Grangers Active Wash review – reasonable price; highly effective

It’s worth using a technical wash product to keep expensive cycling clothing working at its best.

Image shows the Grangers Active Wash bottle
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Effective cleaning for cycling clothing that should help to preserve its technical properties and isn’t too expensive

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Cleans up technical gear effectively at 30°C / 86°F

  • +

    Removes odours

  • +

    Relatively inexpensive

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    You won't smell like a rose

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

If you want to keep your cycling kit in the best condition, it’s worth using a specialist washing product. Grangers Active Wash is specifically designed for washing technical gear. It may not leave it with a scent like Chanel - in fact it doesn’t smell of anything in particular - but it will keep your cycling clothing clean and working at its best.

To work effectively, cycling clothing needs to wick sweat away from your skin, so that it can evaporate on the outer surface of the garment. That means that the fabric mustn’t get damp or wet out, so it’s usually made of hydrophobic polyester yarns.

The problem with standard laundry washing products is that they include wetting agents, some of which get left on the fabric surface, however much you rinse your kit. Perfumes too can alter the properties of the fabric used for technical clothing and fabric conditioners are even more detrimental to fabric performance.

All of that means that your best cycling jersey and premium bib shorts won’t work as well as they should to keep you cool in hot weather and warmer in cool weather, as the yarns will be more prone to wetting out.

Grangers, along with Nikwax, dominate the technical cleaner market. Grangers Active Wash is designed to clean up your technical sports clothing while preserving its wicking properties. Grangers claims that it will reduce kit drying time - as you would expect if it reduces its tendency to wet out.

The other enemy of technical gear is heat, which can damage the fibres, particularly any lycra content. I have been using Grangers Active Wash on my cycling kit for a while now, washing on a gentle cycle at 30°C / 86°F to make the cycling kit last longer.

Whereas with some specialist sports kit wash, clothing can get a little stale smelling after repeated cycles of sweaty rides and low temperature washing, I’ve found that my kit is keeping its neutral smell. 

Since Grangers Active Wash isn’t perfumed, it doesn’t have that “laundry fresh” smell beloved of laundry product ads, but it doesn’t smell of the locker room either, which I reckon is a good result. Even clothing that’s been sprayed from wet roads has come out looking clean.

Although I’ve used Grangers Active Wash primarily on polyester/lycra kit, Grangers says that it will work equally well on merino and cotton.

Grangers sells Active Wash in 750ml bottles (made of 100 per cent recycled plastic), which should do 25 washes. So although it’s more expensive than standard laundry products, the price isn’t excessive and it’s a lot cheaper than wrecking your best cycling shorts.

Image shows the Grangers wash range

Grangers sells a range of products to keep your cycling kit working at its best

(Image credit: Future)

It’s worth noting that Active Wash is one of a range of Grangers wash products for tech gear. If you’re needing to wash a technical water-resistant jacket, Grangers Performance Wash is the product for you, whereas you can reproof outerwear with either Grangers Clothing Repel or the spray-on Performance Repel Plus. Wash and Repel Clothing 2 in 1 gets the cleaning and reproofing done in one step instead of two.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.