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Keeping it Clean: How to clean your golf clothes


Hello.  This is another post in my series on “Keeping It Clean.” Today I want to talk about how to keep your golf clothes clean.  I’m using “golf clothes” in a rather generic sense here – an umbrella title, if you will, that includes your workout clothes, active wear, basketball shorts, running clothes, etc.  The critical point I want to make is that “active wear” means clothing that is mostly made from polyester or some other synthetic fabric.  These fabrics are often categorized as “performance.” fabrics, though that term is most often used in the furniture industry.  Basically, it means fabrics that are easy to clean and withstand the wear and tear of an active lifestyle.  They are not cotton, wool or silk, which are natural fibers that come from an animal or plant.  For example, wool comes from sheep and cotton comes from a plant.  Polyester, rayon and elastane are manufactured in a factory and made from chemicals; they’re not derived from something natural — like a plant or animal.

Synthetic fabrics like polyester are often used for polo shirts, golf pants, gym shorts, or anything you might buy from Lulu Lemon.  They’re all made from polyester, rayon, elastane, etc.  I point this out because you’ll want to pay special attention to how you care for these garments because they react differently than natural fabrics. So, when you’re washing these fabrics, you want to wash them together — with only other synthetic fabrics.  You don’t want to wash them with cotton, you don’t know want to wash them with your heavy jeans, and you don’t want to wash them with heavy towels.

The reason for this rule is that in the washing machine, the heavy cottons will beat up the surface of the synthetic fabric. To put it simply, the cotton’s, the jeans the towels, etc. will actually scuff/destroy the surface of the synthetic fabric and cause pilling.   Another important thing to remember is to always use cold water, not warm or hot.  For example, I live in Arizona, one of the sunniest states in the U.S.  That sun is one of the main reasons we love living here, but as it heats up, it starts cooking not only the interior of your home, but even your plumbing pipes, which, in turn, heat the water flowing through them.  So, I usually wash my polyester and other synthetic garments first thing in the morning before the sun starts to bake them.  Hot water is great for towels, bedding and other cottons, but not polyester and other synthetics.

Another tip in caring for synthetic fabrics is to turn them inside out before washing.  I’m not an expert in detergents, but the one tip I can provide is less is always better.  If you use too much, your machine may not be able to remove all the soap which will leave your clothes smelling like detergent and feeling a little different to the touch.  Lastly, don’t ever put your synthetics in the dryer.  Always air dry them because the heat from the dryer destroys the fabric.

In addition, if you have sweat stains on the garment, the heat will turn them into permanent stains, and they won’t come out.  You can hang them on your shower rod, put up a little hanging area in your laundry room if you have one, or get a drying rack which is great for pants and shorts.  Bottomline, if you want your polo shirts, athletic clothes, etc. to last longer and look their best, you need to put a little effort into how you clean them.  A final tip that will keep this chore to a minimum amount of time is to sort your clothes in piles before they’re washed – lights, darks, synthetics, cottons such as jeans, towels, bedding, etc.  It just takes a little bit of effort to keep your wardrobe looking like new, and Guys, that makes you look better, too.

You might be saying to yourself, “Oh my gosh, just take it to the dry cleaner.  They do a great job and it’s so convenient.”  However, dry cleaners use a lot of chemicals, and the chemicals they use really destroy the surface of the fabric.  Remember, I’m not talking about your cashmeres, fine wools and silks.  I’m talking about your garments made from polyester and other synthetics.  In addition, after they’ve washed them, dry cleaners put them in the dryer.  So, if you want your active wear clothes made from synthetic fibers to last, don’t take them to the dry cleaner.

Hope you found this blog post helpful.  It just takes a few extra steps to keep your polyester/synthetic clothes looking great:  wash separately from natural fiber garments, turn inside out before washing, wash in cold water, keep detergent to a minimum, and air dry.  That’s it!  I’m Mary, from Q. Contrary.  “Keeping it Clean”.  Thanks for reading.


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