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Jogger in the forest Nathalie Désirée Mottet/Unsplash

Washing sportswear: 7 care tips

Sweat-soaked sportswear should undoubtedly be washed as swiftly as possible, although regular washing of waterproof technical wear is also highly recommended. We have put together the most important care tips to maintain long-term breathability and moisture management. 

Sportswear has to perform on many levels – it must be elastic enough to allow freedom of movement without restricting the wearer, wick sweat away from the body, regulate temperature and be breathable. Outdoor clothing and rainwear should fulfil similar functions and also be water-repellent or even waterproof – which is why we are also talking about technical wear. Sportswear and technical wear require the right care to maintain the so-called membrane function. Part of this care involves regular washing, because when we sweat, the moisture is wicked away from the body via various membranes. During this process, salt crystals get caught in the material, attacking it and impairing its breathability. In addition, an unpleasant smell of perspiration builds up over time, depending on the type of material. 

Woman stretches after sportStage 7 Photography/Unsplash

1. Wash sweaty clothing immediately after sport

If there is no opportunity to wash sweaty clothing immediately after sport, hang it up to dry if possible and do not leave it to fester in the bag for hours on end. Bacteria multiply particularly well in a damp environment, which promotes the build-up of a stubborn sweaty odour. There is also a risk of mould stains forming.

2. Read the instructions on the care label

Check the instructions on the care label prior to washing – the washing symbols tell you the maximum temperature at which the clothing can be washed and whether it can be dried in the tumble dryer. You can generally wash technical wear at 30 or 40 degrees using a mild detergent. Incidentally, Persil gegen schlechte Gerüche (= Persil against bad odours) permanently tackles unpleasant odours and preserves the material fibres.

3. Do not use fabric conditioner

Do not add fabric conditioner when washing technical wear – it impairs the membrane functions such as breathability and moisture management. Also make sure that there is no fabric conditioner in your mild detergent.

4. Prepare the laundry for washing

Turn the sportswear and technical wear inside out prior to washing and close zips and Velcro fasteners. This protects the material during the wash cycle – as does ensuring that the washing machine is no more than half full.

5. Dry sportswear gently

Only put your sports gear in the tumble dryer if the instructions on the care label permit it, otherwise it may damage the membrane functions. You can dry sportswear especially gently in the fresh air, but take care to ensure that you do not hang it out in strong sunlight.

6. Don’t forget the sports bag

If you always transport sweaty sportswear in the same bag, this will also become a breeding ground for odour-producing bacteria. As such, freshly laundered clothing can acquire an unpleasant smell once again. Also wash the bag regularly and allow it to dry thoroughly.

SportbagErol Ahmed/Unsplash

7. Regularly reimpregnate waterproof clothing

The water-repellent impregnation starts to subside after about three washes. You can lightly reimpregnate your clothing using an impregnation spray. Or simply give your sportswear and technical wear to Persil Service – we not only gently wash and care for your laundry, but can also impregnate it if required.

Did you know that you can do good things with sport? Charity run is the keyword here! 

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