Taking care of your bike clothes isn’t a particularly complicated proposition, but you should pay a bit of attention to protect the investment that you have in them and to avoid potential problems with retained odors or damaging synthetic materials. The following tips tell you how to clean them effectively so that they will smell better and wear longer over the long run.
Let’s say you come in from a ride, dripping with sweat. What do you do? Peel off your clothes and throw them in the hamper, where they’ll stay wadded up until you can wash them over the weekend?
1. Don’t let your clothing sit around wet
If you can’t wash them right away, at the very least, hang your clothes out where they can air dry. This does two things. First, your jersey and shorts aren’t just sitting around brewing in their own stink, allowing the odor-causing bacteria to really party it up, embedding themselves deeply in the material. Second, not only does this faster drying avoid worse odor, but the air circulating around the clothes helps dry and dissipate the odor that you’ve put into them during your ride, which will help the laundering process be more effective.
2. Don’t re-wear you apparel
This may be obvious, but don’t wear your bike clothes multiple times between washes. The temptation will be there to put your shorts and jerseys back and use them again another day, particularly if you only rode for an hour or two and didn’t sweat them up too bad.
This is not a good idea as odor is caused by bacteria, which is still going to be present, even if the perspiration you put out was mostly evaporated as you rode. Not washing allows the stink to settle and get layered into the material, and when you bust out the clothes and wear them again it truly gives old stink new life. Also, when wearing the same pair of shorts a couple of days in a row, the dirty chamois can lead to rashes and chafing thanks to the bacteria built up there.
3. Let it air dry
Once you’re done with the wash, take your clothes out and hang them out to air dry. Many types of cycling-specific fabrics, from wool to synthetics, do not do well when they get run through the dryer. It can cause wool to shrink and damage elastic found in the legs and waist of your bike shorts. Plus, many types of synthetics are quick drying and benefit from being kept from the heat of a dryer.
If you wash your synthetics in a mesh bag as described in the previous step, it’ll help you (and others, if you’re fortunate enough to have another person do your wash) identify what needs to be pulled out from the load before it goes into the dryer.
These 3 tips are a repost from