Leggings are great. Unlike most pants, they’re stretchy and skin-tight. Made from soft fibers (most of the time, anyway), they are comfortable and great for a variety of purposes—from lounging around to going to the gym. In fact, some are so comfy, you might even forget that you’re wearing them!
Where can you get them? Pretty much anywhere that sells clothing. It’s worth mentioning, however, that some brands are more durable than others. Take Nike or Underarmour, for instance—their leggings are probably going to be “better” than those from say, Alibaba.
The “Are Leggings Pants?” Debate
For many years, people have debated the appropriateness of wearing leggings as pants. Are they pants? Not exactly; but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be worn as such. At the end of the day, they’re a type of garment. Whether or not you choose to wear them “as pants” doesn’t really matter!
Taking Care of Your Leggings
Generally speaking, leggings tend to be on the thin side. Given that, it only makes sense to wash them carefully—this is especially true for cheaper brands as the stitching might not be as durable. Depending on the fabric, you might run into issues with the dyes as well—that is, they might start to fade with time.
Want to get the most out of your leggings? Then make sure to wash them properly. First and foremost, you always want to check the care tag label before putting them in the wash—after all, any special instructions will be listed there. For instance, some might be hand wash only; others might not be compatible with chlorine bleach.
Washing Your Leggings Properly
While it depends on the fabric, most leggings are machine washable. In other words, you can wash them with the rest of your clothes (just make sure to separate everything by color). That’s probably the most convenient way of going about it.
Of course, there’s also the option of washing them by hand. It might be more tedious in a way, but it’ll ensure that your leggings will last a long time. Remember, they do get tossed and thrown around in the washer!
11 Ways Yoga Pants Are Ruined in the Wash: Common Mistakes When Washing Leggings
Leggings are fairly easy to wash. With that said, there are certain things that can cause them to wear out more quickly than normal. Want them to last? If so, you’ll want to make sure that you’re washing them correctly—you’d be surprised just how easily they can get ruined!
Don’t want to have to deal with that? Here are a few common mistakes that you might want to familiarize yourself with.
1. You’re Using Too Much Detergent
Detergent is necessary for getting rid of sweat and body oils. However, using too much can actually do more harm than good for your leggings. First and foremost, it will leave a greasy residue on the fabric, which will make it attract more dirt. Chances are, it’ll leave a noticeable odor too. Assuming that you want to rinse off that extra detergent, you’ll have to put your leggings in the wash again. As you can imagine, that will increase the amount of wear and tear on the fabric.
There are other problems too:
- Excessive waste from the detergents can damage the environment
- Leftover residue can irritate the skin
- Too many suds can reduce the efficacy of your washer
2. You’re Putting Leggings in the Dryer
Putting your leggings in the dryer is a bad idea—the heat can damage the fabric, even on the lowest setting. As it is, most fibers are not meant to withstand high temperatures. A number of things can happen if you decide to tumble dry; first off, the garment can shrink (especially if it’s made from cotton).
There’s also a chance that the material can stretch out—this would obviously affect the fit of the leggings. In some cases, the heat might even distort the shape of the garment!
What should you do instead? Let them air dry at room temperature. Assuming that they’re made from synthetic fibers (which most of them are), they won’t take long to dry at all—at most a few hours.
3. You’re Not Using a Delicate Cycle for Yoga Pants
Most leggings are machine washable. However, that doesn’t mean that you should just toss them in and press the start button—there’s a certain setting that you want to use. To be more specific, you always want to wash them on a delicate cycle (even if it doesn’t say to do so on the care tag label!).
Note: Delicate cycles are sometimes listed as gentle cycles on some washing machines
Essentially, this is the machine equivalent to hand washing; it’s the most gentle cleaning cycle that you can use. Unlike the “normal cycle”, which is lengthy, the delicate setting is short with low or no spin. It is perfect for leggings and other “delicate” items such as sports bras or underwear. When in doubt, use a delicate cycle!
4. You’re Using Fabric Softener with Your Tights
Fabric softener is great for when you want to soften your leggings. With that said, you probably don’t want to use them on a regular basis. Why? It can prevent the material from pulling sweat from your skin (something that most synthetic fabrics are capable of).
After all, they work by coating your garments with a thin wax-like substance. Ultimately, it’s this layer that ends up softening your leggings—it pretty much works the same way as hair conditioner. If you use too much, this layer will get thicker and thicker. Eventually, sweat will no longer be able to evaporable from the surface of the material, which would leave you clammy during your workout. Not to mention that it’s not good for the fabric itself!
Instead of fabric softener, consider using a natural alternative. For instance, you can use white vinegar—yes, that’s right, they’ll actually soften your leggings! Simply add a cup to your washer the next time you’re doing the laundry.
5. You’re Using Hot Water to Wash Leggings
Contrary to popular belief, cold water is actually great for washing leggings. Never use hot water as the heat can damage the synthetic fibers. As it is, they are extremely sensitive to high temperatures—they can stretch, shrink, or wear out. Not to mention that the colors can fade as well!
By using cold water, your legging will last much longer. For one thing, you’ll be able to keep the elasticity intact, which is important when you’re wearing them to the gym!
The bottom line? Always use cold water, whether you’re washing by hand or putting your leggings in the washing machine.
6. You’re Not Turning Yoga Pants Inside Out
There’s one thing that you always want to to do when it comes to washing leggings—you want to turn them inside out. This is important whether you’re putting it in the washer or washing it in the sink. Can you guess why?
By turning them inside out, you’ll be able to prevent the outer layer from getting damaged by friction (which is rather common when you’re machine washing). As you can imagine, the colors would fade much quicker if they’re constantly being rubbed by other garments. If your leggings contain mesh, those areas can also get snagged.
Not only would your leggings last longer, but they’ll be cleaner too. After all, most of the gunk is trapped in the inner layer. With it turned inside out, this layer will be exposed to the surface, where all the water and detergent are. Given that, it only makes sense that the cleaning would be more efficient!
7. You’re Not Using a Laundry Bag
Laundry bags are a must have—not just for leggings, but for your other clothes as well. Why? They offer an extra layer of protection. Not only will they prevent your leggings from being thrown around, but they’ll minimize the amount of rubbing that they’ll do in the washing machine.
The best part? They’re easy to use. All you have to do is put the leggings in, and securely close the opening. Once you’ve done that, you can just put it into the washer. You can use them again and again until they start to fall apart!
Pro-tip: Don’t have a laundry bag? Consider getting one from Amazon or another retailer. In the meantime, though, you can improvise by putting your leggings in a clean pillowcase. They’ll work the same way—just make sure to secure the end with an elastic or something similar.
8. You’re Not Washing Your Tights Right Away
Ideally, you want to wash your leggings as soon as possible—that means taking them off and putting them in the washer when you get home. Why is this important? We produce a lot of sweat, even more so if we’ve been working out. Considering that, it’s not surprising to know that it can get embedded in the fabric.
Not just sweat, but there’s dirt to worry about as well. As it is, these particles can destroy your clothes. The longer you wait to wash your leggings, the greater the chance of there being damage to the fibers. Don’t forget, there are also bacteria to worry about—left to their own devices, they can wreak havoc on your clothes as well!
9. You’re Wearing Your Leggings Too Much
Resist the urge to re-wear your leggings. Believe it or not but that can actually be damaging to the garment!
After all, the longer you wear it, the more it will be exposed to your sweat and body oils. Over time, these substances can actually eat away at the fabric. So, what should you do instead? Invest in a few more pairs—that way, you’ll be able to alternate between different leggings without having to recycle the same ones!
10. You Don’t Separate Your Clothing
It’s perfectly fine to wash leggings with other garments such as tees, shorts, and shirts—as long as you separate them based on color. If you don’t, the dyes from one item can easily transfer onto another.
For example, you should always wash light-colored items with light-colored items; never mix them with something that’s black or navy. The last thing that you want to do is to have a big black splotch on your light blue leggings! As it is, it’s almost impossible to get rid of these types of discolorings.
11. You Rub Stains Instead of Blotting
Let’s face it, stains are inevitable sometimes. Fortunately, most of them are washable—all you need to do is saturate the area with a bit of water and detergent and you’re good to go. Just make sure that you never rub the spot with the mixture. You see, that will actually spread the stain further. What you want to do instead is to blot it with a clean cloth or towel. From there, rinse it with water. With a little bit of luck, the stain will be gone (if not, you might want to treat the spot again with more detergent)!