How to Wash Bike Shorts

How to Wash Bike Shorts
Wash bike shorts regularly to keep them free of odor and bacteria. Dirty shorts can cause saddle sores and other uncomfortable conditions. Cleaning your shorts regularly will allow them to perform as designed, keeping you cooler and dryer. Ideally, wash your shorts after every ride.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Mild, additive-free detergent
Step 1
Check the care instructions, which you'll find on the inside of the shorts, near the seat or on a leg. While these general guidelines should work for most polyester mountain-biking shorts and Lycra cycling shorts, it's always best to follow the instructions for your particular garment.
Step 2
Switch the washing machine to a cold-water setting. Put it on a gentle cycle to prevent any undue wear or stretching of your shorts. Use a mild, additive-free (no softeners or perfumes) detergent. Additives can leave behind residue that hinders the wicking and breathability of bike shorts.
Step 3
Turn on the washing machine and allow it to run for a minute or two. Wait until the soap and water are mixed thoroughly before adding your bike shorts and other cycling garments. Restart the machine and let it run through the remainder of the wash cycle.
Step 4
Line dry your bike shorts if possible. Many brands can tolerate a low tumble-dry setting, but avoid using other dryer cycles, as they can hasten the wear of your shorts.

Tips & Warnings

Hand-washing is gentler on garments than machine-washing. Consider alternating the two methods, especially if you wash your bike shorts a lot.
Don't use bleach or fabric softener.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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