Leggings Care Guide: How to Wash Leggings

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Whatever kind of exercise you love, workout leggings are a top contender for supportive and comfy activewear. From yoga class to marathons, leggings are a truly versatile piece of clothing for a woman to have in her closet! They’re even perfect for cute and comfy lazy day outfits!

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But once you discover a fantastic pair of multi-functional leggings, how do you keep them in great shape? Whether it’s to prevent shrinkage or pilling of their synthetic fabrics, here is how to wash leggings properly to make them last for years to come. 

Maintain Synthetic Materials by Avoiding Heat 

One feature that makes leggings so wonderful is their softness and stretchability. Whether they’re made of olefin, spandex or Leonisa’s DuraFit® compression fabric and moisture-wicking PowerSlim®, you want to protect these stretchy synthetic materials as best as possible. And a critical way to do this is to keep leggings away from heat. And we’re not talking about hot yoga!

Always be sure to wash leggings in cold water and to skip the dryer entirely. While even a low or delicate dryer setting seems harmless, it can harm the fabric’s integrity. Instead, place leggings over a clothing rack and lay them out to air dry. 

Wash Synthetics with Other Synthetics

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Whatever type of synthetic material your leggings are made of, they tend to have issues when thrown into the wash with other non-synthetic clothes. For example, it may not be the best idea to simply toss your leggings in with your towels, denim jeans or cotton shirts, as these fabrics can produce lint that can pill up on finer synthetic threads. 

Instead, make sure to wash your leggings with other synthetic workout clothes. Also, it helps to turn the pants inside out, reducing friction as they’re washed and wear and tear on the outer finish.  

Use a Gentle Setting Cycle

Once you have a pile of synthetic leggings and other workout clothes, and have turned the garments inside out, it’s time to wash! For these clothes, always use a gentle setting, along with a lower final spin setting. A high-speed spin cycle will only cause unnecessary stretching and excessive abrasions to your synthetics. 

Go Easy on the Detergent

When it comes to synthetic materials, go easy on the detergent! When you use too much detergent, it makes your leggings come out sticky, stiff and even traps bacteria and foul odors. Not to mention excessive detergent in tight-fitted leggings can cause skin irritations and even rashes to sensitive areas. 

Also, reach for a detergent with certain enzymes that can help remove your body oils and stains. For instance, protease will remove protein stains like grass, lipase can remove oily stains and mannanase and pectinase remove food stains. Cellulase enzymes can also help to reduce pilling.

Never Use Fabric Softener

Leggings often have moisture-wicking fabrics that move sweat to the outer layer, helping it to evaporate and dry faster. But when you use a fabric softener, which is essentially a waxy film, this moisture-wicking feature is blocked and reduced, which leaves you feeling uncomfortable or just downright stinky. Also, many liquid fabric softeners are quite unhealthy for you and the environment

How Often Should You Wash Leggings?

sitting in black leggings

How often you wash your leggings merely comes down to your typical workout routine. A light 30-minute indoor yoga practice is not going to make you break a sweat nearly as much as running a few miles. And, of course, leggings are also used to tie together a cute athleisure wear outfit when you’re barely breaking a sweat at all. 

However, any tight-fitting garment can easily accumulate bacteria, yeast spores and odors from the skin. And to prevent it from multiplying, leggings should ideally be washed after each use. This goes double if you have sensitive skin! 

You might be okay getting away with a few successive days of light exercises, but generally, you need to wash leggings whenever you break a solid sweat. And never leave leggings bunched up in your gym bag or hamper where bacteria and germs multiply. At the very least, allow any dampness to dry and throw in the wash pronto! 

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