If you are running fairly consistently, no matter what your mileage, you should invest in some technical running clothes. Technical gear is made especially for runners to wick moisture away from your body as you sweat. Once you feel how comfortable these clothes are – you won’t want to run in anything else. Technical clothing will cost you a little more – but they are totally worth it for staying dry and comfortable during your runs.
And, since you are investing a little more, you want to make sure that you are caring for your clothing correctly. Here are some tips for taking care of your running clothes.
Always Hang Up Your Clothes After Your Run
This is something you should do no matter what type of clothes you are running in. Don’t just throw them in a corner. Hang them up somewhere – even if it’s on a doorknob (yeah, I’ve done that!). Let them properly dry out after use.
Wash In Cold Water On The Gentle Cycle
Always wash your running clothing in cold water. Warm or hot water may lessen the positive effects of the moisture wicking properties in your clothes. Also, you want to wash them as gently as possible – gentle cycle or hand wash cycle is best.
Wash Inside Out
Wash your running clothes inside out – and separate the darks from the lighter colors.
Wash With A Detergent Made For Technical Wear
As you run, sweat can get trapped in the pores of your technical gear. For best results in washing your running clothes, use a detergent especially made for them. These types of detergents are made to get rid of sweat odor while preserving the technical qualities of your clothes. This will also prolong the use of your clothes. A good detergent to use is WIN – High Performance Sports Detergent. http://budurl.com/runningdetergent
Never Put Your Clothes In The Dryer
You never want to put your running clothes in the dryer – you want them to air dry. Putting them in the dryer can also do away with the moisture wicking in the material. I purchased a drying rack that I use to put my running clothes on after I wash them.
Next to your running shoes, your running clothes are something that you want to take care of properly. Follow the above tips and you will prolong the life of your clothes.
Source: Judy Mick, The Streaking Runner
I can vouch for everything Judy says here. Listen, you spend good money on your running clothes and you want them to last as long as possible.
And apart from running fashion trends changing (who wants to be seen running in that 70′s polyester track suit?) you should be able to get years out of good technical fabric.
HOWEVER . . . the same things that make those fabrics wick moisture quickly away from your skin can also make them get stinky. And it’s a stink that regular washing just won’t get rid of.
That’s where a special sports detergent designed to get into the micro-wicking-passages in the material comes in. It will get it and wash out the oils, skin cells and bacteria (yuck) that leave your running clothes stinking even after a wash.
I usually get pretty good results from 1. letting my clothes air-dry after a run, and 2. washing them in a small amount of regular detergent in cool water. But that will still leave me with certain items that succumb to stinkiness after a lot of use.
SO . . . follow Judy’s advice for regular post-run care of your clothes and wear them until they’re just to ugly to put on anymore.