Beginners cycling,Cycling

How to wash cycling clothes - a beginner's guide

How to wash cycling clothes - a beginner's guide

Are you new to cycling, or have you been riding for many years? Do you cycle to work every day, or do you want to get out at the weekend? Whatever it is, we all have to take care of the gear we cycle in. So, let’s talk laundry. And more specifically, how to wash your cycling clothes. 


We all know the joy of hitting the road in fresh gear. But did you know that how you wash things like your cycling jacket and shorts is crucial to keep your kit performing at its absolute best for youIt’s true. And it’s why we’ve put together this guide to walk you through the ins and outs of proper washing techniques, steering clear of any potential pitfalls. 


Read on and learn how to show some love to your favourite fabrics, steer clear of shrinkage, and make your cycling gear last longer than ever. 


How to wash your cycling clothes – step by step


There’s a lot of hesitation when it comes to how to wash cycling clothes in a washing machine. There are lots of different fabrics, which may need to be washed differently. Like reflective or moisture-wicking materials. Before we get into the washing steps, howeverlet’s talk about how often to wash your cycling gear. 


It’s usually best to wash your clothing after every ride, especially if things are in close contact with your skin or they get wet or dirty. You don’t want any stubborn stains settling in and making themselves at home on your favourite jersey. 


So, let’s get into the steps. 


Turn clothes inside-out

Turning your cycling gear inside out before you throw it into the wash is a smart first move. When you do this, the detergent can attack the inside of your clothes better, while looking after the outside too. This can also protect things like colours, logos and prints. 


It’s also a good idea if you’re wondering how to wash bike shorts with padding. Washing them inside out will provide a deeper clean. It’s important to make sure all your gear is free of dirt, but pay attention to the items that sit close to your skin. 


Place clothes in a mesh laundry bag

If you haven’t already, investing in a mesh laundry bag will be a game-changer when it comes to washing your cycling clothes. The same technology that keeps you cool and dry out on your adventures can be a bit delicate when it comes to a rough spin cycle. Tossing them in with your jeans and towels isn’t the greatest idea.


That’s where your trusty mesh laundry bag comes in. By placing your kit into one of these, you provide an extra layer of protection from the twists and turns of a wash cycle. Do yourself and your gear a favour – grab a mesh laundry bag and show those specialised fabrics the care they deserve. 


Use cold water and gentle cycle

Imagine you’ve just returned from an intense ride, and your cycling clothes are caked in mud, grime and sweat. You might think it’s best to throw it all in a hot wash. However, hot water can damage delicate materials, causing them to lose shape and elasticity. 


Washing your cycling clothes in cooler water on a gentle cycle is the way to go. Lower water temperatures will preserve your cycling apparel and extend its lifespan. Paired with a gentle cycle, you’ll give your kit the treatment it needs to continue to perform at its best. 


Avoid using fabric softener or bleach

Fabric softener and bleach are a big no-no when it comes to how to properly wash your cycling clothes. The best cycling clothing is made from moisture-wicking and reflective materials. Fabric softener can leave behind a residue that clogs up these specialised fabrics, affecting how well they perform when you’re out on a ride. 


Stick to a gentle detergent with no added fabric softener or bleach. Your gear will thank you for it, and you might even notice an improvement in performance too. 


Hang dry or lie flat to dry

It’s best to dry your clothes by hanging them or lying them flat. Biking gear can be sensitive to heat, easily shrinking or getting damaged in the dryer. Air-drying maintains the shape and durability of your kit. Next wash day, opt for air-drying to keep your things looking fresh for your next ride.


Tips for stubborn stains

If you get a stain that just won't budge, avoid using hot water, as that can set it into the fabric even further. Instead, try pre-treating the area with stain remover before washing. You can also mix a paste using baking soda and lukewarm water. Gently scrub it onto the stain before washing your cycling clothes as normal. If you’re struggling with oil-based stains like chain grease, dish soap could help. Just remember to let it sit for a bit and rinse properly before throwing it into the wash.


How to wash cycling clothes - FAQs


How often should you wash your bike clothes?

It’s usually best to wash your cycling clothes after each ride. Intense rides can mean they collect all sorts of dirt and also potentially affect your gear’s performance. Plus, keeping them clean leaves you feeling fresh and ready to hit the road. No one likes putting on dirty clothes to exercise in. 

How should I store my cycling clothes between rides?

Store your cycling gear in a cool, dry spot to keep it in top condition. Hang clothes up or fold them neatly to prevent wrinkles and keep them ready for the next ride.


So there you have it. Your go-to guide to keeping your cycling clothes fresh and ready to go. With a little extra care and these simple tips, your gear will look and feel great ride after ride. Need instructions for a specific piece of kit? We’ve got you covered with our handy washing guide that goes into detail about all of our different collections. 


If you’re in the market for some new gear to get dirty out on the road, check out our range of reflective cycling clothing. 

Article by Holly Townsend
Back to Blog

Stay in the Loop