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HOW TO WASH CYCLING SHORTS, CLOTHES, KITS, BIBS, AND GEAR THE RIGHT WAY

Cycling is an amazing sport that has realized explosive growth over the past few decades. More and more people are flocking to experience the benefits and pleasures of pumping the pedals to help them stay active and healthy. As the sport has grown, cycling gear and equipment have evolved to help improve rider performance and comfort.

Due to the nature of the sport, cycling kits get used and abused like none other. Today’s cycling kits are often designed with modern technical fabrics and materials to help them last longer, maintain comfort, and perform better. And as any rider will tell you, this new generation of cycling gear is notorious for being extra sweaty, smelly, and difficult to wash properly.

TYPES OF FABRICS & MATERIALS FOUND IN TODAY’S CYCLING KITS

Most of today’s cycling gear is made from modern synthetic fabrics and materials, which are known to be extremely difficult to clean properly due to their chemical makeup and tight-knit nature.

For example, synthetic fabrics with zone-specific compression and bi-component knits are standard materials used to make your cycling shorts, clothing, bibs, and gear. Many even feature anti-slip legs, butt padding with anti-microbial chamois, water-resistant materials, and UV protection.

Here are some of the more common modern materials found in today’s cycling kits:
Nylon
Nylon - a tough, lightweight, elastic synthetic polymer with a protein-like chemical structure, able to be produced as filaments, sheets, or molded objects.
Lycra
Lycra - an elastic polyurethane fiber or fabric used especially for close-fitting sports clothing.
Polyester
Polyester - a synthetic resin in which the polymer units are linked by ester groups, used chiefly to make synthetic textile fibers.
Spandex
Spandex - a type of stretchy polyurethane fabric.
Chamois Padding
Chamois Padding – a synthetic cushioning foam that is often sewn into cycling shorts to aid comfort and wick away moisture.
Merino Wool
Merino Wool – a highly absorbent, water-resistant, soft, and insulative fabric derived from Merino Sheep often found in cycling jerseys and kits.
Silicone
Silicone - Silicone is a polymer that contains repeating chains of the elements silicon and oxygen that is often used in various components of cycling kits. Silicone is also known as polysiloxane.

As cycling gear has become more sophisticated, its performance has definitely improved, but the prices for kits has skyrocketed along with it. For a decent quality modern cycling kit, you can easily spend $250-$500. With such a considerable expense it’s fair to say you’d want to take care of your clothing and gear the right way to ensure they last as long as possible while maintaining their high-performance attributes.

HOW TO WASH & CLEAN CYCLING SHORTS, CLOTHES, BIBS, AND KITS

Wash Early & Often

Let’s start with emphasizing the importance of washing early and often. If you take your damp stinky clothing and throw it in a pile in the hamper for five days, then you’re creating a breeding ground for bacteria. The longer the oils and dirt stay in the fabric the funkier things will get.

Handwashing vs Machine Washing

Handwashing is a thing of the past with all the available cycle options on today’s washing machines. In most cases machine washing is fine, however always read the manufacturer label for specific instructions for each item in your cycling kit.

Use the Right Laundry Detergent Made for Synthetic Fabrics

Although timeliness is important, the biggest mistake most people make is using traditional laundry detergent instead of detergent specifically designed to wash synthetic fabrics.

HEX Laundry Detergent

HEX Performance Laundry Detergent is the only award-winning laundry detergent that is 100% guaranteed to clean your cycling gear, enhance its performance, and build layers of protection to help stop odor-causing bacteria from recurring.

  • Pre-rinse if you have a particularly muddy ride.
  • Separate colors, darks, and whites.
  • Zip up all zippers and secure all Velcro to prevent snags and damage to the fabric.
  • Turn clothing inside out to limit abrasion. This also helps the chamois rinse more thoroughly.
  • Put in the washing machine.
  • Add 1 oz. of HEX Performance Laundry Detergent.
  • Set to gentle cycle. Use cold water only. Hot water could damage the fabric. Use an extra rinse cycle if available.
Pro Tip: Using a mesh laundry bag for your bibs will protect the suspenders from getting wrapped and stretched out. Might as well throw your socks in that bag too, you know most washing machines eat at least one every load, right?

HOW TO DRY CYCLING SHORTS, JERSEYS, KITS, BIBS, AND CLOTHING

It is often said that drying your cycling kit in the dryer is a major no no because it would damage the fabrics, fit, and performance of the gear. Instead of using the dryer, you’ve likely had to make the room to layout all your cycling clothes to dry on racks, or the time to do a rain dance and pray they dry outside on the line before it pours.

HEX Wet Dryer Sheets

While air drying cycling gear used to be the only way, HEX Performance has developed Wet Dryer Sheets to let you dry all of your cycling gear in the dryer. These dryer sheets not only make life easy, but are 100% guaranteed to make your cycling kit fit, feel, and perform its best.

  1. Turn your fabrics inside out and separate by colors.
  2. Toss your cycling clothes into your dryer.
  3. Add 1 Wet Dryer Sheet for small and regular loads. Add 2 for larger loads.
  4. Set your dryer to delicate and/or low-heat.
  5. Turn on your dryer, then kick back and relax.
  6. Enjoy your fresh smelling, looking, feeling, and fitting cycling kit.

HOW TO WASH CYCLING SHOES

Now that we had covered your cycling clothing, what on earth do you do to clean those stinky cycling shoes? Turns out it is easier than you think.

  1. Bang your soles together, outside, to shake off the loose dirt and mud.
  2. Remove the laces and insoles for machine washing using HEX Detergent.
  3. Handwash the sole and top of shoe using a mixture of 1 tablespoon of detergent with 1 gallon of cold water, gently scrubbed into dirty areas of shoes with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge.
  4. Air dry, use newspaper to assist, and don't put them in direct sunlight as it could damage the adhesive and fade the fabric.
  5. To learn more about cleaning all types of shoes, follow the specific directions that we outlined for you here.
Pro Tip: You know those tiny bags found in the box when you buy a new pair of shoes? Well, they are there for a reason. They contain silicon dioxide, aka "silica." Silica can absorb moisture and keep things dry. Hang on to them and throw them in your shoes after each wear. Just make sure children and pets can’t get into them as they can be harmful if ingested in large quantities.
HEX Wet Dryer Sheets

We know washing your shoes on a frequent basis can be a nuisance, that’s why in between washes you should use HEX Performance Deodorizing Spray to eliminate cycling shoe odors and keep them smelling fresh.

  1. After a ride, loosen any straps or laces on your cycling shoes and open them up as much as possible to allow for optimal air flow.
  2. Wipe away any dirt, grime, or unwanted material.
  3. Spray the inside of your shoes for approximately 3-5 seconds with HEX Performance Deodorizing Spray.
  4. Gently wipe away any excess liquid.
  5. Allow to air dry.
  6. Enjoy odor-free, fresh smelling cycling shoes.

Unlike other deodorizers and air fresheners that are essentially just perfumes made to temporarily mask odors; this is a formula scientifically designed to eliminate odors found in the synthetic fabrics and materials used in cycling shoes. You can also use HEX Deodorizing spray to freshen up your helmet, gloves, bag, knee braces and more!

HEX Performance Stain and Stink Remover Bonus Tip: For pesky stains on your cycling shorts, clothing, kit, shoes or gear, try HEX Performance Stain and Stink Remover Spray to keep your items clean and odor-free. Simply spray it on all of your problem areas and wipe clean with a cloth.

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