6 Laundry Detergents Made For Athletic Apparel

Extend the life of your (expensive!) training clothes with these detergents formulated specifically for athletic apparel.

Photo: John David Becker

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Extend the life of your (expensive!) training clothes with these detergents formulated specifically for athletic apparel.

Apart from using a sport-specific detergent, there are several other important steps to remember when washing your technical fabrics. These fabrics need to be treated with extra care in order to help maintain their integrity and functionality.

Wash your clothing with cold water and air dry any synthetic fabrics, advises Julie Gabay, owner of Pacific Swim Bike Run in Connecticut. Putting spandex in the dryer will accelerate the breakdown of the thread and lead to shrinking of the garment.

When it comes to pesky grease stains and washing schedules, Stephanie Swanson, owner of SOAS endurance clothing, recommends using dish soap as a degreaser prior to washing your clothing. This will break up the grease and allow it to get rinsed out during the wash cycle.

Wash your spandex and technical fabrics quickly after use. If you cannot put them in the washer right away, make sure to rinse them out or even wear them into the shower to get the beginning of the washing and fabric restoration process going.

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Nathan Sports Wash

$10 for 20-ounce bottle, Nathansports.com

On top of removing odor and stains, this natural and vegetable-based wash is engineered to prevent color-fading and fabric damage over time.

Nikwax Base Sports Wash

$26 for 1-liter bottle, Nikwax.com/en-us

Specifically useful for your sweat-wicking base layers, Nikwax interacts with synthetic fabrics in a way that is designed to accelerate the fabric’s drying process and improve the cooling efficiency of the fabric itself.

Sports Suds

$21 for 14.1-ounce jar, Sportssuds.com

Eliminates extreme dirt and odor from exercise fabrics.

Eurostyle Sports Kit Wash

$16 for 16-ounce bottle, Chamoisbutter.com

When a washing machine isn’t available, the Sports Kit Wash is perfect for handwashing gear. It also removes chlorine from bathing suits and is safe for wetsuits.

Vapor Fresh

$22 for 80-ounce container, Rawathletics.com

Clear of dyes and fragrances, this powder detergent is made for athletic wear but also works for everyday use.

Vapor Fresh Sports Cleaning Spray

$12 for 16-ounce bottle, Rawathletics.com

Spray the more difficult-to-wash gear (think inside of helmets, shoes, etc.), with this smell-good cleaner.

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