Washing mud out of your kit
We often get asked how to wash and care for kit, and since most people won't always read the care labels or instructions, here is some advice. The pictures here show some extremely dirty kit, but the advice is the same and should be followed for all your Powehouse Sport cycling kit.
As our test guy - we use a stereotypical teenage, 15 year old Xeno. With little regard to who is doing the laundry, just so long as all his kit is back in the cycling kit drawer ready for his next session.
These pictures were taken yesterday at round 5 of the Ulster CX league - a wet and dirty race in Bangor, Northern Ireland.
Here is what I did to get it back to pristine condition - this is what I recommend for very dirty kit, after CX or similar race in conditions shown here.
- Before we left the venue to come home - we gave him a rinse while he was still wearing the kit, with the bike washer. This might seem cruel, but it got the big clumps of mud off.
- At home, I gave each item a quick rinse under cold water tap - again removing more mud and grass - do this as soon as possible before anything gets a chance to dry out.
- Close all zips - usually I wash items inside out, but this time I didn't bother as the items were so dirty and even the sock were full of mud!
- Load into washing machine
- Add NON-Biological washing power/liquid/tab - this is important
- DO NOT add any fabric conditioner
- Pick appropriate setting - for me on our Hotpoint machine, there is something called Anti-Stain, but the main thing is to pick the temperature setting. It must be no higher than 30 degrees or you will ruin your kit. I picked a 2 hour wash, at 30 degrees and with a spin of 1400rpm. This was for CX kit for 2 people including warm up gear.
- When the machine ends, remove items promptly and line dry. I usually dry the bib-shorts inside out, so the insert dries more quickly
- Don't use a radiator or a tumble dryer - the extreme heat is very damaging to the fabrics in your kit
That is really all that is required, and all you have to do - to keep your kit looking as good as new. Any deviation from this, be it using a biological detergent, or something 'special' for stain removal, or even worse using a high temperature setting will not deal with the mud and stains any better, and will over time destroy your kit.
For cycling kit which hasn't been subjected to the mud bath - then I don't usually have to do very much - and actually I am training up my teenager, so he knows how to do it himself.
Straight away, after your training ride or indoor session. In our house, we do a training/sports kit wash every night which includes all cycling kit, and any other sports kit or 'lucky' socks.
- Close any zipped items like jerseys
- Turn items inside out if you remember
- Load into washing machine and add NON-Biological detergent
- Choose setting and temperature - we use a quick wash which is 38 minutes and washes at 30 degrees and has a spin of 1800rpm
- As soon as possible after the wash ends - everything is line dried, normally indoors on a clothes drier
- If line drying outside - I would recommend items are inside out to avoid any bleaching from the sun
- Do not use tumble dryer or radiators to dry kit, the heat will damage the fabric, and any water or wind membranes in the fabric.