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Laundering your technical clothing

Old 03-10-10, 03:28 PM
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ballen
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Laundering your technical clothing

Just out of curiousity, wanted to get an idea how much other people wash their technical outerwear,
i.e. softshell jackets, waterproof/breathable, etc. I have a Mountain Hardware piece that finally wore
out the water repellency and had to retreat it.

To start, I work 5 days alternating, giving me 10 days of one way rides. I usually wash pieces at the end of the 10 days unless things get unbearably smelly.

What is everyone elses schedule?
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Old 03-10-10, 03:36 PM
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good question

- rain jacket - never
- hi-vis; day-glo; lime-green windbreaker - after it gets dirty from a ride with a bike that has no fenders
- snow pants and rain pants - I avoided washing them since I put expensive reflective tape on them. I'm not sure what to do now. I might hand wash them

my other clothing is more complicated and washed regularly - usually after every ride - just like my GYM clothes.
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Old 03-10-10, 03:39 PM
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I wash my jackets about once a month. That feral, sweat soaked, vaguely evil odor is horrible once I come indoors.
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Old 03-10-10, 03:40 PM
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All lycra is supposed to be a wicking/technical material. I wash it as any other clothes item, except for bike shorts , I put in a laundry bag to protect them from wear and tear...And , of course I have them air dry. Water proofed jackets/pants is the exception. I understand waterproofed materials are subject to having water proofing materials being damaged by regular soaps. So, I use a soap called Nikwax for technical materials. Still, ever year or so, I am told it is necessary to spray you waterproofed clothes with a waterproofing spray.
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Old 03-10-10, 03:46 PM
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Innerwear - Every Commute
Outerwear - Weekly

Machine Wash w/cold-water powdered detergent
Hang to dry with electric-fan-enhancement

With my old goretex jacket, hi-temperature drier for 15 min before use.
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Old 03-10-10, 03:47 PM
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Every few months for my outerwear. I use the snot on my gloves as a dependable gauge.
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Old 03-10-10, 03:51 PM
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Gore WindStopper jacket: after a rain ride or once per year, whichever comes sooner (typically rain ride does)
Everything else: doesn't get worn more than twice without it first being washed (ride to work, ride from work, wash, repeat. Unless it's summer then I'll only wear once time before washing.
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Old 03-10-10, 05:52 PM
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I use Nikwax also. A set of soap and conditioner will last me about a year. 3 washings. If you've got a nice jacket. This is the stuff for it. I got mine on Amazon.
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Old 03-10-10, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclokitty View Post
I wash my jackets about once a month. That feral, sweat soaked, vaguely evil odor is horrible once I come indoors.
It's always fun to watch people blanche.
I do mine once a season, whether it needs it or not.
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Old 03-10-10, 07:50 PM
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I wash the rain jacket when I start to notice the collars and cuffs getting grimy. The important thing is to use something that rinses thoroughly, i then use a wash in product to restore the Surface Repellency, and tumble dry hot. As to the smell that synthetics tend to gather, I have had no problems with that, since switching to Crystal Stick solid deodorant. Base layers, daily.
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Old 03-10-10, 09:27 PM
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Anything that is next to skin and wicking, wash after every use.
Outer wear, probably once every month if I use it 2-3 times a week.
Mid layers, every 2 weeks.

Wash on luke warm gentle cycle, tumble dry low.

Anything that requires dwr, I respray halfway in the dry cycle, then dump it back in after everything else is done.
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Old 03-10-10, 10:15 PM
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Anything that touches my skin in "those" places - one time use, then wash. Socks, undies, bike shorts, jerseys, T-shirts - especially during summer.

Middle layers: Sweaters, cargo shorts, fleece sweat pants - every two or three wearings, depending on how much I sweat in them.

Outer layers: Rain jacket/pants, wind breakers, vests, gloves, hats, etc...when they start to get ripe.

I use Sport Wash on all of my tech clothing and wash them one cycle more than delicate in a front loader. Most get tossed in the dryer. Some get hung up to dry - mostly based on which ones are allergic to Velcro.
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Old 03-10-10, 11:49 PM
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On most thing, I use the 'handwashable' cycle on the washer. I also toss in some liquid hand soap instead of laundry detergent.

Wool base layers every 10 days
Mid layers about once a month
Jacket about once a month
Leggings, rain pants, shorts after the 2nd day
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Old 03-11-10, 12:14 AM
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I usually wash things weekly, winter or summer. I only have one set of winter pants/bib, so it's not practical to wash more often. I have sweaters I alternate, as well as my wool socks, but when I wash them, it's with woolite on the delicate cycle and they're hung to dry. In the summer, I'll usually handwash my jerseys, pants and socks weekly, line dry them also.


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Old 03-11-10, 08:17 AM
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Washing a gore tex jacket only once a month. Are these people human beings. After a ride, my wife barely lets me in the house , let alone unwashed clothes..
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Old 03-11-10, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
All lycra is supposed to be a wicking/technical material. I wash it as any other clothes item, except for bike shorts , I put in a laundry bag to protect them from wear and tear...And , of course I have them air dry. Water proofed jackets/pants is the exception. I understand waterproofed materials are subject to having water proofing materials being damaged by regular soaps. So, I use a soap called Nikwax for technical materials. Still, ever year or so, I am told it is necessary to spray you waterproofed clothes with a waterproofing spray.
LYCRA® from DuPont is a fiber that is mixed with other fibers to make clothing. By itself is has no wicking capability. It just stretches many times its original length and returns to that length.

Unlike rubber...which it replaces...LYCRA® isn't degraded by heat. Heat, in fact, helps refresh the fiber's stretchiness. It's a very good idea to tumble dry LYCRA® clothing. You don't want to do it hot since the LYCRA® is blended with other materials that may be heat sensitive but using a dryer on LYCRA® won't hurt it.

The care instructions for GORE-TEX® state that you can use liquid or dry laundry detergent just don't use fabric softener. This is typical for most other breathable fabrics. I don't use fabric softener on any bicycle clothing just in case it's incompatible with something in the mix. GORE-TEX® clothing can also be dried in a dryer and they suggest you do so because it refreshes the water resistance of the fabric.
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Old 03-11-10, 09:49 AM
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most of my stuff gets cold wash cold rinse and thrown in the dryer on gentle cycle. Seems to work. Before the rainy season I use nikwax tech wash on my WB stuff and follow the manufacturers recommendations. Usually just hang to dry. If you get caught in the rain don't ya just let the stuff hang dry anyway?
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Old 03-11-10, 10:10 AM
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My Under Armour Ts I just wash cold and tumble dry along with the rest of my laundry.

Same goes for my many various knickers (Chrome, Swobo, Swrve, etc) and all my cycling socks, wool or otherwise.

Wool tops I wash cold and hang dry in the bathroom. I do the same thing with all my cycling caps and my various pieces of squid-wear (jerseys, padded knickers, tights and shorts).

I wash most everything I have once every week or two. The big exception is my heavy wool Swobo knickers... which I've never washed.

I just got my first waterproof cycling layer that I actually like and breathes well enough that I can use - a Cutter Cyclical eVent jacket - and supposedly they do need to be washed pretty often to maintain their waterproofness. I plan on using some Nikwax (which I already have), cold washing it, and letting it hang dry.
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Old 03-11-10, 10:36 AM
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Wow, gentle cycle washings and dryings. I stuff all of my bike clothes into one machine, set it to hot water wash, then throw it into a hot dryer until the stuff is dry to the touch (not roasted). Luckily everything has survived (except for a pair of polypro socks that were miss filed and added to a dryer full of jeans. The socks melted and turned into a crunchy ball). I don't use any softener since it would be like buttering my clothes (eww) and use whatever non-scented liquid detergent is on sale. I feel almost neglectful.
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Old 03-11-10, 12:54 PM
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I was my waterproof about every 6 weeks with soap flakes. This boosts the water repellant surface. Dont use detergents on waterproofs. About twice a year I treat with Nikwax TX10

My merino T shirts must be washed in detergent, not soap flakes.
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