Importance Of Proper Laundry Practices For Sports Equipment And Apparel
Sports equipment and apparel are an investment. Higher-quality equipment and apparel are more durable and high performing, which makes them expensive. Despite the cost, we invest in its quality, safety, and personal growth in participating in the sports that we enjoy.
Your growth as an athlete does not stop in investing in high-quality sports equipment and apparel. It is important to know how to care and maintain for this equipment, so you can continuously reap the benefits of its durability and performance.
Washing and sanitizing your sports equipment and apparel. It is time-consuming and may even go wrong.
Why Is It Important To Laundry Sports Equipment Properly?
- Remove sweat and bacteria.
- Prevent lingering odors.
- Eliminate the chances of spreading illness.
- Extend the quality of apparel by preventing damage, wear, and tear.
You do not want to invest in sports equipment and apparel, just for it to wear and tear, or use ones with lingering odors. Here are some tips for properly caring for your sports gear through proper laundry practices:
- Read the wash label on the sports gear.
Follow the care instructions on your sports gear. Different materials and types of sports gear require different types of care, it is important to follow the recommendations for washing and drying.
Some sports equipment and apparel are not recommended for washing machines. If you rely on laundry and dry cleaning services for your regular clothes, you have to take the challenge of washing your sports gear at home.
You also have to be careful with sports equipment and apparel with velcro and zippers. Velcro and zippers can pull the threads of other clothes. This is one of the reasons why sportswear is not recommended to wash with regular ones at the laundry service. Thus, washing sports equipment and apparel are best to handwash them to avoid chafing other clothes.
- Only use mild detergent and avoid fabric softeners.
Use a mild detergent and avoid using fabric softeners. Harsh detergents and fabric softeners can break down the fibers in sports gear, causing it to become less effective and shorter-lasting. Mild detergents are gentle and particularly suitable for sensitive textiles like ones on sports equipment and apparel. Mild detergents do not contain bleaching agents, enzymes, or optical brighteners that bleach the garment or attack the material.
It is also a misconception that using more detergent makes apparel and equipment cleaner. In fact, using too much detergent can lead to build-up in the fibers which absorb more odor.
You can add a cup of white vinegar with a half cup of mild detergent to remove any lingering odors or buildups on your sports equipment and apparel.
- Do not wash sports gear with regular clothes.
Wash sports gear separately from another laundry. It is generally not recommended, as sports gear may have different washing and drying requirements. Sports apparel may be made of materials that are more sensitive to certain detergents or drying temperatures. Washing sports gear with regular clothes can also lead to color bleeding or fabric damage, as sports gear may have dyes or materials that are more prone to fading or shrinking.
Other than protecting the quality of sports equipment, washing them separately helps prevent the transfer of dirt, bacteria, and sweat to other items, which can lead to bad odors and the spread of germs.
- Avoid overloading the washer.
Do not overstuff the washing machine. An overloaded machine does not clean clothes effectively. It does not give your sports gear enough room to move around during the cycle and agitate properly.
Besides poor cleaning performance, an overloaded washer can put additional strain on the washer. It can increase energy and water consumption and may wear and tear your sports equipment and apparel. Moreover, it may truly damage the washer as the load weighs on the agitator more.
- Dry sports gear thoroughly. Do not machine dry.
Damp or wet sports gear can become a breeding ground for bacteria. It leads to foul odors and the potential for the spread of germs. But, sports gear is only compatible with air drying. It is important to follow the drying instructions on your sports equipment and apparel. Machine drying your sports equipment can lead to malfunction, shrinkage, and warping.
Follow these tips to keep your sports gear clean and hygienic, which can improve performance and help to prevent the spread of illness. Besides washing your sports equipment and apparel properly, sanitizing them after use is a must, there is a big chance that athletes touch and share the same equipment. So, here are a few tips to ensure that you do not spread or get an illness:
- Always wash your hands properly before and after sports. Having a hand sanitizer on the bench, dugout, or locker room.
- Have sprays and wipes to disinfect your sports gear. Remember, COVID is still on the loose. Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas of your sports equipment and apparel.
- Reduce the chance of shared equipment.
- Label all your gear to avoid mixing them with other athletes.
Make Sports Equipment And Apparel Last A Lifetime
Engaging in sports can have numerous physical and mental health benefits, and investing in the necessary apparel can be an investment in personal growth and development. Hence, you have to know how to properly care and maintain for your sports equipment.
Washing sports equipment and apparel may be complicated at first, and you cannot entirely rely on laundry services as wash care labels insist. There are just a few things to keep in mind:
- Always read the wash label instructions.
- Handwash with mild detergent. Use vinegar to remove any lingering odors.
- Dry thoroughly without the drying machine. Air drying is best recommended.
- Wash sports equipment and apparel separately from regular clothes.
Hence, follow these tips to make your sports equipment and apparel last a lifetime. High-quality sports apparel is designed to be comfortable and enhance performance. Properly care for them to get your investment’s worth.