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  1. #1
    Trail Ninja
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    Washing riding clothes/gear

    Anyone wait for "laundry day" to wash their sweaty riding gear, perhaps letting that gear sit for up to 6 days before a wash? Do you use any special detergent, pre-soak, or extra rinse, or use any washer settings to cope with that? I got a HE washer that seems to struggle with such, even with "enzyme-based" detergents like Tide (Cold Water formula to go with washer's cold water cycle). Air drying gets rid of any leftover funk, but if I'm in a rush to ride I might happen to pluck smelly gloves out of the washer thinking they'll air dry while I ride (not the case). Gloves might be the exception, since I only keep 1 pair and ride with the multiple times until laundry day.

  2. #2
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    nope..as soon as I get back to the house I wash my gear...I wash it in hot water but on the gentle cycle...I use the Tide Free & Gentle (no perfumes or dyes)...and then when Im done I air dry everything..I also use a fan to speed up the process...I think the longer you let it sit..the longer bacteria has a chance to build up and smells develop...I have a number of pairs of gloves in my bag...but I usually use one pair..but I ride on tues & thurs & sun...so they are always dry by the time I go ride.
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  3. #3
    beater
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    My riding gear goes into the laundry pile, but it probably doesn't take that long for them to get into the wash.

    After swearing off synthetic fabrics for merino a few years ago, I'm back to wearing some nylon in the form of Club Ride jerseys. I really like the look, features and comfort. But this summer I have noticed them getting funkier, and doing so earlier in a ride. By late summer they'd accumulated enough that during a post-ride beer on my deck, I'd occasionally get a whiff and think "whew." That was never the case when they were new(er). I've given them a dilute vinegar bath, which may have helped a little bit.

    If anyone has a suggested sterilization method to knock back the creeping perma-funk, I'd appreciate hearing it.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

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  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I do my laundry once a week, so if I do it early and then ride on Sunday, yeah, it might take a week for my riding clothes to make it into the wash.

    I rinse it in the shower if it's been a particularly muddy ride, though.

    About the only time I notice a really gnarly smell is if I've been racing or if I sweated a ton, threw everything in a bag, and then forgot it there for a few hours.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    Hot? Are you not afraid of shrinkage?
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  6. #6
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    Nope...its not cotton so it does not shrink...most of my stuff is a nylon..dri shirt..type stuff.
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  7. #7
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    I'm pretty good about washing my riding gear every couple of days but I haven't washed my snowboard pants in 5 years. I usually get about 20 days in per year and of course it never gets hot
    I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone

  8. #8
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    When I get back from a ride, I bring my riding clothes in the shower with me to rinse them out, then hang them to air dry. About once a week they then go into the laundry. I find that rinsing them right away like that goes a long way to keeping the perma-funk at bay, which IME is pretty much permanent once it sets in.
    Speed solves all problems, except for those things it makes worse.

  9. #9
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    They make special sport washes for athletic gear. Try some baking soda in the wash. I like to fabreeze my elbow and knee pads after wash and then let dry in the sun.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    but I haven't washed my snowboard pants in 5 years. I usually get about 20 days in per year and of course it never gets hot
    I used to think that too, but that doesn't take smelly farts into the equation. On a more serious note, speaking with Goretex years back, they said that it is actually important to wash the stuff, as it helps everything to function properly. Otherwise the pores that allow vapor breathing get clogged up.

    Powder detergent is what I've seen recommended by various gear companies for washing stuff.
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  11. #11
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    Bibs and jerseys turned inside out in a laundry bag tossed in with like colors. Wash on cold or warm with a mild, non-phosphate, detergent. I add a 1/4 cup of borax and 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar. The borax and vinegar will take care of any funky smells. Really, with borax and vinegar, detergent is not fully necessary. If you use chamois cream, (which everyone should: shea butter is a cheap, effective, alternative) pre-soak bibs in warm water and gently hand scrub the chamois with mild detergent (un-scented hand soap will work). Then, wash as above.

    If you don't plan on washing for a few days, hang your dirty riding clothes up to prevent further bacteria growth. No one wants crotch-rot, aka jock-itch.

  12. #12
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    I wash my synthetics within a few days after a ride, excluding my gloves. I have 4 pairs of gloves and cycle through them but they get washed about every 4 rides.

    I do notice that most of my gear will eventually get the perma-funk, as others have mentioned. The cure for this is to toss them into a bucket or the bath tub and douse them with white vinegar and maybe some baking soda. Let them sit over night and then wash as normal. This usually removes it.

  13. #13
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    Re: Washing riding clothes/gear

    Dreft detergent. It is designed to clean poop out of baby diapers. It does a good job of getting both the mud and funk out of riding gear. My riding clothes do smell a little like baby shampoo after using it, but of its much better than my skunk like stench.

  14. #14
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    My riding clothes regularly get covered with mud in addition to swweat. If I delay cleaning they stain. If I first pressure wash with cold water from the garden hose as soon as I take them off, they stay very nice, even whites.

  15. #15
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    Mine get pretty raunchy but I use a homemade detergent based on Dr Bronners castile soap. The peppermint scent is so intense that even the muskiest of compression shorts come out smelling like candy.

  16. #16
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    Wool - I try to wear wool wherever I can - very stink resistant.

    Synthetics - it all goes into the shower with me post ride. Seriously. I plug the tub and agitate the cloths with my feet. Unplug the drain, wring out the clothes and rinse. Hang on the radiator to dry.

    Dawn dish detergent is my favorite soap to wash myself (hair and all) and clothes with. No more itchy skin or scalp - none since going Dawn. No joke.

  17. #17
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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    Check out Penguin Wash for synthetics. It's supposed to remove funk (I let my stuff air dry before washing it) and help keep the wickaway properties intact. Do not use fabric softener with synthetics as it makes it less efficient. Also, for any synthetics with funk you can't get out, try a scoop of Borax in with some Penguin Wash or whatever you use to clean it.

  18. #18
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    With four kids laundry is an almost daily occurrence at our home. Try to air dry our sporting clothing, let it be mt bike or trail running gear. If it was a light ride I may hang it up and get another ride with it.

  19. #19
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    Biz and white vinegar works great. There was a post about washing riding clothes on here years ago where a fabric expert talked about what she recommended for odors - soaking in Biz was recommended and i've definitely noticed a difference from standard detergent and even the expensive specialty washes from penguin and others.

    Get the funk out!

  20. #20
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    I stockpile my bike wear and wash it once a week. Every couple of loads I'll put a tablespoon of bleach in and that's enough to kill any funk. I generally don't buy super expensive clothes though so I don't mind taking the risk of bleach. With that said, all my clothes have had a longer than expected life cycle.

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