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  • Compression Athlete

How Often Should I Wash My Compression Gear?

Washing tips to keep your gear performing better for longer.

Runner wearing dirty compression gear in need of washing.

If you’re like most athletes, you put your compression gear through a lot. And as base layers, your compression pieces tend to take the brunt of every workout.

Compression wear is unique in that it applies pressure to your body to boost your performance in a variety of ways. And if you want to get the most out of your compression gear, you need to take good care of it in order to preserve its compressive qualities.

A key component in proper care for your compression gear is a regular washing cycle. If you’re wondering how often you should wash your compression gear, the answer is: ideally, after every wear.

A common misconception about compression wear is that the more you wash it, the faster it will break down. However, it’s actually through regular washing that you can maintain the signature elasticity of compression gear for longer.

Washing Your Compression Gear on Regular Basis

If you routinely wash your compression gear after wearing it, you’ll notice that it stays in peak form for a much longer period of time. Additionally, you’ll notice how the garment’s stretch and compressive pressure bounces back nicely between each use.

While it’s recommended that you wash your compression after each wear to get the most out of your gear, you may find that there are a few situations that allow for leniency.

For example, if you wore the compression piece briefly and didn’t sweat in it or put it through vigorous activity, you’ll probably be fine keeping it handy for another wear before washing.

Folded compression pieces after washing.

Keep in mind that compression gear is worn as a base layer (i.e. worn right against your skin), so it will end up absorbing a lot of sweat, oil, bacteria, etc.

Think of treating your compression like you would a pair of underwear or any base layer clothing and wash it after each use. Doing so will help you get rid of those harmful elements that can wear aware at the elastic fibers of your compression.

Tips for Washing Your Compression Gear

Whether you have favorite pieces that you don’t want to part with or you’d rather not shell out more money on replacements, correctly washing your activewear can help you hold onto it for longer.

Washing compression gear in a machine washer.

So, when it comes to the actual process of washing your compression gear, here are a few tips you should follow:

  • Wash your compression gear together and separate from your other clothes, so as to prevent any possible damage from zippers, Velcro, and other rough materials your everyday clothing items may contain.

  • When machine-washing your compression gear, consider placing your compression gear in a mesh laundry bag for an added layer of protection.

  • If you need to treat a stain on your compression gear, be sure to do so right away. Stains can prove difficult to remove if left untreated. Before washing, use a small amount of mild detergent to gently rub at the stain.

  • If you notice that you’re having trouble getting rid of a strong odor from your compression gear, soak the item in cold water with a cup of baking soda. Leave the item to soak overnight then wash it as normal.

If you’re looking for more ways to keep your compression gear in tiptop shape for as long as possible, regular washing is just one part of good compression wear care. Check out our helpful guide to Best Care Practices for Compression Wear.

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