Football and rugby season brings excitement and fun, unfortunately they also bring a sports kit that refuses to be washed clean!
Between the blood, mud, and grass stains, you’ll want to get the job done quickly so you can get on with better things. Here’s some handy tips to get that kit looking as fresh as the star wearing it. Roll up your sleeves, put on your rubber gloves and lets ‘tackle’ this.
Know Your Fabric
A polyester mesh is the standard fabric for football shirts, while rugby kits 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. Rinse as much mud off as possible either in the sink or hang on the line and hose it down in the garden 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
As tempting as it may be, chlorine bleach and polyester don’t mix well together. If you must use bleach, look for an oxygen-based variety or all-fabric bleach. Sports kits are 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, run the stain under cold water before the pre-soak and agitate the material. 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 to 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 toothbrush, 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 material, and repeat if necessary.
Our tips will prolong the life of your kit, our sports kits are competitively priced so if you do need a new one then just get in touch and we’ll kit you out with the right gear.