Washing cycling clothing has its own tricks to extend the life of the garment and prevent premature deterioration. It is a garment made of special fabrics (Lycra, polyester, polypropylene) and requires a completely different washing and drying process than streetwear.
Similarly, garments such as jerseys and shorts should be washed frequently, preferably after every outing. Both jerseys and shorts are exposed to external media that accelerate the wear and tear of the fabric, such as sweat, dirt and the action of the sun's rays, which can deteriorate the colour.
Below we provide you with some simple guidelines for cleaning your cycling jerseys so that you don't damage them unnecessarily and you can make your favorite gear last longer. Also, don't forget to keep your shoes and gloves clean, or keep accessories such as hair bands, hats or knee pads clean (in the case of endurance races or descents).
Wash your clothes immediately
Do not leave them in a basket or chair waiting for the next wash. Sweat will deteriorate the fabric if it is left in the basket with other clothes. If you can't wash them immediately, dip them in a bucket of cold water and let them air dry before putting them in the washing machine.
If you have the time and want to keep your cycling jerseys in immaculate condition, it's best to place them in a bucket or tub and hand wash them in cold or lukewarm water. This will prevent the spinning and whirling of the washing machine from damaging the fabric. Of course, it is very important not to use hot water.
Hand wash jerseys
For jerseys, we must apply soap and concentrate the rubbing on the areas where the famous white lines of dry sweat usually appear: armpits and back. Always rub the fabric gently, especially the most breathable ones, such as the side vents.
How to wash cycling clothing in the washing machine
If, on the other hand, you are used to washing your clothes for riding electric bikes in the washing machine (actually, this is what most cyclists do), always try to choose a quick wash program (30 minutes) at a maximum temperature of 30º Celsius. It will be enough to thoroughly clean all your clothes with guarantees.
If possible, avoid choosing a spin-dry program, as this could deteriorate the breathable properties of fabrics and colours.
Never iron your kit
Cycling clothing, such as jerseys, shorts, technical undershirts, socks, etc., are not ironed.
When cleaning cycling shoes, the washing operation is similar to that of clothes. It will be enough to rub the outside of the shoe with a damp cloth to remove the remains of mud or dust if it is not very dirty.
On the other hand, if it accumulates a lot of mud or dust, it is best to submerge the shoes in water. Previously we had removed the templates to submerge them separately, all in a bucket with cold or warm water (no more than 30º). We will apply a little neutral soap, although you can also use a mild dishwashing liquid. Then we will simply rub the shoes with a soft brush and let it act for a few minutes.
Sheaths, gloves, knee pads and other clothing
Other basic accessories in your outings or training sessions with the bicycle are gloves. Its washing does not have to be as frequent as that of jerseys or culottes. Although if your hands sweat a lot, it is convenient to wash them by hand, in the same conditions as the latter.
For other stronger and heavier garments, such as protections for practising enduro or descent, (knee, elbow or shin guards) washing should be similar to that of shoes. Avoid putting them in the washing machine and clean them by hand by immersing them in a bucket of warm water. These types of accessories do not need to be washed as often, at most every two or three outings. The protection panels are covered with denser and more resistant fabrics than those of the jersey or shorts.
In conclusion, taking good care of your cycling apparel is not only about extending its lifespan but also about ensuring your comfort and safety during rides. Following these cleaning and care tips will keep you feeling fresh and looking sharp on the road.