Cycling clothes washing routine and methods

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
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 ?
At home it all just goes in the washing machine at 40' with everything else.

Touring - when I usually camp - I take two sets of shorts and baselayer - one set gets washed every night and hangs off my luggage to dry during the day, and inside the tent at night for swapping over the next day.

For travelling I take a solid shampoo bar which does for washing body, clothes, and hair.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
I wash my kit after every ride for how long varies. Our machine has an option to vary the wash time on all programmes which means the shortest is only 15 minutes. I would use this without detergent as a rinse through if I'm going out the next day - some items I only have one of. If I'm not riding for a couple of days everything is washed at 30⁰C with non-bio detergent. I sweat when riding, if kit isn't washed it smells badly.

The exception is my winter jacket, only have one, which was very expensive and takes an age to drip dry. I hang this in fresh air to dry between rides and wash weekly.

I'm particular about kit. I'll use a bio detergent to remove oil stains, road spatter etc. Soak the area, apply a little liquid detergent, rub fabric against itself and oil stains should come out. Rinse very thoroughly. For really bad staining a little bio-degreaser works well. Only allow contact with either for a few minutes, rinse thoroughly and machine wash immediately and all seems good.

Our machine spins very efficiently. In winter I may use a second spin before hanging to dry.
 

pawl

Legendary Member
Just gets dumped into the washing after a ride with other miscellaneous stuff. Main wash 40° Stuff I'd class as "over gear" like winter trousers, soft shell jacket, gloves get washed less frequently. None of my kit was expensive and it doesn't get special attention. Wool base layers get reserved for a separate wash, but the detail of that is not my department.

Oh, except for my waterproof socks. I hand wash them, and they were fairly expensive.

Is it difficult to wash something that’s waterproof I quit like the aroma of unwashed cycling gear.Smellof good honest effort.But then again I LOVE MARMITE :bravo::bravo: I :bravo:
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
Zips closed, kit inside out and then in the washing machine with non-bio liquid at 30 or 40 degrees depending on how dirty for a 40 minute wash - very slow spin speed. I occasionally use the tumble dryer to refresh the water resistance properties, but generally just hang to dry, usually inside to avoid the fabric fading. I like to look after my expensive kit, the rest of my stuff gets shoved into a normal wash.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
MTB stuff, if muddy goes in a 'trug bucket' first as I'd rather not wreck the relatively new washer (we just obtained it days before lockdown 1).

Kit goes in on either a quick 30/45 minute wash or the 'sports kit' wash.

Winter boots can be tricky to dry - usually in the bottom of the airing cupboard works. I've been thinking about boot dryers though.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
I'm surprised by the number of comments re drying winter boots. The worst I get from mine is slight dampness, possibly sweat. Remove the insoles and 30 minutes inverted on the radiator does the job. I don't ride in prolonged rain but certainly spend 4-5 hours out in wet conditions on wet roads.
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
I'm surprised by the number of comments re drying winter boots. The worst I get from mine is slight dampness, possibly sweat. Remove the insoles and 30 minutes inverted on the radiator does the job. I don't ride in prolonged rain but certainly spend 4-5 hours out in wet conditions on wet roads.
I just cycle in rubber booties if its that wet :rolleyes:
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
What is the reason for that please?
Thwy can get 'gunked up' internally with undisolved soap powder if used constantly on low heat settings (and using too much powder) I get round this by doing a Jeans Wash at high temperature once a month or so plus I'm generally quite sparing with detergent (or maybe I'm just tight)
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
Thwy can get 'gunked up' internally with undisolved soap powder if used constantly on low heat settings (and using too much powder) I get round this by doing a Jeans Wash at high temperature once a month or so plus I'm generally quite sparing with detergent (or maybe I'm just tight)
Yes I heard this from a repairman one time too.

We generally just use liquid detergent anyhow -

- predictibly the hippy hempen 'refill' stuff that just randomly redistributes the dirt in a limp wristed fashion. :rolleyes:

But the machine does get a 90' wash through it now and then with a bunch of towels .

Was purchased s/h over seven years ago, and is still going strong, despite being fed regularly with filthy farm clothes.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
I'm surprised by the number of comments re drying winter boots. The worst I get from mine is slight dampness, possibly sweat. Remove the insoles and 30 minutes inverted on the radiator does the job. I don't ride in prolonged rain but certainly spend 4-5 hours out in wet conditions on wet roads.
Wet muddy MTB rides constantly riding through deep puddles. Only occasionally do they get bad. Drying the neoprene collar is where you need to pay attention as that can stink.
 

Brooks

Well-Known Member
Location
S.E. London
Thwy can get 'gunked up' internally with undisolved soap powder if used constantly on low heat settings (and using too much powder) I get round this by doing a Jeans Wash at high temperature once a month or so plus I'm generally quite sparing with detergent (or maybe I'm just tight)
That's spot on according to my friend. His advice is a spoonful of soda crystals in every wash as it softens hard water and you need less detergent and it prevents limescale.
He also suggests half a bag of soda crystals in the machine once every 3 months on a boil wash, you'll be amazed at the gunk it lifts out of the drum.
 

Scottish Scrutineer

Über Member
Location
Fife, Scotland
Zips closed, kit inside out and then in the washing machine with non-bio liquid at 30 or 40 degrees depending on how dirty for a 40 minute wash - very slow spin speed. I occasionally use the tumble dryer to refresh the water resistance properties, but generally just hang to dry, usually inside to avoid the fabric fading. I like to look after my expensive kit, the rest of my stuff gets shoved into a normal wash.
Similar for me, but use Halo wash (buy at Sainsbury's, cheaper than Wiggle) in a "Sports Wear" wash (short duration 30 degrees, low speed spin). Oil stains get spot treated with degreaser if they are particularly stubborn. Bibs and base layers are washed every ride, merino jerseys don't need washed as often, nor do my "winter" jackets.
 
OP
Ridgeway

Ridgeway

Senior Member
Must admit that i can't see me re-using my clothes without washing them after a ride, Sunday i came back 2kgs lighter than when i went out and all that is some where in my clothes..... Can't see it being good for any abrasion areas on your skin either, i assume there's a risk of bacteria build up and then things could get nasty.

There's an odd occasion on very cold days when i'm wearing 4 layers that the outer layer doesn't need a wash but any under layer certainly does.

Anyone else not wash their kit after each ride ? maybe it's just me ;)
 
Location
London
That's spot on according to my friend. His advice is a spoonful of soda crystals in every wash as it softens hard water and you need less detergent and it prevents limescale.
He also suggests half a bag of soda crystals in the machine once every 3 months on a boil wash, you'll be amazed at the gunk it lifts out of the drum.
More on soda crystals here

https://www.dri-pak.co.uk/laundry-products/soda-crystals/

You can get bags from wilco/wilkinsons
 
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