Can I put my camelbak in the washing machine?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Can I put my camelbak in the washing machine?

    and put it in the dryer? Or is there a better way to wash it? and I mean the fabric camelbak and not the resevoir....thx!

  2. #2
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    wash on gentle cycle and hang dry

  3. #3
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    I wrote Camelbak the same question. I sweat like a pig on every ride so I thought that would be a great idea. Camelbak replied that they definitely advise against it and told me to just use a sponge and soapy water to clean. The washing machine may compromise the material of the packs. IMO, I like the gentle cycle and hang dry idea so much better and I don't have to spend time washing the damn, filthy thing. Reminds me to finally wash it too.

  4. #4
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    I put mine in a mesh laundry bag before just dumping it in the wash. Been doing that for about a year now with no problems. As for drying, I just hang it out to dry.

  5. #5
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    I do it all the time...

    I've got 2 Camelbaks... both have been machine washed likely more than a dozen times each. When I wash one I put it inside of an old pillowcase (to keep the straps from getting tangled around the other items) and wash with my other bike clothes. Both are fine, no issues.

    ...yep, and since they're made from synthetic fabrics they air dry very quickly.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, no worries in the washing machine on gentle cycle, a sponge doesnt get off the salty stains from sweating like a mo fo in summer.....
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  7. #7
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    Camelbak replied that they definitely advise against it and told me to just use a sponge and soapy water to clean. The washing machine may compromise the material of the packs.
    Weird. Even if I heard that, I would still do it. It's not like they're using some secret proprietary, space age fabric. I figure if the bag can stand up to salt, dirt, grease, abrasions, UV rays, etc for years and years (yes, I've had mine for 5+ years), it should be able to withstand anything my socks and undies can. Good grief...if I had to worry about water and soap on my camelback, I wouldn't have bought it. I have washed mine in the normal cycle...not even with a bag around it...just threw it in. Been doing that for years and the bag looks perfectly new. It's a little faded though....but that's from the sunlight, not the constant washing.

  8. #8
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    The M.U.L.E. I just bought actually said on the tag that machine washing would void the warranty. Kind of sounds excessive but kind of makes sense at the same time.

  9. #9

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    i just throw mine in a laundry bag with clothes around it and wash it on gentle...like i assume everyone else does. It definitely voids the warranty though, so do so at your own risk

  10. #10
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    The most likely reasons that Cambelback recommends against a washing machine are
    1. straps getting wrapped around the agitator and torn off
    2. ( and this is the most likely) Most laundry detergents are harsh enough to strip any water repellent coating off of the fabric, and strip it of any DWR( durable water repellency, a different coating applied to the outside of the fabric.

    I work with technical fabrics and gear professionally. When someone asks me how to strip the peeling coating off their tent floor, the answer is "wash it with TIDE".

    So ya, what I would suggest is gentle, pillow case/mesh bag and mild soap. I do mine in the sink.

  11. #11
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    How about when you're putting on either your camelback or helmet, and white flakes
    start drifting around. Sure sign you've waited too long to clean up. Mr. lazy slob
    impresses no one.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddraewwg
    I have washed mine in the normal cycle...not even with a bag around it...just threw it in. Been doing that for years and the bag looks perfectly new. It's a little faded though....but that's from the sunlight, not the constant washing.
    Same here. I dry it in the dryer, too. No probs.

    fp
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  13. #13
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    Steal your girlfriends lingerie bag. It's a mesh thing you can toss it in, and that will keep the straps from getting ripped off. I don't care what Camelbak says, your pack will be STANK if you only wipe it down once in a while.

  14. #14
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    definitely no dryer!!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    1. straps getting wrapped around the agitator and torn off
    2. ( and this is the most likely) Most laundry detergents are harsh enough to strip any water repellent coating off of the fabric, and strip it of any DWR( durable water repellency, a different coating applied to the outside of the fabric.
    I wash my C-bak at a laundromat, where the front-loader machines don't have agitators. And when was my C-bak ever water-resistant?

    fp
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    definitely no dryer!!!

    I dry mine all the time.....am I doomed?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte
    I wash my C-bak at a laundromat, where the front-loader machines don't have agitators. And when was my C-bak ever water-resistant?

    fp

    While I can't speak for CB exactly, durable nylon fabrics are almost always coated with a DWR coating to begin with. ( durable water repellent, fancy name for water repellent)

  18. #18
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    I've never washed mine (other than dunking it in a river) in over 7 years and about 12000 miles. Sure, it looks dirty but it doesn't smell.

    If I was to wash it, I'd prolly just stuff the straps inside the bag, zip it closed, and either dry it on low heat or just hang dry. I wouldn't risk shrinkage.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bstyle74
    I've never washed mine (other than dunking it in a river) in over 7 years and about 12000 miles. Sure, it looks dirty but it doesn't smell.

    If I was to wash it, I'd prolly just stuff the straps inside the bag, zip it closed, and either dry it on low heat or just hang dry. I wouldn't risk shrinkage.
    It does smell!! Now I know where that awful stank comes from. It's YOU!! Wash that $hit.

    You must have salt stains everywhere. Nasty.

  20. #20
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    The answer is... it depends.

    Some risks: If there is a foam liner against the back, it can scrunch up into a wad. Any untaped/loose threads can unravel. Straps can get caught in the moving parts in the drum.

    Generally, there shouldn't be a problem in a gentle wash in a mesh bag. But my packs are generally to difficult for me to replace, so I just scrub them in a tub of water. If you do this, you will be amazed at how much black crap comes out of the bag. It's fairly gross.

  21. #21
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    salt will disintergrate some of your fabric compenents eventually. Gross.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddraewwg
    It does smell!! Now I know where that awful stank comes from. It's YOU!! Wash that $hit.
    So I was thinking of washing my bag, but now I feel in the interest of scientific discovery I will test to see how long it takes for salt to destroy my $25 Performance branded "Monsoon" backpack, which is roughly the same size/capacity of a Camelback Mule. DD, if you are sick of smelling my bag, maybe you should ride faster and get in front of me so you're not downwind all the time!

  23. #23
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    I have. Let it air dry.
    "Hesitation is the Mother of Failure!"

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  24. #24
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    I've been machine washing my Camelbak and Deuter packs for years (better than my funky sweat whatever they lose to the washer). I use a pillowcase ziptied shut, too lazy to get a mesh bag that fits, learned that lesson after tearing straps off. Always hang dry, though.
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  25. #25
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    i hand wash and rinse my pack in the sink. hot water and a shot of liquid laundry soap .my gloves and helmet have been in there too only takes 5-10 minutes. air dry after, with 100% success for years

  26. #26
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    [QUOTE=formica]While I can't speak for CB exactly, durable nylon fabrics are almost always coated with a DWR coating to begin with. ( durable water repellent, fancy name for water repellent)[/QUOTE

    After washing my CamalBak I usuallu unload a can of Scotchguard on it an hang it in the sun.

    Rather then machine washing my Camalbak I usually hand wash it in a big wash basin. I don't think machine washing would kill it but it will certainly beat it up more then hand washing. Also, tossing it in the dryer will beat it up that much more, better to hang dry on a sunny day.

  27. #27
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    Machine wash gentle cycle....hang dry.
    But how about the resevoir that holds the water?
    I found some gunk in mine the other day......slime !!!
    2018 Spectral AL

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    salt will disintergrate some of your fabric compenents eventually. Gross.

    I'm not sure about this... I've never had a pack fail along the parts that get soaked with salt, and I've got packs going back to the mid 90s, washed maybe once every 2 years. The failures, if any, are in the high abrasion areas. Overall, some modern synthetics are pretty amazing.

    Anyway, washing is still a good idea- festy bags are pretty disgusting.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    definitely no dryer!!!
    Why not? The North Face actually reccomends putting your DWR-coated jacket in the dryer after washing to melt the stuff and make a nice new coating on the fabric. It works very well too, I might add.

    And does anyone know exactly how Camelbak would know you put your bag in a washing machine?

    I'm also suprised nobody's mentioned using a front-load machine. Agitators in top-loaders can be nasty, but a front-loader is niiiiice and gentle.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulster2626
    Why not? The North Face actually reccomends putting your DWR-coated jacket in the dryer after washing to melt the stuff and make a nice new coating on the fabric. It works very well too, I might add.

    And does anyone know exactly how Camelbak would know you put your bag in a washing machine?

    I'm also suprised nobody's mentioned using a front-load machine. Agitators in top-loaders can be nasty, but a front-loader is niiiiice and gentle.
    Probably because some muppet is going to forget to use the 'low heat' setting and shrink/melt their pack. Packs dry so fast that you don't really need a drier anyway.

    The whole DWR thing is a bit irrelevant though. If it's wet and you'r biking with a pack, it's going to get coated with mud pretty quick, which means that a DWR won't work anyway. If you've got a good internal laminate layer, the pack will remain water resistant, but no biking packs should be regarded as fully waterproof. There are too many seams, zips and holes in a pack.

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    The most likely reasons that Cambelback recommends against a washing machine are
    1. straps getting wrapped around the agitator and torn off
    2. ( and this is the most likely) Most laundry detergents are harsh enough to strip any water repellent coating off of the fabric, and strip it of any DWR( durable water repellency, a different coating applied to the outside of the fabric.

    .
    1. Got two words. Front loader. No agitator.

    2. As to the DWR; Camelbacks ain't got none.

    Wash and wear. I air dry my Mule, Blowfish and Ridge Runner.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulster2626
    Why not? The North Face actually reccomends putting your DWR-coated jacket in the dryer after washing to melt the stuff and make a nice new coating on the fabric. It works very well too, I might add.

    And does anyone know exactly how Camelbak would know you put your bag in a washing machine?

    I'm also suprised nobody's mentioned using a front-load machine. Agitators in top-loaders can be nasty, but a front-loader is niiiiice and gentle.
    your right, dryer does reactivate DWR, at least the kind on better shell clothing. As for DWR on a pack? Who knows, I'm just guessing on that one. I can verify that detergent with strip off polyurethane coating on the inside of of a coated nylon. I just checked three camelbacks stacked in the corner, they all have PU coated nylons on the inside. The main reason I recommend no dryer for most synthetic items it that is doesn't take much to over do it.


    As some one who repairs gear professionally, and has several warranty contracts - trust me, you know when someone has washed something the wrong way, certain things are obvious.

  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    2. ( and this is the most likely) Most laundry detergents are harsh enough to strip any water repellent coating off of the fabric, and strip it of any DWR( durable water repellency, a different coating applied to the outside of the fabric.
    Like formica has said, I'd go with the gentle cycle. Stay away from fabric softeners!! My uniforms for work are Tex-Trop™ with NANO-DRY®. Most laundry detergents and fabric softeners break down the material. I figure the material Camelbak (and other hydration systems) is made of, is pretty much the same way.

    While my daughter was little I used the Dreft laundry detergent, which was specifically designed for infant clothes (which has the flame-retardant standards) to wash my uniforms and my Camelbak. When she out-grew the infant clothes, I switched to the Woolite Dark (hey, my uniforms are dark navy and the Camelbak is black). So far the material of my uniforms has held up (some are 4+ yrs old, others are a year) and so has the Camelbak (3 yrs old, give or take a few months).

  34. #34
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    Detergents and softeners are bad dor synthetics sports clothing because they leave residues that inhibit the wicking properties of the fibres, not because they break down the material. Synthetics are generally very, very tough.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffwlwhite
    wash on gentle cycle and hang dry



    Works everytime..

    Another option is buy yourself a big plastic tub, and wash it by hand with a little mild detergent, then rinse thoroughly and let it air dry.. Let it soak for half an hour or so.

  36. #36
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    dish washer works good, car wash/hipressure wash works good. leave upside down over night to dry.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Screamer View Post
    Machine wash gentle cycle....hang dry.
    But how about the resevoir that holds the water?
    I found some gunk in mine the other day......slime !!!
    I go with a table spoon of bleach, 50 oz of water, shake, let sit five minutes. Drain the reservoir through mouthpiece (and hose). I then fill it up another three times with just water and run it through the hose as well to make sure it's rinsed well. When not in use, the reservoir goes in the freezer to prevent the growing of mold.

    Anyone have any negative experiences putting the fabric portion of the camelbak in the washing machine? Mine is stinky.

  38. #38
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    I wash and dry mine at least once/ month.dang thing looks new still after 8 years!

    A for the bladder keep in fridge when not using it, and get a brush kit to clean the hose every once in a while.

  39. #39
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    I just secure the straps and throw it in the washer, I have done this a dozen times and everything is good.

  40. #40
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    I put mine in the wash machine in a bag on 'hand wash', along with my knee and shoulder pads. Works a treat with zero damage after many cycles. Dryer not necessary, they dry out very quickly anyway. As for waterproofing, I always put things in Ziploc bags anyway inside a pack if they might be damaged by water.

  41. #41
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    put it in a pillow case, tie the pillow case end in a knot, put it in the washer.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    I go with a table spoon of bleach, 50 oz of water, shake, let sit five minutes. Drain the reservoir through mouthpiece (and hose). I then fill it up another three times with just water and run it through the hose as well to make sure it's rinsed well. When not in use, the reservoir goes in the freezer to prevent the growing of mold.

    Anyone have any negative experiences putting the fabric portion of the camelbak in the washing machine? Mine is stinky.
    And this three year old thread was resurrected... why?

  43. #43
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    I stone wash mine at the stream and hang it on the clothes line. No wait a min that's what I do to with my underware. Never mind. Maybe I should try that with my camelbak...????....

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by womble View Post
    And this three year old thread was resurrected... why?
    Was using the search function to find information. Rather than start a new thread I decided to provide useful information in this thread to resurrect it allowing more people to comment on the original topic to get more opinions on camelbak washing. In actuality it allowed for the post from the guy that says he's been washing his for 7 years without problems which was the long term type of example I was looking for. Is this sufficient? I thought it was bad etiquette to start new threads for topics already discussed. But apparently it's also bad etiquette to resurrect threads on the topic you're looking for, but that don't have quite the amount of information you're looking for. Or???

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by juanbeegas View Post
    I put mine in a mesh laundry bag before just dumping it in the wash. Been doing that for about a year now with no problems. As for drying, I just hang it out to dry.
    this

  46. #46
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    take out the bladder, and throw it in the wash, if you dry it put it on cool

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jparisi48 View Post
    take out the bladder, and throw it in the wash, if you dry it put it on cool


    The bag... NOT the bladder!
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eckstream1 View Post


    The bag... NOT the bladder!
    No. Bladder.
    Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    Was using the search function to find information. Rather than start a new thread I decided to provide useful information in this thread to resurrect it allowing more people to comment on the original topic to get more opinions on camelbak washing. In actuality it allowed for the post from the guy that says he's been washing his for 7 years without problems which was the long term type of example I was looking for. Is this sufficient? I thought it was bad etiquette to start new threads for topics already discussed. But apparently it's also bad etiquette to resurrect threads on the topic you're looking for, but that don't have quite the amount of information you're looking for. Or???

    Just kind of curious if this was conforming to your mild pattern of starting slightly odd, attention-seeking threads or if this one was for some 'real' reason. Forgive me if I am a little cynical given your predilection for posting for self amusement.

    Though I do have to admit that the grammar post did go off into an entertaining direction after a while.

  50. #50
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    How do you wash the bladder? On my camelback the bladder is connected to the pack

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by swifthawaiian View Post
    How do you wash the bladder? On my camelback the bladder is connected to the pack
    Fill the bladder with water. Add a tablespoon of bleach. Shake well, run bleach mixture out hose for a couple of seconds to make sure the diluted mixture is in the hose and mouthpiece. Let sit for a few minutes, shake well, drain out the mouthpiece. Fill with water, drain, fill with water again, drain again, do it a third time if you're really anal.

  52. #52
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    good info

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by swifthawaiian View Post
    How do you wash the bladder? On my camelback the bladder is connected to the pack
    The bladder is not removable? That's kinda odd. I use the Camelback cleaning tabs. They are just a convenience item......put in some water, pop in a tab, let it fizz in there for about 5 minutes, drain and rinse. No aftertaste at all and no mixing.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    salt will disintergrate some of your fabric compenents eventually. Gross.
    I don't think it's the salt, I think it's the oils & acids in sweat.

    I've washed my Camelbak multiple times without issue.
    Only had a problem one time: When it gets to the point it needs washing I normally wash it with the rest of my dirty riding gear which generally doesn't fill the machine so I use a lower water level. The one time I had an issue was when I washed it with a full load. Because of the foam padding on on the back it floats and in my machine it floats high enough to touch the rim of the machine that doesn't turn, the lip cut through a large part of the pack on the spin cycle and I had to replace it.

  55. #55
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    Salt is corrosive. So is all that other stuff.

  56. #56
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    Sorry to be digging up an old post. I Just wanted to add one more question...
    What are some favorite types of detergent? I've heard that Woolite is both good and bad. Good because it is gentle, bad because it leaves a residue. Has anyone used Oxyclean? I know that stuff tends to leave residue too... but it works great at getting the stank out of my synthetic shirts.

    What are some of the detergents yinz, yall, yous use?

  57. #57
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    If you use potable water only you'll never have to wash or disinfect your Camelbak type bladder if you remember one thing.

    Drain and completely dry the bladder after use.

    The way I do it is simple. I remove the bladder, dump out the contents while draining the hose, then hang on a nail and leave the cap off until dry or until the next use.

    The absolute worst thing you can do is to leave water in it for extended periods or drain the water out then put the cap back on.

    If you do put other liquids besides water in your bladder, rinse thoroughly between uses and be prepared for residual tastes when switching back to water.

    At some point it becomes a better choice just to replace the bladder. They are relatively inexpensive and now are available almost anywhere, even wally world.

  58. #58
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    woolite = baby shampoo with additives. It's cheaper to use baby shampoo.

    I've never heard of issues with Oxyclean. It's a critical ingredient in my Stinky Bike Gear recipe, and it's an additive in WIN detergent which is specifically marketed towards active wear.

    Nowadays liquid detergent is recommended over soap for technical clothing. Fabric softener and hot dryers are a no-no.

    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.

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