Temps are rising and let’s face it so are our sweat levels.
So how do you care for your performance fabrics and fight the stink? If your first instinct is to wash items in hot water with a big glug of detergent – STOP! Heat will lock in odors and quickly degrade the fibers and their performance characteristics. Adding too much detergent will cause a build up on the fibers and create an environment for more bacteria to grow. Use the following suggestions to keep your performance fabrics in the best shape wear after wear:
- If possible, wash immediately after wearing. Next best, is to give items a soak in a vinegar water mix. Vinegar is a great ‘de-stinker’. It kills bacteria (and other stuff) which is the main culprit of odor. Then rinse with water, let air dry, and wash when you can. If that’s not feasible (and really when is it ever?), let the garment completely air dry before tossing in the hamper.
- When washing, turn the garment inside out since most of the grime is on the inside, not the outside.
- Wash only with similar fabrics. Don't wash with heavy items like denim.
- Follow detergent instructions and add the minimum amount recommended (or even a little less). And NO fabric softener ever – it coats the fibers and hinders the wicking and other performance characteristics.
- Wash on a cold, gentle cycle. Too much heat and agitation will shorten the lifespan of the garment.
- Ideally, let garments air dry. Or, dry on the lowest heat setting possible. It’s also a good idea to give the garment a sniff when you remove it from the washer. If odors persist, wash again before drying. Heat drying will set the odors and make them more difficult to remove.