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A Cleaner World Blog

Caring for Athletic Uniforms

August signifies the start of school, and for me, it also signifies cross country season.  Gray has been running cross country since third grade, and I have been coaching middle school cross country for two years now.  Up until middle school, runners wore a soft cotton Agathos t-shirt and their own running shorts.  With the arrival of middle school came official team uniforms made out of unbreathable synthetic fibers and semi-plastic lettering.

While I agree with the premise of team uniforms – distinguishing between teams, identifying players, and showing team spirit – I think they’re pretty uncomfortable and can sometimes be difficult to care for.  Below is a list of tips to keep your child’s team uniform looking spiffy.

  • Before cleaning, check the manufacturer’s care label for instructions.  For the best result, follow those instructions.
  • If there are no instructions, we recommend a cold-water wash.  Some dyes are water-soluble, which means the color could bleed or fade if washed at a warmer temperature.
  • Before washing, it’s always good to test for colorfastness to avoid having color transferred to other garments.
  • If the color bleeds when washed at the recommended temperature, the manufacturer should be held responsible, and the uniform returned to the retailer for an adjustment.
  • Mud and grass stains may not respond as well to a cold-water wash, so you may need to pre-treat these stains.  Using a liquid laundry detergent or a grocery store pre-treater will likely work.  Let the solution sit on the stain for a few minutes before washing.
  • A Cleaner World recommends avoiding high drying temperatures because it could lead to shrinkage, permanent wrinkles, and melting of laminated letters and logos.  It’s best to just let these items airdry to be on the safe side.  
  • If the care label indicates it is safe to iron the uniform, make sure to use the proper setting.  The lowest setting, as for polyester, is usually the best option.

If you have concerns about caring for a sports uniform or removing ground-in dirt, stop by any A Cleaner World location and speak to the manager.  Cleaning difficult fabrics and removing dirt is our specialty.

athletic uniforms
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