View Full Version : What kind of detergent do you use to wash your athletic apparel?

07-21-2010, 02:11 PM
Vote in the poll and let us know. Share your laundry secrets in the comments!

07-21-2010, 05:12 PM
I'm surprised that wool soaps aren't on the list. I voted "other specialty detergent".

Half of my biking apparel is wool, and I use Woolite in the machine on gentle for all my biking and athletic clothes combined.
In fact, so much of my normal everyday clothes are wool, that I often just use Woolite for my whole laundry load. Been using it for years and my lycra and merino all seem to be doing just fine with it. My husband likes his Kookaburra wool detergent for his wool and lycra, in the machine as well.

07-21-2010, 06:27 PM
Whether or not it works, I'd probably still be using Woolite if it wasn't for the odor. I could tolerate the prior version, although it was awfully strong. Three or four years ago (?) they seemed to double the odor. No way could I put that on my clothes. It just choked me. Plus, any odor in detergents tends to magnify body odor in clothes, IME.

07-21-2010, 07:04 PM
I don't see the "whatever's on sale " option

07-21-2010, 09:07 PM
Fragrence free detergent, double rinse.

I agree with Oakleaf, Woolite stinks to high heaven now.

07-21-2010, 10:12 PM
i voted same as i use for regular laundry which is soap nuts but for wool stuff i use eucalan fine fabric wash.

07-22-2010, 06:42 AM
If I'm machine-washing stuff, whatever I use for the rest of my clothes. I use hand soap or dish soap to get rid of grease spots. The wool stuff (of which there isn't much) gets handwashed with a dab of whatever shampoo I happen to be using at the time.

07-22-2010, 06:51 AM
regular detergent (Tide) plus a splash of Odo-Ban (gets the lingering funk out of tech fabrics)

07-22-2010, 09:43 AM
All my wool does just fine in the front-loader with regular detergent.

I have a couple of 20+ year old Cortina jerseys that barely look worn (okay, there's only about 9 years of them of actual cycling, the rest in storage, but still).

07-22-2010, 10:39 AM
I answered "WIN sport detergent" to this poll. I don't answer these things much, but this one hit home. A few years ago I was taking a lot of spinning classes in the winter and my clothes just kept getting funkier and funkier. It got to the point where I was going to have to throw out perfectly good clothes due to the smell (how embarrassing). Then I discovered WIN (ok, I sound like a commercial, but it's true), and it saved my clothes. It's not perfect, but it was the only thing that got the majority of stink out. When I got my front loader, I started to notice the telltale smell again and solved it by soaking the clothes in WIN and water in my slop sink prior to a wash in the machine. Works like a charm and handles all of hubby's smelly laundry too.

The big offenders? The "new" polyester sport fabrics hold onto the stink like nobody's business. Hey Team Estrogen, tell your clothing manufacturers that there has to be a better way -- we need moisture wicking clothing without the SMELL!!

I like wool for winter too, and my smartwool socks (that I wear year round) NEVER smell--and they don't need special detergent either! :)

2008 Trek Madone 5.1, Terry Falcon X saddle (not perfect, but ok fit for me)
1991/92 Trek 1000 Aluminum (OW!), Serfas saddle, biggest mistake = putting Continental tires on this bike. Could never get them off!!

07-22-2010, 05:38 PM
I use Woolite, but only a little bit; my clothes don't smell funky. How would I know if it wasn't wicking?

07-22-2010, 06:07 PM
My usual non-petroleum detergent. I'll adding washing soda if things are a little funky, or Nature's Miracle if they're really funky. Even DH's jerseys don't stink after a round with the NM.

07-22-2010, 07:48 PM
I live in Australia and I use OMO Sensitive because my family all find the regular detergents a bit too harsh on their skin. I just wash all the athletic clothing in the same detergent BUT I put the gloves/booties (anything with velcro) in separate laundry bags AND I use a more delicate wash cycle than 'regular'.

07-22-2010, 08:47 PM
I use Kookaburra wash, so I voted "other"

07-22-2010, 10:07 PM
Assos sports wash. It takes out any of the bad scents every time!

07-23-2010, 08:47 AM
Seventh Generation or other environmentally friendly detergent.

My roommate uses WIN and every time my black shebeest shorts have lint deposits on them.

07-24-2010, 10:01 AM
I use Woolite, but only a little bit; my clothes don't smell funky. How would I know if it wasn't wicking?

To those who find Woolite too smelly: Woolite changed a while back to be way more concentrated...if you use the same amount as you did before (one capful) it will be way too much now. If you follow the new label instructions to measure, it doesn't have any big odor. At least that's my experience, and I'm pretty sensitive to odors and fragrances. I was shocked to find how little of it I really need to use now to get my clothes nice and clean.

07-27-2010, 12:54 PM
I normally use the Assos detergent. Actually I was surprise to not find it listed, since it is made specifically for cycling apparel...

08-05-2010, 12:31 PM
I acually make my own. I've been using this recipie for over 2 yrs now. LOVE IT

08-05-2010, 02:02 PM
what's your recipe?

08-05-2010, 07:51 PM
When my "performance fabric" items get stinky, I use either baking soda or Dr Bonner's soap as the spirit moves me.

08-06-2010, 09:18 AM
My recipie is
1 par Zote soap (grated)
4 cups 20 mule team Borax
2 Cups baking soda (washing soday ie. sodium carbonate works better but can't find it here)

08-06-2010, 02:47 PM
thank you BikingNurse :)

08-12-2010, 08:23 AM
My recipie is
1 par Zote soap (grated)
4 cups 20 mule team Borax
2 Cups baking soda (washing soday ie. sodium carbonate works better but can't find it here)

OK I had a blonde moment when I typed this up. the Borax and Soda should be doubled. the Recipie should read :
1 par Zote soap (grated)
8 cups 20 mule team Borax
4 Cups baking soda (washing soday ie. sodium carbonate works better but can't find it here

08-13-2010, 05:11 PM
I use a free clear detergent as I have a terrible allergic reaction to perfume and also react to certain dyes. I, however, do use windex whenever the grease spots come on clothing. My white jersey has gotten grease stains all over it and always comes out clean! My grandma gave me that tip and it works.

12-01-2010, 09:14 AM
I missed this poll.

As a substitute for Woolite, use baby shampoo. More gentle, has less additives, cheaper, same or better results.

As a substitute for WIN, use regular detergent w/oxyclean. That is all WIN and other "sports detergent" is, detergent with an oxygenator added. Same results, less money.

If the gear is really stinky, soak in a bix/oxyclean mixture overnight.

05-09-2011, 05:48 PM
I use a laundry ball kit from H2O At Home:


Description from the website:

Thanks to the friction of its ceramic pearls during the washing cycle, the laundry ball reinforces the cleansing properties of water and softens textile fibers to make impurities easier to remove. It protects the laundry against oxidation, preserves its colors and guarantees its softness. Placed in the washing machine for each wash, this ball will considerably reduce your consumption of detergent: 1/3 of the usual quantity of detergent is enough for an impeccable wash.
The laundry ball can also be used alone, for “everyday” washing (not very dirty), or for people with allergies or sensitive skin.

Then I pair it with the 100 natural (yummy smelling! :D) lavendar soap they sell. You only need about a spoonful if you use soap at all! The ball is enough for lightly soiled though!