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Question: Cleaning Performance Sportswear/Activewear: Best Practices?


Certified Ski Diva
I know that @Analisa and @geargrrl are in the Outerwear Industry; wondering if they or anyone else can advise as to whether products such as Granger's Active Wash or Sport Suds, etc, work as advertised (i.e., are worth the $$), or if there is a better/less expensive/DIY solution?


Certified Ski Diva
I actually was wondering about cleaning items such as base layers, as opposed to outerwear (I realize I didn't really make myself clear). Are there also threads on that subject, as well?
I started working at a ski shop (6 hours/week!) and the experienced sales associate told someone it was more important to launder technical gear often, because the accumulated skin cells get on the fabric, and absorb water, making the technical fabric less wicking.

I learn something every day!


Certified Ski Diva
A laundry product with enzymes (some people have skin sensitive to this though) I think helps keep odors down. I use Biokleen Laundry Detergent Liquid “Sports” version and it seems to work for me although I do not work in the industry so just have my own experience to go by.


Certified Ski Diva
I purchased some Nathan Sports Wash and just finished washing everything. It does seem to have done the trick, although the big test will be when I wear them again and see how long it takes for them to pick up body odor again.
Now that I have some time:
-Sportswash products are a waste of money. You are paying for packaging and marketing. See below.
-my special stinky bike gear recipe:
Soak in "Biz" overnight, at least 12 hours. this is an enzyme
based presoak that goes after organic matter, not your regular presoak.
Then, rinse that out and then run through the wash with a laundry product
called Oxyclean, which is not an detergent it's an additive. You should be
able to get that at any supermarket.

The thing you have to understand about the Nikwax/Techwas DIY process is that you have to get the garment really, really clean FIRST. The "wash" isn't a cleaner, it's just a solution to prepare the garment for the DWR. They don't tell you that in the instructions. That's why I say to wash regular, then rinse 3x.
-wash it in regular liquid detergent and then rinse three times.
-then use techwash. It's actually not a cleaner, just a vehicle to get the DWR to bond to the fabric. In case you wondered why things washed in tech wash don't get very clean...
-Then apply DWR. Use a spongebrush to paint on, apply heavily to areas like butt and front of thighs. DWR is a critical component of the waterproof/breathable system.
Note: you can use Shout and similar on the grime and it won't hurt the garment.

Comments about keeping body oil and grime out of the fabric are correct. If you clog the pores your waterproof/breathable system will not work as well. An occasional toss in a LOW temp dryer is good for the DWR, helps to keep it activated. DWR does not last forever, and all garments have a product lifetime to where nothing really works any more to renew the waterproofing. "Wetting out" is a sure sign that you need to renew the waterproof and/ or your item is at the end of its useful life.

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