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  1. #1
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    How do you wash your clothes?

    No, seriously. Your shorts, jerseys, bib shorts, socks, baselayers, gloves, etc., all covered in dirt and sweat and mud. Especially the socks - the socks are always the worst. How do you keep everything clean?

    We just got a high efficiency washer. I'd been delaying the purchase as long as possible but couldn't delay any longer. I'd heard stories and read plenty of reviews telling how HE washers aren't as good in getting the grime out, and so far those stories are true. Our new washer - a Maytag Bravos XL something or other - pours just enough water to get the clothes wet, then squirms the clothes around in that dirty water. The clothes come out smelling OK, but it's like the dirt is just moved from one place to another but not removed. I didn't have any problems with our old, non-high efficiency washer.

    Anyway, anyone have any tips?

  2. #2
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    I hand wash bibs after each ride. Jerseys, shorts, socks and the like just get put in the washer and line dried unless it's safe to tumble low. Can't say much about HE washers, I live in an apartment with a shared laundry room so I have no choice in machinery...

  3. #3
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    I usually put all my riding stuff in the washer on gentle cycle, then run it in the dryer on low and fold or hang everything up as soon as it's done. I haven't had anything get damaged or ruined this way. I wash my gloves with tougher fabrics like jeans and work shirts to avoid velcro snags on my jerseys.

  4. #4
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    I rinse the muddy stuff in a bucket first for exactly the reason in OP. I don't use a drier, in an hour's time all except the socks is dry anyway.

  5. #5
    Hi There!
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    I have a pretty good amount of knowledge about HE washers. There's not a lot of mud around where I live but when I do ride in the mud I usually strip down and hose the mud off before putting my clothes in my HE washer. I have an LG setup and it cleans perfectly. I always use cold water because the soap washes the clothes, not the water. Are your regular clothes coming out dirty too? Is your washer a front load or top load HE washer? If you ever went to a laundromat you might have noticed their front loads don't use a ton of water either so you can deduce the HE washers to work well. No washer is supposed to clean a set of totally muddy clothes. Oh yeah, are you using HE detergent? It's a must.

    By the way, as someone mentioned above I don't use a dryer that much either. I lived in Japan for a number of years, and my wife is Japanese; most people don't have dryers there. When you hang up your shirts and pants they last so much longer...no shrinking, fading, etc. Plus you don't need to buy clothes as much and you save on your electric bill. Oh yeah, the HE washers spin the clothes so fast they are practically dry when the washers done anyway.

    Yeah, way too much info but I'm passionate about this. I'm not a tree-hugger either, just thrifty. HE washers are the best.
    NTFTC

  6. #6
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    I've washed my share of cycling clothing - muddy, stinky, dusty, stained, whatever - in both HE and normal washers with similar results. I put all my cycling specific clothes together, and wash on warm with HE laundry detergent and no softener. I hang everything to dry (which I do for a lot of my normal clothes, too... keeps them looking nicer longer and no shrinkage).

    The couple of times that I have been severely muddy I have gotten into the shower with my kit still on or bring it in with me and rinse out the worse of the mud in there, and then wash. Sometimes I'll pretreat stained areas with a laundry spot remover.

  7. #7
    T.W.O.
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    Sweat, I just throw it in the washer and air dry. Mud? I would hose them down first then throw them in the washer, and air dry.

  8. #8
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    If it looks like I took a mud bath in my cycling clothes I'll hose them off outside or in the shower before tossing them in the washing machine. For minor to moderate mud splatters I toss it straight into the washer and it comes out fine. I also switched to a high efficiency washer earlier this year, but mine seems to clean everything better than the regular washer it replaced. All my clothes get washed together at the end of each week, regular stuff goes into the dryer and cycling gear gets hung out to dry.

  9. #9
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    I've been using a H.E. washer for a few years now. It works fine to get my cycling items clean. If you are that concerned, perhaps you should be washing your apparel more often so that it doesn't get so grimy in the first place. No offense.

  10. #10
    Ride Instigator
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    I machine wash my riding clothes with all the regular stuff but I hang dry the riding clothes. IMO, the dryer is what takes the life out of clothing.

  11. #11
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I cannot be the only one that thought the OP made a typo and meant to type GE washer. Had to Google HE washer. High Efficiency if anyone was wondering.
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  12. #12
    aka: Bucky Fikes
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    Regular old school top loading washer. Gentle cycle for all my synthetic riding gear, occasionally gloves & knee pads with liquid detergent. I drop an 1/8 to maybe 1/4 cup of Simple Green in the wash, too. That really helps cut that funky skunk smell the synthetics will sometimes have. I air dry virtually all my gear.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmoreKen View Post
    Especially the socks - the socks are always the worst. How do you keep everything clean?
    Well, wear black socks, for one thing.

    Muddy stuff gets rinsed off first. I bring my shirts and shorts in the shower with me to rinse off after the ride. I find that rinsing everything right away helps keep perma-stink from developing in technical fabrics. Shorts get hand washed with soap.

    About once a week (whenever I have enough to make up a small load), everything goes through the washing machine with cold water, gentle cycle. I use a laundry detergent specifically made for workout clothes (forget the name off the top of my head, but it comes in an orange bottle), with a little bit of Biz sprinkled in. Technical fabrics then get hung up to air dry.

    Things like gloves and helmet liners are washed only infrequently, in the sink by hand with a little soap.
    Speed solves all problems, except for those things it makes worse.

  14. #14
    That makes me smart
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    In case you missed what several others have said, HE detergent is a must.

    And the best is Tide, according to Consumer Reports.

    Edit: Whoops, I'll have to recant, I checked and Wisk's Deep Clean Free & Pure HE detergent edges out Tide. Plus, it's cheaper.

  15. #15
    Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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    Wear all black and it always looks fresh after a wash. Black socks black shorts black jersey red bike.
    Front Range, Colorado.

  16. #16
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    How do you wash your clothes?

    Mom hates when I come home and do laundry. I toss everything in unless it's a delicate wash. All colors except white. Dad works farming and I help out a lot. We toss his nasty clothes after spraying in. I toss mine in when covered with chicken crap. I will say I am impressed with the Electrolux he. I am not sure why mom is against using tide though.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjaguar View Post
    Well, wear black socks, for one thing.

    Muddy stuff gets rinsed off first. I bring my shirts and shorts in the shower with me to rinse off after the ride. I find that rinsing everything right away helps keep perma-stink from developing in technical fabrics. Shorts get hand washed with soap.

    About once a week (whenever I have enough to make up a small load), everything goes through the washing machine with cold water, gentle cycle. I use a laundry detergent specifically made for workout clothes (forget the name off the top of my head, but it comes in an orange bottle), with a little bit of Biz sprinkled in. Technical fabrics then get hung up to air dry.

    Things like gloves and helmet liners are washed only infrequently, in the sink by hand with a little soap.
    Same here I just climb in the shower fully clothed if I am really filthy then wash it as normal.
    Most of those HE washers have a separate rinse cycle though, ours does, you can run through one of those first. I've been banned from doing that by the wife because I was once so filthy that it blocked the outlet and we had a flood, hence the shower. I think she had not read the instruction manual and the filter had not been cleaned for a while as there was a lot more than mud gumming the thing up when I cleaned it out but I took the blame anyway.

  18. #18
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    How do you wash your clothes?

    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleJon View Post
    Same here I just climb in the shower fully clothed if I am really filthy then wash it as normal.
    Most of those HE washers have a separate rinse cycle though, ours does, you can run through one of those first. I've been banned from doing that by the wife because I was once so filthy that it blocked the outlet and we had a flood, hence the shower. I think she had not read the instruction manual and the filter had not been cleaned for a while as there was a lot more than mud gumming the thing up when I cleaned it out but I took the blame anyway.
    He washers have filters? Where would they be. Have had ours for years without cleaning a washer filter.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleJon View Post
    Same here I just climb in the shower fully clothed if I am really filthy then wash it as normal.
    Most of those HE washers have a separate rinse cycle though, ours does, you can run through one of those first. I've been banned from doing that by the wife because I was once so filthy that it blocked the outlet and we had a flood, hence the shower. I think she had not read the instruction manual and the filter had not been cleaned for a while as there was a lot more than mud gumming the thing up when I cleaned it out but I took the blame anyway.
    My wife won't let me use ours either. I didn't know that you had to use HE detergent in the washer when we first bought it and I used some cheap regular stuff. We had detergent everywhere. Doesn't help that it's a front load too.

  20. #20
    I like pie.
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    Our HE washer has a Heavy Duty Cycle for tough jobs. Use that cycle and everything comes out spotless. Works just fine with tide. Warm wash Warm rinse.

    Normally I use the Normal Cycle.

    Part of the OP's problem may center around using a cold water wash. Warm water cleans better

    Do cold washes get clothes clean? - Laundry Room Forum - GardenWeb

    How your eco-friendly cool wash can infest your clothes with GERMS | Mail Online

  21. #21
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    Very little mud here in Socal. wash just reguar cycle

    Very important to but bibs and jerseys not in dryer. especially the jerseys seem to shrink a lot.

    Line dry only
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  22. #22
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    I give them to my wife. I'm not allowed to touch the washing machine after having ruined a number of loads over the years!

  23. #23
    Hi There!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rei Miraa View Post
    He washers have filters? Where would they be. Have had ours for years without cleaning a washer filter.


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    On my LG there's a little door on the bottom front, I open the door and pull a little hose out to drain what water is in there, and then twist off the filter and clean it. You need to check your manual for the washer, I've heard some people have major problems due to not cleaning the filter.
    NTFTC

  24. #24
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    Awesome feedback. I think I need to start rinsing my clothes off first before I put them in the washer. Never had to do that in the past, could just throw right into the wash and run the cold water cycle, using Tide Sport with Febreze worked great.

    BTW, I'm not covered in mud or anything, just the usual sweat plus dirt and some splotches of this or that. New washer just seems to move the dirt around but not remove it.

  25. #25
    I like turtles
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    I wash my kit/gear after each ride (road or mtn). I have a HE front-loader. Just use the "quick" cycle and the laundry soap my wife makes (its like her version of the homemade sealant..ahahaha). Works great. I hang dry everything. I don't ride much in muddy conditions. For jerseys, I always zip them up.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  26. #26
    Broken Hipster
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    I take them off in the shower to catch the crusty mud that would otherwise end up on the floor then shower up with the gear over the drain and stomp them clean (enough), wring them out then toss everything in the dryer.
    I ride in filthy conditions every day so I do this once a week usually. I just air dry them till the weekly wash day. Pretty ripe by then.

  27. #27
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    How do you wash your clothes?

    I rinse mine off outside first and then wash them on a gentle cycle, and hang dry. I also skip fabric softener. It think screws up the way my liners and jerseys breath and wick moisture.

    A little trick I learned from working on old greasy hot rods and Harley's is to throw some simple green or something similar in with really dirty stuff. Helps the clothes get cleaner and also keeps gunk from getting built up in the washers drain lines. 90w gear oil does so nasty stuff to laundry.


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  28. #28
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    How do you wash your clothes?

    I spray the mud off with a hose and then wash normally in cold water. Don't really care if there's a little dirt left. Biking for me is not about fashion (not that it is for the OP).


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  29. #29
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    Red clay mud and High Viz yellow don't mix. I don't think I have had that particular jersey clean since I put it on the first time. I wash it but it is stained. It will be dirty about 10 minutes after I leave the trailhead anyway soooooooo.
    As long as I don't stink too bad I really don't care if I have a stain(s) on my jersey. Everything else is black.
    I did just buy another one that is a little darker and shouldn't show the dirt. I like it... it has guns and longhorn skulls on it.
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  30. #30
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    How do you wash your clothes?

    My clothes washer and dishwasher are the same person, I just tell her my stuff is dirty and to get me a beer


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  31. #31
    James.Hamilton
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    I tend to hand wash my gear more than putting it in the washer. One of the main reasons is poison oak. I wash with dawn or tecnu when needed and do not want that po mess getting in my washing machine. For me it is mostly sweat and not much mud so a soak with baking powder or borax will help to keep the kit stink at bay. Always line dry my kit never in the dryer as is the same with most of my nicer fitted clothing.

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