How to wash your cycle clothing (video)

We look at the best ways to get your cycle clothing clean without comprising its performance

Hand washing all of your precious cycle clothing in lukewarm water isn’t the most practical, especially when you ride everyday and sometimes chucking a stinky jersey on a loaded 30 degree cycle just won’t cut it.

That said, if you’ve forked out 100 quid on a new jacket, you really don’t want to risk shrinking or disintegrating it on a hot wash. In this video we look at some of the ways to keep your kit looking newer for longer and smelling fresh as a daisy.

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When we asked you whether you risk deviating from the care instructions on the label, most of you didn’t dare. Having nice cycling kit is one of the joys of riding and you want it to last the test of time so you’ll probably find yourself being limited to a 30 degree cycle when it comes to most items.

>>> Better than Castelli Gabba? Wet weather racing jackets on test

If it’s really whiffing there are ways you can maximise a cooler wash. Always wash your kit separately, chucking jeans in won’t end well for any lighter coloured fabrics, but it will also help prolong the life of your kit.

Never chuck white cycling socks in with anything other than whites, they will never look the same again! If kit is particularly soiled, give it a rinse before putting it in the washer with other items to avoid muck mounting up in the base of the machine.

When it comes to mitts, and water resistant accessories such as arm warmers, pay special care to the instructions as these are the kind of things you may need to cool wash or hand wash as they may be treated fabrics. Don’t just chuck them in on a hotter wash or you’ll be buying twice!

>>> Buyer’s guide to arm warmers

You can buy specific hand wash liquid which is great when you’re on a multi-day sportive or race and it will better get the whiff out, while not harming delicate fabrics.

Membrane fabrics

For membrane fabrics like Gore-Text and Gore-Windstopper for example, you can buy specific detergent free cleaners which are available from many outdoor shops and these will help maximise the use you’ll get from technical materials.


It’s not the most pleasant topic but your chamois is a breeding ground for bacteria and so always wash your shorts after one ride. Never be tempted to double up!

>>> Chamois cream explained

What’s more, if you wash your jersey after every ride, you’re less likely to get sweat stains on lighter coloured Lycra, or to get that deep set whiff that you can’t quite lose wash after wash.

Your tweets

My god I’m weird. Hand wash it all, and spin in machine with no heat. Welsh tightness at not wanting to replace kit?

I accidentally left the over-socks in the tumble dryer, came out baby sized. Otherwise, 30 degrees.

30 degree synthetic wash. Best for the clothes and also better for the environment too 🙂

Sport wash and always separate & put Velcro’d items (gloves) in a bag. Bibs inside out.

30 degrees or hand washed if it’s the Gabba! It ruins the fabric quicker if you go higher!

I use ‘delicates’ liquid to try and placate the Gods of Washing 😉

I do a 40-deg ‘delicate’ wash without a high spin (dries quick anyway) and I don’t mix in other clothes. 🙂