Whether they’re worn for comfort, working out, or everyday wear, leggings (or yoga pants) have quickly become a staple in many people’s wardrobes. However they’re worn, this type of clothing needs to be washed and taken care of properly to maintain the fabric’s integrity, color, and longevity.
While there are many ways to launder leggings, here are some universal tips to keep yours in their best condition.
Wash or hang dry immediately after use
To maintain the integrity of the material and prevent odor, wash your leggings immediately after use. If this isn’t possible, hang dry away from other clothes until your next load.
Go easy on the detergent
It may seem prudent to use an ample amount of soap when washing leggings since they’re often worn for exercise, but that’s not the case. Less is more, here. Using too much detergent will create an unwanted film on the sweat-wicking, spandex material, hindering their purpose and leaving the material less soft. Plus, because leggings are often worn for working out and movement, leftover detergent could cause skin irritation.
Use cool water
The synthetic material of leggings shouldn’t be exposed to warm or hot water, as it can break down the fabric materials. Hot/warm water in the rinse cycle will damage the material, rendering them incapable of their purpose (compression, sweat-wicking, stretch, and overall quality).
Skip the fabric softener
Fabric softeners contain chemicals meant to leave your clothing feeling soft, but this residue will reduce the wicking properties of leggings, yoga pants, and sportswear. Basically, water-wicking material allows the clothing and skin to breathe and makes sure moisture doesn’t get trapped within (therefore, fabric softener is a no-no).
Use white vinegar for odor
If your leggings happen to have an unpleasant, stubborn odor, pre-treat them by soaking the clothing in a bowl of cold water and ¼ to ½ cup white vinegar for half an hour, depending on your load. White vinegar neutralizes odor and will leave your leggings odor-free and fresh after being run through the washer.
Air dry, air dry, air dry
Avoid the dryer! Just like warm water, hot air can damage and warp the stretchy fibers of leggings. It’s recommended to hang dry leggings on a rack or clothesline, instead.
Because leggings are often worn for working out or everyday wear, it’s important to wash this type of clothing after. every. wear. The fabric will trap odor and bacteria quickly, so make sure to stay up on your laundry days if leggings are a staple in your wardrobe.