Just purchased your first pair of activewear? SO EXCITING! Or maybe you own tons of activewear already and it’s not holding up or you’re unsure if you’re caring for it properly. Well I would like to say I have an addiction to activewear so you’ve come to the right place. I love it. I wear it all the time (because I work out loads and also because I use it as my everyday attire for running errands etc instead of “real clothes”). So over the last two years I am proud to say that I have taken great care for these clothes and am having wonderful results. One pair of leggings I purchased 2.5 years ago has a seam unraveling, and it was definitely the pair that got the most beat up. Worn all the time and the first 6 months of owning it, I was not washing and drying properly. BUT every other pair I own is in great condition and I would say I’m doing a pretty dang good job.
Oct 2021 update: I now own even more, work at an activewear brand store, teach yoga, still workout tons and still wear it as everyday clothing. Jeans?? Don’t know her.
Wash on cold. YUP easy peasy right? Not cool, not warm, COLD water. I use tap cold. I don’t know if that makes it colder or what but that’s what I’ve been sticking to. The fabrics used to create leggings break in heat. They are not meant to be hot and bendy in that way. Washing in cold keeps them in their original form. Yeah washing in warm water probably won’t make a noticeable difference at first or maybe even over time but if we are going to be paying the money for it, mine’s well keep it as new as possible. The cold water will also help preserve the color of the item so it won’t fade as fast.
NO fabric softener. This isn’t a tip for the longevity of your activewear but the smell of it. Fabric softener is meant to get stuck in the fibers of whatever your washing, plumping it up to make it feel softer. Now, you worked out, you’re sweaty, maybe your clothes are wet and they smell. This is why you wash them after all. Overtime, if you are washing your activewear with fabric softener you are slowly trapping the product into your clothes. Therefore, blocking in the dirt, bacteria and smell:) You don’t want “clean” clothes to smell before you workout. No thanks.
You don’t wash them inside out. You need the outside in. When you wash your activewear, flip every item inside out. This helps prevent pilling. The washing machine is a rough time for our delicate clothes. They all rub together aggressively which can cause small raises in the fabric. If your clothes are inside out and this happens, then the pilling will be against your leg. No one will know and your clothes will look like you just walked out the store with them.
Wash your activewear on a delicate cycle. I don’t always do this but sometimes. It goes along with the theme of taking less chances to improve look and longevity of the item. I know certain washers I use, do not always get the soap out on a delicate cycle leaving weird slick parts but other washers will be just fine. I tend to use the delicate cycle mostly if I am throwing in my Lululemon jackets. Those have zippers so I just want to be extra gentle when they are being violently thrown around in a washing machine. I do zip up the jackets but still.
ONLY wash your activewear with each other. DO not throw in towels, sheets, or normal clothes. Not only do the fabrics in activewear make less of a friction against one another, but you also don’t get random fluffies everywhere. I know I do not need my plain black leggings coming out spotted with white fuzzes from my favorite white sweater. Not only is this important because who wants a fuzz, but if you toss in a jacket with a zipper or items with a button, things might get snagged. The less chances you take for a snag or friction, the better your clothing will hold up over time.
Air dry. The biggest crime one can do to their workout clothing is to put it in the dryer. If you only walk away from this post (well I guess exit away? You know what I mean, when you leave this post) remembering one tip… THIS IS IT.
Remember when I said heat breaks apart the fabric material? That’s why we air dry our activewear. In the dryer, the fabric is getting super hot and tossed around, tangling with all the other clothes. You put enough strain and stretch into your clothes during your workout, no need to test the boundaries in the dryer. No they will not snap if you do it once or twice. But over time, it will have an impact. That pair of leggings i was talking about at the very beginning of this post is the pair I would wash on warm water and throw in the dryer about once a week for the first 6 months of owning them. I cringe. Now 2.5 years later, there is a seam unraveling. The other two colors I own in the exact same style… holding up fabulouso. If you’re in a rush and absolutely need to dry them asap, then throw them in. Again, once or twice will do no harm. Just don’t make it a habit.
Hope this was helpful!
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