Cycling clothes washing routine and methods

Ridgeway

Senior Member
Curious to know what others do and see if there's any tips out there from you fiendishly frugal CC sorts.

I'm sure like most if not all pleasure cyclists (commuting is perhaps different i think) you all wash your expensive cycling (road or MTB) clothing after each ride, for sure i do and whilst i'm cycling from home that's pretty easy to manage with a synthetic wash cycle at 30º and with the spin turned down to 900rpm. Clothes come out pretty dry and even in winter will dry quick enough in the house on a clothes drier for a 24hr turnaround. I do find drying my winter boots a bit more challenging if they get wet and usually put these on top of a dehumidifier and the hot dry air seems to do the trick nicely. Outside on the clothes line they dry in no time on a breezy day.

Usually most weekends from May - Sept we're away camping and so washing and drying the clothes can be a little more challenging but i tend to just wash them in the shower on the campsites where we stay, wash them whilst i have a shower myself and then hang them on a clothes drier outside, just sometimes a bit of hassle if the weather is bad and then can be hard to dry them. A second pair of bib shorts is sometimes needed in this case as the chamois takes a bit longer to dry although if it's nice a warm out there having a damp ar$e isn't the worst thing in the world.

Any tips from anyone and how do you wash yours ?
 

sheddy

Legendary Member
Location
Suffolk
Man made fibres dry fast.
 

BurningLegs

Veteran
I tend to get into the shower with my kit on for a first rinse (I've forgotten to remove my Wahoo Tickr heart rate monitor more than once but it is so far unharmed).

Then I put the kit into the washing machine but only for a rinse and spin. No need for detergents in my experience. Its only sweat - we don't use harsh chemicals to wash that off our bodies so I don't use them on my kit either.
 

PapaZita

Veteran
Location
St. Albans
Wool/delicates liquid, or, if things get a bit stale, Halo sports-wash seems to help.

For winter boots, I bought an electric drying gadget called a "Therm-ic Refresher" a couple of years ago. It seemed like a bit of an expensive gamble at about £60, but I'm quite pleased with it. It just wafts slightly warm air around inside the boots, so they dry slowly and gently. So slowly, in fact, that you might need a second machine if you wanted to get two pairs of boots dry overnight. It also has UV light. I'm not sure how that works, or indeed whether it works at all, as the faint blue glow seems to be up in the blower unit, and not inside my boots at all. Nevertheless, a pair of stinky winter boots, that had been left damp and had developed a culture of something that resisted several cycles of wash and radiator/airing cupboard drying, were left fresh-smelling after one use of the machine. I was literally thinking I'd have to throw the boots out, so I think the expensive gamble paid off. Various cycling and non-cycling shoes now get a turn on the dryer if ever they get a little damp, and things seem to stay acceptably fresh.
 

Ming the Merciless

There is no mercy
Location
Inside my skull
For a delicate touch, I have me misses warsh me kit after every ride.
Whilst you wear it.
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
When touring, two of shorts, base layers & socks. Wash one each night, wring wrapped in a towel to remove most water, then hang somewhere to finish drying. It's easier if, like me, you prefer hotels to camping.

At home: a little non-bio powder on a light wash setting.
 

RoubaixCube

~Tribanese~
Location
London, UK
I normally soak in a tub over night with other clothes with a little halo wash then scrub the chamois and sweaty areas with a soft brush with liquid soap before rinsing a few times and hanging out to dry, Occasionally a dehumidifier is used to help drying during winter.

Maybe soaking is wrong, but ive been doing it this way since i started cycling back in 2014/15 and a lot of the same clothes i owned back then are still with me even though they look a bit tatty and slightly big for me due to my weight loss :laugh::laugh::laugh:
 
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SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
I don't treat the stuff I wear whilst riding a bike any different to any of my other messing around in or working clothes. They all get slung in the machine with normal powder and washed at 60 degrees. I don't believe in low temperature washing anyway. It won't get heavily soiled stuff properly clean and it won't get rid of bacteria.
The only stuff I'm careful with is delicate wool that I don't want shrinking. Casual stuff, chuck it in the machine and nuke it.
 

MntnMan62

Über Member
Location
Northern NJ
Since all of my bike wear is synthetic, I wash all of it in cold water and put it on a clothes rack to dry. I never put synthetics, or any clothes that I really care about, in a dryer. The only thing that goes in the dryer are underwear, sheets, towels and any clothes that are just for doing construction projects in. Everything else goes on a clothes rack to dry or it gets dry cleaned or professionally laundered.
 

Brooks

Well-Known Member
Location
S.E. London
I don't really wear bike specific gear just those synthetic t-shirts you pick up at lidl for a fiver a pop. They wick away the sweat as good as anything and I put them in a normal 60 degree wash.
Mate of mine repairs washing machines and he tells me the low temperature washes keeps him in repeat business.
 
Location
London
If I've read your post properly @Ridgeway you are washing after every ride.
I wouldn't dream of doing that for all sorts of reasons.
All except socks and undershorts or things with their own pads get used several times - perfectly hygienic and I always shower before cycling.
Then i wait until I have a full load of 30 degree cycling stuff and do it all together.
On a normal duration wash. Low spin speed.
Clever short cycle low capacity washes are inefficient in several ways.
Maybe I'm missing something but my system just seems to make sense/be most efficient in terms of detergent/water/power/my time.
Cycling stuff of course drips dry, though wind is good - no need for heat. In fact I've spent a fair bit of time in the Med and would always hang stuff out at night there - not a good idea to subject lycra to blazing sun.
So I'd relax. Don't be a slave to your gear.
 
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