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How to Clean Your Hiking Gear This Season

 

Dressing yourself for outdoor fun can be a little tricky, though, never knowing how many layers to bring or if a storm cloud might roll in! No matter what you wear for a crunchy-leafed hike with the crew, we can help you wash it when you get home so everything stays in prime condition for the next outing. 1. Athletic clothes 2. Sweatshirts 3. Wool coats

Getting outdoors during this time of year is such a treat. The magic of watching the leaves change, the rejuvenating effect of crisp air on your cheeks, the excitement for a season of holidays…. we love it all! Dressing yourself for outdoor fun can be a little tricky, though, never knowing how many layers to bring or if a storm cloud might roll in! No matter what you wear for a crunchy-leafed hike with the crew, we can help you wash it when you get home so everything stays in prime condition for the next outing.

 

Athletic clothes

Most of your hiking ensemble will most likely be athletic wear made from spandex, nylon, or polyester! These durable yet tricky to clean fabrics were the inspiration for our Active Wash Laundry Detergent, and that’s precisely what you’ll want to use. (After all, this layer is the closest to your skin, so we know it’s the one absorbing all that fall fun sweat!) Here’s how to wash these workout clothes:

Step 1

Pretreat stains 

If those fibers are really trapping some stink, let them soak in the sink in a solution of cool water and 1 cup baking soda for a minimum of 30 minutes. 

Step 2

Prep the washer

Toss an Active Wash Laundry Pod into the bottom of the machine. Place the spandex clothing in a Large Mesh Laundry Bag before adding it to the washing machine to protect the elastane fibers from snagging. 

Step 3

Wash

Set the washing machine’s settings so it runs on the gentle cycle and uses cold or cool water.

Step 4

Dry

The heat of a clothes dryer can damage elastane fibers. Opt to air-dry if you can! If you must use a machine, set it as low as possible, and remove the clothing while still slightly damp. 

 

Sweatshirts

If it's cool enough to have a larger sweatshirt on, this puppy may be the item that absorbed the most dirt and mud (always a sign of a good time!), or have some lingering campfire smell stuck in its fibers. Check your garment tag to ensure there aren’t any special instructions, but as a rule of thumb you can pop larger cotton-based sweatshirts in the wash with a Stain & Odor Detergent Pod and wash like normal! You’ll have a fresh and cozy sweatshirt back in no time.

 

Wool coats

Wool makes for a super warm and cozy winter coat, but the fibers tend to trap in dirt and unwanted odors over time, so aim to wash yours about twice per year. If your wool is particularly sturdy, you can wash it with other wool items on the gentle cycle in your washing machine. Don’t use fabric softener, as this can weaken the fibers, and lay out to dry! For the majority of wool coats, we recommend hand washing. Here’s how you’d go about it:

Step 1

Fill a sink or basin with cold water, and drop in a Stain & Odor Small Loads Pod—they’re the perfect amount of detergent for hand washing individual garments, and our formula is gentle on natural fibers like wool to prevent shrinking, stretching, or yellowing!

Step 2

Once the detergent pod has dissolved, place your coat in the water, swish it around and lightly squeeze it until it is fully soaked. Let the coat sit for a minute or two, and then repeat.

Step 3

Rinse the coat thoroughly until there is no detergent residue left.

Step 4

Take the coat out of the water and gently press and squeeze (don’t wring!) out the excess water. To speed up the drying time, lay the coat flat on a clean, dry towel, and tightly roll the towel up in a log shape so that the towel absorbs any excess water from your coat. Repeat if necessary.

Step 5

Lastly, hang your newly clean coat on a sturdy hanger in a cool, dry space until it is completely dry.

 

Down puffy coats

Down feathers are natural insulators so they’re perfect for keeping you warm and dry during cold weather, but they are very delicate so washing them with heavy detergents can cause them to clump and lose their fluffiness. Instead, opt for a lighter detergent like our Sensitive Skin Unscented Pods. Again, check the fabric care label first, but machine washing is generally safe for most down coats.


Step 1

Turn your coat inside out before placing it in the washing machine. Drop a detergent pod into the washing machine along with your down coat.

Step 2

Always use cold water and the gentlest cycle, and skip agitation altogether if possible as it can damage the delicate feathers.

Step 3

Machine drying is actually preferred for this type of garment (woohoo!) because the air circulation and movement helps to fluff the light feathers inside, keeping your coat soft, breathable, and lump-free. Tumble dry your down coat on a low heat setting. For extra fluffing power, try tossing in a Wool Dryer Ball!

Step 4

Once your coat is completely dry, remove it from the dryer and hand-fluff to make sure the feathers are evenly dispersed.


Curious on how to wash your sneakers after a day outside? Check out this guide.