Thursday, April 14, 2011

Washing running clothes

As a runner/yogi/cyclist with a day job, I have A LOT of laundry on my hands. If you've landed here because you're thinking about running, consider yourself warned: being a runner is like having a baby in that it generates a lot of dirty clothes and sometimes you'll think "I have no idea what I'm doing!"

I don't have the secret sauce for smell-free running gear but I do have a formula for making gear last and last and last. So, if you're frugal or broke, but love to workout, read on.

1) Hang dry everything, except your socks. Sounds simple until you realize that the image below is what I wore in one week and all of it (except the socks) had to be hung after washing. Every doorknob, chair back and towel rack in my apartment was occupied with drying bits and pieces.
Blurry but you get the gist!
2) Dry before the hamper. If you can, let super sweaty stuff air dry before you throw it into the dirty clothes. At the end of the week, you'll still have a hamper full of funky clothes, but at least none of them will have grown mildew, which is gross and harder to get rid off.
3) Use good detergent. I know, Tide, Win, Penguin, etc. are all expensive, especially if you're on a budget. But buying new gear is costly, too. Thanks to taking care of my clothes, I am still wearing gear from 1998. Can you pick the 13-year-old shirt out of the line up above? Hint, I'm wearing it in the post preceding this one...

Happy trails and smell ya later!