The joys of football and rugby season don’t tend to extend to the washing. Between the blood, mud, and grass stains, you’ll want to get the job done quickly so you can get on with better things. Don’t fret, as there are some easy tips for making that sports kit brilliantly clean. Pull on those rubber gloves and let’s get started.
Know Your Fabric
A polyester mesh is the standard fabric for football shirts, while rugby kit may be made in polyester or polyester with a Lycra blend. The good news is that the average sports kit is made for its durability and is usually easier to look after than cotton.
Pre-Soak Straight Away
As soon as you can, get that uniform soaking. If you have a heavy-duty laundry sink, run the tap and rinse as much mud off as possible. If not, hang your kit on the clothesline and rinse it with a hose. The next step is to fill a bucket with warm water, add one cap of laundry detergent and a cup of baking soda, and leave your kit to sit for an hour or more.
How Hard Is Your Water?
This is something most people don’t think about when it comes to washing their kit but it makes all the difference. Soft water makes it easy to remove ground-in stains while the minerals found in hard water means you’ll need a bit of help. Invest in some water conditioner, and add this to your pre-soak bucket to help your detergent along.
Keep Away From the Chlorine Bleach
If you’ve already made this common mistake, you can skip this bit. As tempting as it may be, chlorine bleach and polyester don’t play well together. If you must use bleach, look for an oxygen-based variety or all-fabric bleach. Sports kit is expensive enough without ruining it for the sake of a good clean.
Wash Your Kit Separately
This is vital for avoiding cotton-lint. After all, the last thing you want to do is spend hours rinsing, soaking, and scrubbing to spend even more time picking through your kit with a lint-comb. There are more pleasant ways to while away your time.
Never Tumble Dry
Make sure you only line-dry your kit. The heat of a tumble drier will fade the colours, set the stains deep in your clothes, and cause your kit to shrink. By the same token, never pre-soak or wash your kit in hot water and avoid hanging it in direct sunlight.
Getting Rid of Blood
All good sports have their bloody moments. After you’ve patched yourself up, it’s time to vigorously rub the stain under cold water before the pre-soak. If the blood has dried before you’ve got home, soak it in warm water with all-fabric bleach. Wash the garment for 30 minutes and follow with another pre-soak and wash if need be.
Getting Rid of Sweat
You may have heard about the benefits of baking soda and white vinegar and this is where they truly come into their own. Baking soda helps regulate the pH level in your water, which is excellent if you have hard water and its associated minerals. Half a cup is all you need to help your detergent along, effectively removing odour.
It’s also kind on the environment and those with allergies. White vinegar is your other go-to if you need to neutralise body odour. Simply spray some directly on the smelly area before throwing your kit in the wash. Everything will end up smelling nice and fresh.
Getting Rid of Grass
If you’ve been playing rugby or football and you don’t have a grass stain, you probably weren’t really playing. If you do have grass stains, there’s no point messing around with them. Hit the heavy-duty detergent but make sure you soak your kit in chlorine-free bleach for one hour first.
Getting Rid of Mud
The key here is patience, as you’ll need to leave the mud to dry completely. Whatever you do, resist the temptation to wipe away wet mud, as you’ll only rub it deeper into the fibres. Using a toothpaste, or a plastic knife or spoon, gently scrape the mud from the surface of your kit.
Add a drop or two of water, some detergent or stain remover, and rub with a toothbrush in a circular motion. Do this on both sides of the clothes, take a breath, and repeat if necessary.
We hope your kit is now sparkling clean! However should you need a new kit, get in touch with us today by calling 0800 072 5334 or contact us online.