Want to lead a healthy lifestyle? If so, be sure to incorporate exercise into your schedule. As you probably know, it comes with a wide array of health benefits.
For one thing, it helps to prevent certain chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Not only that, it can reduce stress and boost your mood. Don’t forget, you’ll also be strengthening your muscles, bones, lungs, and heart, as well.
The best thing about exercise is that it comes in a variety of forms. Some people like to run, others like to swim or play football. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what kind of sport you’re involved with as long as you’re involved with something.
Sure, some sports may be more intensive than others, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. The key is to find something that you enjoy doing. Exercising for the sake of exercising can get boring after a while, after all.
The Importance of Wearing Sports Gear
Have you ever seen someone jog in a pair of jeans? Probably not. When it comes to exercise, there are certain things that you want to wear and certain things that you don’t want to wear—denim falls into the latter category.
Generally speaking, you want to wear something that’s breathable, comfortable, and non-restrictive. In other words, you want your clothes to be able to provide you with a free range of movement—that way, you’ll be able to move around with no problem.
Nowadays, there are clothes that are specially designed for exercise purposes—activewear. Unlike regular garments, they are made from technical fibers, which allow it to function much better in the gym. For starters, most, if not all, activewear come with a moisture-wicking finish; this lets you stay dry even when you’re sweating.
Taking Care of Your Sports Clothing
Athletic clothing might be more durable to some degree, but it’s still prone to wear and tear. Want to get your money’s worth? If so, it’s crucial that you wash them properly. After all, you’ll be doing it quite frequently—you wouldn’t want your activewear to start smelling now, would you?
Let’s take a look at how to wash certain sports gear below.
How to Wash Sports Jerseys
Jerseys are commonly worn in a variety of sports. More often than not, they are vibrant in color, which makes them easier to see on the field.
Are Sports Jerseys Machine Washable?
Sports jerseys are typically made from synthetic fibers such as polyester or nylon. In other words, yes, they are machine washable.
Before you put the jersey into the washer, turn it inside out; this will prevent any embroidery from rubbing against the rest of your laundry (if you choose to wash it with other items), which can cause damage. On top of that, it exposes the “dirty” layer to the outside—this makes it easier for the detergent to lift away and sweat and dirt!
Note: You can wash your sports jersey with other clothes as long as you’re not mixing opposite colors together. It’s also a good idea to avoid putting it together with garments such as jackets or denim.
Want to be extra gentle with your sports jersey? If so, you might want to invest in a mesh laundry bag. Put it in one of those, and it won’t be able to rub against your other clothes. Don’t have? You can improvise by putting the jersey in a clean pillowcase (just tie off the end).
Put your sports jersey into the machine and add one scoop of ACTIVE detergent (or two, if you’re washing a big load). Choose a delicate setting and wash with cold water; do not use hot water as the temperature will cause the fabric to deteriorate. Avoid bleach and fabric softeners. If necessary, you can soften your sports jerseys by adding a cup of white vinegar to the laundry load.
Take out the sports jerseys once the wash cycle is finished. Transfer them to a clean surface and lay them flat to dry. Alternatively, you can hang them up on a clothesline. Do not dry them with the dryer; jerseys are not meant to withstand the high heat.
Washing Sports Jerseys by Hand
Don’t want to use the washer? No problem! There’s a greener method—you can wash them in the sink!
The first step is to fill it with cold water. From there, add a scoop of ACTIVE detergent in; you’ll have to mix the powder with your hand. Put your sports jersey in once you see bubbles—be careful not the overload the sink. Press down on the jersey to ensure that it’s fully immersed in the soapy mixture. Let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
Once you’ve soaked the jersey, you can wash it by rubbing the fabric against itself—be sure to do so gently. When you’re confident that it’s clean, put it under running water; continue until all of the soap suds are gone. You might have to do it for a couple of minutes.
Drain away the dirty water. Transfer the sports jersey to a clean surface. Remove some of the excess water by pressing down on it with a towel. Afterward, you can lay it flat to dry or put it on a clothesline. As mentioned earlier, you do not want to put it in the dryer.
Perhaps you’ve got a sweat stain on your jersey? No worries—you can easily clean it out with a bit of ACTIVE detergent.
What you want to do is mix the detergent with a little bit of warm water in a small bowl. You should get something that resembles a thick paste. Apply the paste onto the stained area with a soft brush—make sure to saturate the entire spot (you might have to put it on from both the inside and outside). Let it sit for 15-30 minutes.
Check the stain when time is up. Repeat with more ACTIVE detergent if it is still visible. If it’s gone, you can wash the jersey as normal.
Washing Instructions for Sports Compression Layers
Compression layers reduce the likelihood of injury by offering your muscles support. Given how close-fitting they are, though, they can get quite dirty.
Machine Washing Compression Layers
Similar to the jerseys, you want to begin by turning your compression layers inside out. Considering the fact that they tend to be thinner (i.e. more delicate), it might be a good idea to protect them with a mesh laundry bag.
Pro-tip: Most compression layers are dark-colored. For this reason, you only want to wash them with other dark-colored items; mixing them with light-colored garments can lead to bleeding.
Load the compression layers into the machine and add one scoop of ACTIVE detergent. Wash everything on a delicate setting with cold water; hot water should be avoided for the same reasons mentioned earlier. Do not use fabric softeners or bleach as they can damage the fabric.
Take the compression layers out once the washing is complete. Line them dry or put them on a drying rack. Avoid the dryer at all costs!
Washing Compression Layers By Hand
Compression layers are also easy to wash by hand. After all, they don’t take up a lot of space in the sink!
Add cold water until the sink is 3/4 full. Pour in a scoop of ACTIVE detergent—you’ll want to agitate the liquid with your hand to mix the powder. Submerge your compression layers fully and let it soak for 15 to 30 minutes.
Afterward, you’ll want to wash the fabric by rubbing it together gently with your hands. When you’re done, drain away the dirty water. Rinse the compression layers under running water to get rid of the detergent. Transfer it to a flat surface and absorb the excess water with a clean towel. Allow it to air dry on a clothesline. Do not put it in the dryer.
Note: The above methods also work for pants as well.
The Best Way to Clean Sports Helmets
Some sports such as football or hockey requires players to wear helmets. After a while though, they can start to develop odors from all the sweat that it comes in contact with.
Cleaning a Helmet with Water and Soap
Dampen a cloth with water; you can also add a bit of mild soap. Use it to wipe the outside of the helmet—don’t forget to clean the face shield as well, if there is one. When you’re finished washing it with soap, wipe it again with plain water—you don’t want there to be any residue, otherwise, it can irritate your skin.
Note: If your helmet has removable liners, you might be able to toss them in the washer. Never put your helmet itself into the machine, though, that can compromise its shape.
How to Deodorize Pads and Gloves
Pads and gloves should also be washed on a regular basis.
Are Pads and Gloves Machine Washable?
As it turns out, most pads and gloves are machine washable. Before you throw them in, though, it might be a good idea to double check the care instructions first.
Put everything into the washer. For the best results, you’ll want to wash them by themselves. Add a scoop of ACTIVE detergent and wash the pads and gloves with cold water; hot water can cause the items to deteriorate quickly.
Remove the pads and gloves from the machine once the cycle is finished. Allow them to air dry—do not put them in the dryer.
Washing Pads and Gloves by Hand
Washing them by hand is straightforward as well. Fill the sink with cool water and mix in a scoop of ACTIVE detergent. Dunk the pads and gloves in—be careful not to splash yourself. Make sure that they’re fully submerged in the liquid and let it soak for at least 30 minutes.
Swirl the items a few times in the solution before taking them out. Rinse them under plain water to remove the detergent. Allow them to air dry on a clean surface.
How to Clean Sports Cleats
It’s not uncommon for cleats to get covered in grass and mud after a game. Luckily, they’re easy to clean.
Cleaning Your Cleats With detergent
Lightly hit your cleats together to remove any dirt or mud that might be stuck on the surface. Fill a small bowl with warm water. Add a little bit of ACTIVE detergent and mix. Dampen an old toothbrush with the soapy solution and use it to gently scrub the outside of the cleats—pay extra attention to stained areas.
When you’re finished cleaning the surface, wipe the soap away with a wet cloth. The soles can be cleaned in a similar fashion. In some cases, you might be able to remove the insoles. If you can, it’s a good idea to wash them separately (either in the machine or by hand); same for the shoelaces.
Allow your cleats to fully dry before wearing them again. You can stuff them with old newspaper to get rid of excess moisture.