Fitness, Healthy Living, Tips and tricks

How To Preserve and Protect Your Expensive Fitness Clothing

Photo Credit: gearpatrol.com Photo Credit: gearpatrol.com

Despite the high price tag, we expect our gear to last long through our intense activities and the acidic, sometimes unpleasant sweat.


Most of us set a budget aside when it comes to our fitness wear. Fitness Clothing doesn’t come cheap, and it’s probably a good idea not to use price as the only criteria when buying your workout clothes. Despite the high price tag, we expect our gear to last long through our intense activities and acidic, sometimes unpleasant sweat.

So here are some tips to keep your fitness gear looking just as good as when you first bought them from the store:

1. Caring for your clothes:

optimized-sports-gear-care-clothes

Photo Credit: fashion.hr

The most Important question to ask is: What type of fabric is this outfit?

The answer is right on the tag and is not just one answer. Most fitness clothing is made up of more than one type of fiber. Fibers make up the fabric. It usually says something like 70% polyester and 30% cotton. If you find terms that you just can’t decipher, google them.

The problems you may face:

Shrinking wear:

Hot water shrinks most fabrics.  Wool and heat are not friends, and it loses shape if manipulated while wet. Try not to rub it against itself; the fabric will felt. Cotton also shrinks on hot water. Polyester, Nylon and are easily washed and will usually not shrink.

Solution:
It is safest to use cold water in all fabrics, or barely warm water to remove tough stains from the synthetics plastic ones.
Fading Colors:

Clothing fabric is dyed to give them the desired colors we love so much. (Most clothing is chemically dyed). UVB sun rays fade away dyes, especially in cotton and wool. Synthetic fiber are more resistant to sunrays, especially Nylon and polyester (not so with polypropelene). Fabrics are coated with  a special finishing to prevent fading. Repetitive washing and chemical detergents usually wash of this layer making the fabric less resistant to color fades.

Solution:
Put a cup (or less) of vinegar in the washer withe the clothes to lock in colors and prevent detergent buildup which causes color fade. and REad the labels. Always follow instructions on the labels. Wash in cold water. use specific detergents for color fading. baking soda is perfect for whitening colors. Short cycles lessen the empact of wash but still get the fabrics cleaned.
Stinking clothes:

Your skin cells rub off on the clothes that you wear. Bacteria feeds on these. Sweat makes the ideal environment for bacteria to multiply providing dampens and the right acidity. Many of us are guilty of shoving our post workout damp clothes immediately in the gym bag and keeping them there for some time before washing them. All this adds to an already stinky situation.

Solution:
Air dry your clothes immediately after the workout. Soak in a cup of vinegar diluted in water, and use special detergent designed to soak stinky workout gear. Adding more regular detergent in the washing machine makes it worse (detergents stick and build up on fabric: trapping bacteria and causing mold).

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2. Caring for your sports shoes:

Ahh. The build up of sweat and humidity. Let me make sure you are always wearing your shoes with socks. These absorb sweat from your feet and prevent damping of the material. Make sure your use the right shoe for the right sport. Outdoor activities need heavy duty materials.

Also, this is one gear where quality pays. You need to make sure you have the right material/right shoes. Mesh fabric allows breathability and GORE TEX (usually used in shoes) wick sweat away from your skin.

Solution:
Always air your shoes after every workout. Place some baking soda sachets or balls overnight to absorb any humidity which provides the perfect medium for bacteria and fungi to develop and grow.

3. Caring for your gloves:

optimized-sports-gear-care-gloves

Photo Credit: thegrommet.com

Gloves provide the ideal medium to breed bacteria: Your own skin and sweat, and the surfaces of machines and weights, which are contaminated by other people’s sweat and shed skin.

Solution:
Air them immediately after your workout. Use a hair dryer to help. Soak them in water, vinegar.  Wash them. Choose fingerless ones to provide air and grip. Leather and neoprene fabrics are more durable than nylon.

4. Caring for your mat:

Your Yoga mat, as resistant as it may be, handles much of your skin cells, sweat, oily and bacteria prone parts of your body like your forehead and the soles of your feet. Sometimes, other people may use your mat as well.

Solution:
Make your mat bacteria free before and after every yoga session. Use a detergent to wash away filth from your mat. Then use an alcohol based disinfectant to kill germs.  Most importantly, don’t share yoga mats (or even any fitness gear) with anybody.

5. Caring for your sports bottle:

optimized-sports-gear-care-water-bottle

There are many reasons your sports bottle smells after some time, for instance, the material that t’s made of (stainless steel vs plastic). Also, the bacteria from your mouth often feed on the protein powder or fruit juices inside the bottle causing a foul smell.

Solution:
Be sure to wash your bottle immediately after every use. Soak in very hot water and lemon juice. Rinse well.. Always use a brush to wash your bottle and remove any extra residue (washing by shaking the bottle won’t do).

 

Sources:

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