The spring semester of the school year is well underway and kids are playing sports like soccer, softball, baseball, lacrosse, wrestling, golf, tennis, and more. If your kids are bringing home dirty, smelly sports gear, you can minimize the mess by following Arizona Tide Cleaners' top tips for keeping sports clothes and equipment fresh and clean.

Keep it organized.

First and foremost, you'll want to separate gear and clothes for each sport, as individual gear may need to be cleaned in a specific manner. For example, if one child is on the football team and another is on the soccer team, keep those shin guards shoulder pads in separate piles so you can tackle each article separately.

Wash right away.

Whether you're coming home from the gym or your kid just got home from practice, make sure they empty the gym bags and put the dirty clothes in the laundry right away. It's best to wash everything as soon as possible so the smell doesn't settle. If you're planning to wash later, do your best to make sure everything is laid out - not crumbled in a pile - as bacteria love to grow in moist places.

Pretreat stains before washing.

To avoid unwanted sweat stains, make sure you pretreat your sports clothes prior to washing. Turn the garment inside out, then pretreat the underarm areas with Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then wash in the hottest water that is safe for the fabric. For stubborn stains, you may need to soak the garment for several hours prior to washing.

Cleaning sports equipment at home.

You'll need to do a little bit of sorting, but there are many sports equipment items that can be easily washed in a standard washer. Check labels when possible or ask your local sports shop about specific gear if you're not sure. Once you have the items sorted as to what can be washed in the washing machine and what can't, here are a few tips to follow:

  • Use the cool water setting and gentle cycle for most equipment.
  • If the gear has removable pads, take them out prior to washing. Scrub the pads with dish soap and warm water, rinse well, and allow them to dry completely.
  • Hang equipment or place outside to dry, and allow it to dry completely. Gear with internal padding may take a little longer to dry, so make sure you give yourself enough time.
  • Wash jerseys inside out after pretreating stains.

Honestly, why would you do any of this?

If you've tried all our sports cleaning tips, but your gear still needs some extra TLC, consider bringing your items to a local Arizona Tide Cleaners near you. With over 23 locations throughout Arizona, we provide the next innovative services in processing laundry chores with our TIDE Cleaners Wash and Fold service. You simply drop off your laundry and we'll wash and fold for you.

Picture yourself NOT doing laundry on your weekend. Nice visual, right? Let us handle the heavy, smelly, high maintenance sports gear so you don't have to.