Everyone reads the care label (we hope!), but do you actually know the best ways to make sure your athleisure feels like new for years to come? Caring for your favorite leggings, joggers and even sports bras is not as intuitive as you may think. We have collected the most-important reference list for all your athleisure-laundering needs!
- Avoid Fabric Softener
Fabric softener may feel like a no-brainer when it comes to keeping your athleisure soft and nicely scented, however it will affect their integrity. Fabric softeners can damage the stretch and strength of your workout gear, and will even prevent them from their sweat-wicking abilities. If your clothes are a little extra stinky, opt for a quick soak in a little bit of vinegar and water before washing as usual.
- Turn Inside Out Before Washing
There are two really good reasons to wash your athleisure inside out. #1: The inside is always the sweatiest. This is where your clothes touch your skin, so this part of the fabric needs the extra attention to wash out all the sweat and body oils that accumulate throughout your workout or day! #2: It protects the condition of your clothing! Any prints, textures, or moisture-wicking coating are traditionally applied to the outside of fabrics. By washing inside out, they will be protected and stay looking new for as long as possible!
- Find the Perfect Washing Partners
If you want to maintain the quality of your athleisure, it is imperative that you make sure nothing else in your load will damage them! Some of the most common culprits of laundry friendly-fire include zippers and bath-towels. Zippers can snag the fabric of your leggings creating holes and tears, while towels will release enough lint to keep your leggings fuzzy forever. As a rule of thumb, it is best to wash similar fabrics together.
- Do Not Put Them in the Dryer!
Trust me, I know how alluring it is to pop your leggings in the dryer so that you can return to a nice, toasty pair in a couple hours, but it is simply not worth it. The number one way to make sure your leggings last as long as possible is to allow them to air dry! Sure, it takes a little longer, but the heat from the dryer can damage the material of your leggings, leaving you with easily prevented holes.
- Lay Flat to Dry
While hang-drying your yoga pants is far better than drying them in the dryer, the weight of the water still in the fabric can stretch them out. Laying your athleisure flat will allow them to keep their shape throughout the drying process. Pro Tip: you may also want to flip them over half way through the drying process so both sides dry evenly.
- The Sun is Not Your Friend
Just like your skin, the sun can damage your athleisure! While drying, make sure to keep your clothing out of direct sunlight, which can fade your fabric.
- Remember to Fold and Put Away Your Fresh Laundry
Personally, we think putting away your clean laundry is the most difficult part of doing laundry, but is so worth it! Making sure your athleisure is nicely folded in a drawer or hung in your closet helps maintain its shape. Leaving your clothes crumpled can damage the waistband as well as the shape of the fabric. Plus, folding them right away will help ensure they look perfect the next time you put them on!
- Remove Pilling for a Like-New Feel
If you follow all of these tips, your clothing shouldn’t start to pill until the fabric actually starts to break down. That being said, washing athleisure with linty items can cause additionally pilling, plus high friction areas can be quite susceptible to this light type of breakdown. To keep your athleisure looking and feeling like new, use a pilling comb or (very carefully!) a dull razor to return the fabric to its original condition.
- Increase Wears, Decrease Washes
Yes, I know we all want our athleisure to be freshly washed every time we put them on, but going longer between washes can actually extend the lifespan of your leggings. Extra washing adds additional wear and tear to your clothing, so limiting washing to when it is absolutely necessary We recommend a sniff test to determine when your athleisure could use a wash!
- Extra Sweaty Workout? Let Them Dry Before You Put Them in the Hamper
Just like when your clothes are wet from washing, when they are covered in sweat they are more susceptible to stretching out. To protect the integrity of the fit of your athleisure, lay them out to dry a little before you toss them in your hamper (or on your floor, we don’t judge!).
Sure, this all may take a little longer than we would prefer, but these few extra steps are sure to extend the lifespan of your athleisure.