Every sports team has to make their uniform last throughout the entire season, through rain, shine, and sweat. Whether you’re on a cheerleading squad or the football team, uniforms must be properly cleaned. Sports uniforms are typically made from durable polyester knit fabric, rather than cotton, in order to last through active games, practices, and performances. Here are five ways to keep your uniforms in tip-top shape:
1) Don’t dry clean. Dry cleaning can be unpredictable and may ruin your treasured uniform. The material may stiffen, fade, bubble, and possibly even yellow. All of these are permanent and you’ll be forced to order a new uniform.
2) Use color-friendly detergent. Since many uniforms are brightly colored, washing with the wrong detergent could cause the color to fade. Use a detergent specifically geared towards sportswear or colors. If you’re washing your uniform for the first time, wash each garment separately in cold water.
3) Use baking soda to neutralize odor. After a game, competition, or performance, your uniform will be sweaty and damp, which results in a not-so-pleasant odor. You can remove a lot of odors by soaking the uniform in cold water with a cup of baking soda.
4) Remove stains immediately. The best way to prevent a stain is to remove one immediately. If you drop food, a drink, or anything on your uniform, use cold water on it. Stains are much easier to remove when fresh.
5) Hang dry. Do not put your uniform in the dryer. The heat can shrink your uniform, fade the color, and, if it’s a pleated cheerleading skirt, it can remove the pleats. Once you remove it from the washing machine, hang dry.
Whether you’re facing a season of indoor competitions or a year of weekly games in the sun and dirt, your uniforms are sure to last if cleaned properly.