, though I guess the process is obvious: soap, water, grease (elbow recommended).
maybe you could purchase a chamois towel.

handwashing is pretty nice. when my parents lived in vietnam they just soaked their clothes then later in the night handwashed them. you coudl probably makeyour own laundry detergent as well. any soap will do though...just a little. should probably wash the underarms the most since they might get that nasty yellow sweat stain. and then just knead the clothes then rinse your clothes with new water. squeeze the water out instead of wringing your clothes
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Old 04-22-11, 08:12 AM   #17
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maybe you could purchase a chamois towel.
Isn't that for cleaning cars and waxing your bicycle so it goes faster?
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Old 04-22-11, 09:40 AM   #18
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That little washer does work pretty well, but as others mentioned, it is a little cheaply built, leaks, & wobbly.
You can do a good job with a couple of 5 gallon plastic buckets . One is for the wash & the other for rinse. Use a few drops of " Dawn " [ or other. Dawn is best for very dirty clothes ] dishwashing detergent, & agitate clothes with a bathroom plunger. Several repeated cycles with soaking for minutes in between, gets clothes clean. You will be surprised ! Remove & place in rinse bucket. Rinse out wash bucket & refill with clean water. Rinse in 1st rinse bucket by a little use of the plunger. Remove clothes & put in last bucket. Rinse & wring by hand. Hang clothes on hangers inside on a rack, shower curtain rod, in the sun thru a window, [ A fan helps dry them. ] outside, etc.
Note . Recycle the water by dumping it on the yard, plants, garden, etc. OR, use the aweter to bathe & rinse in.

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Old 04-22-11, 10:41 AM   #19
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if i re-wear my shorts, i get nasty infected saddle sores.
tmi
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Old 04-22-11, 12:25 PM   #20
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Isn't that for cleaning cars and waxing your bicycle so it goes faster?
No. hah. was that suppose to be a joke?
chamois towel for drying yourself after you shower. i think they're easier to clean and dries faster too. I used them for swimming and they pick up moisture well. But you gotta take care of the towel or it'll get hard like a rock.
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Old 04-22-11, 12:43 PM   #21
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tmi
Why is that tmi?
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Old 04-23-11, 08:18 AM   #22
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My cleaning process is actually a two-in-one process. I clean the bike and wash the jersey and shorts at the same time, right after a ride.

After the ride, the jersey and shorts are wet with sweat, hopefully nothing else. That would be the ideal time to get the clothing into the wash as soon as possible before the sweat dries in the fabric.

Likewise, the bike's underparts, the downtube, chain stays, seat stays, seat tube, also get splatters of road grime and sometimes mud.

I use a 2 gallon bucket, the kind they sell at Home Depot. I use the garden hose to fill it with cold water and mix in some liquid laundry detergent. I soak the clothing first and then proceed to use two shop towels soaked in the detergent to wipe down the bike. By the time I'm finished with the bike, the clothing is ready to be agitated with some kneading by hand. It doesn't take long and there isn't much rubbing and scrubbing.

I also use that same detergent water to clean my sun glasses and at times for the helmet and straps. I dump that grey water into my garden and do a clean rinse and dump that water into the garden as well.

I hang dry outside. But when the weather is bad, the hanging goes inside the garage. Once I took advantage of the car's hot engine by popping up the hood and hanging the clothing on a hangar attached to the latch of the hood. It worked.
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Old 04-23-11, 09:48 AM   #23
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Anyone do frequent washings? Or do you just have lots of extra clothes? Or do you keep a pile of base layers, and reuse mid layers for a couple days?
Dude, you've ridden (according to you ticker) 95 miles. How could you possibly be worried about the laundry cost? ;-)
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Old 04-23-11, 12:01 PM   #24
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If you bike in underwear only, you would have a lot less to wash....
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Old 04-23-11, 12:25 PM   #25
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If you bike in underwear only, you would have a lot less to wash....
Ride naked and you're streamlined

I buy bike clothing when on sale so there is enough gear for a week's worth of bike riding and commuting. Then all of it is shoved into a washing machine with some unscented laundry detergent and borax. Usually I pin the wet stuff to a drying rack (on special for $4.00!!!) and they are dry the next morning. I don't use fabric softener in any form because I find the smell off putting and it makes me itchy in all the wrong places. That and the greasy, slickness of the softener on wicking fabric seems to negate the wicking feature.

I haven't hand washed jerseys or shorts but the fabric is pretty soft and flexible so it wouldn't be a difficult chore. I bet soaking the shirt and shorts in a bucket for 30 minutes then a thorough rinsing before hanging up to dry will be fine.
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