We’re well into 2022 and nearing swimsuit season, which many people feel the need to prepare for by working out. Synthetic materials like swimsuits and active wear items can be a bit trickier to care for than everyday clothes. You may have had trouble with materials like this in the past, and we have some of the secrets to caring for synthetic and active wear materials to get the best wear out of your clothes.
The first step is to read the care directions – there are multiple synthetic, stretchy materials on the market. One pair of leggings may not have the same care instructions as another.
Synthetic materials, especially ones designed for active wear, are a more recent innovation. Laundry soaps and detergents specialized for active wear work better to remove odors and lingering residue. Classic laundry soaps and detergents might not leave the ‘clean’ feeling you’re looking for, and you may even feel as though they linger on synthetic fibers. Invest in a soap or detergent specifically made for synthetic materials.
TIP: Skip fabric softeners. The chemicals in fabric softeners can stick to synthetic materials and diminish the moisture-wicking abilities and breathability.
Don’t throw your clothes straight in the hamper. If clothes sit in a damp, dark pile at the bottom of the hamper, the smell and unclean feeling may linger after washing. Let clothes dry - or better yet, rinse in water and air dry - before throwing them in the hamper. A preliminary rinse can begin the process of removing oils and dirt.
TIP: If you’ve made all the changes listed here and still have residue on your clothes, whether it’s visible or just the feeling, try two rinse cycles.
Discolorations - those faint, shadowy stains aren’t going to go away without help. They tend to accumulate in the underarm, waistbands, straps, and sometimes around the small of your back – anywhere where sweat and body oil hangs out. When you notice them, treat them with a pre-wash stain treatment. Look for one that formulated for synthetic materials or activewear.
TIP: If you’ve tried everything and your clothes still don’t feel like they’re coming out clean, you may need to deep clean the washer itself.
Avoid heated washing and drying. Heat can warp synthetic fibers and damage the elasticity. The damage is especially noticeable in tight-fitting clothing like leggings and swimsuit bottoms. You may notice they don’t quite stay in place anymore.