Chamois care. Do’s and don’ts to improve the longevity of your chamois
Caring for your chamois throughout its life is best way to make sure your chamois is doing its job in providing protection and comfort as you ride. This also helps extend the time that you can rely on your chamois. It all boils down to your washing technique.
When done properly, it will lengthen the life of your chamois and will avoid the proliferation of potential bacterial infections under the saddle. While frequent washing will inevitably lead to wear and tear, at the same time it will prolong the lifespan of the wear. We listed below 5 simple ways to observe to take better care of your chamois.
#1 DON’T wash in high temperature
In collaboration with professor Antonio Paoli of the Department of Biomedical Science of the University of Padova, Elastic Interface® pads are tested under different washing conditions, reaching the conclusion that the recommended temperature for machine washing is 30°C/86°F at delicate cycle.
Moreover, if you use gentle bleach-free detergents, you can eliminate bacteria also at lower temperatures.
#2 DON’T use strong detergent or fabric softeners
Detergents can cause damage to synthetic fibers and the elastic around the waistband and thigh bands. As much as possible, use neutral and non-aggressive detergents.
Avoid the inappropriate use of softeners, too, as they could reduce the lift of the foams. Fabric softeners coat garments with a stain-blocking film that gives that softer feel, and this film clogs up the breathability features of synthetic and wool fibers.
#3 DO wash after every ride
When you have been pedaling for long hours regardless of weather conditions, just like in any other sport, your sweat is absorbed into your shorts. This unfortunately makes it a perfect breeding ground for germs and various bacteria.
If you have been riding in the mud or in extreme weather, it is best to hand wash your chamois first before putting it in the washing machine. This can help ensure your pad is clean and bacteria-free.
If you are changing chamois while on a trip, make sure to dry out used chamois. Don’t leave them soiled as residual sweat will damage the garment.
#4 DO turn them inside out
Turn your chamois inside out when washing to avoid wadding them up in the hamper if you’re not planning to wash them right away. This also prevents it from stinking as it airs out that side has more skin and sweat contact.
This is also the same reason why it is recommended to remove your chamois immediately after a ride.
#5 DO Hang them up to dry
Rather than using a heated setting on the dryer or using the dryer at all, it is best to line dry any fabric cycling gear. However, if you are in a rush and need a last resort option, use the dryer on no or low heat.
We also mentioned earlier that it is equally important to air dry them after every ride as this helps prevent your chamois from harboring bacteria from sweat. While your chamois is tough on protection on the bike, your chamois’ lightweight and technical fabric can be easily ruined in the wash process if you’re not careful.
But if you take a few extra precautions, it can still last a while. To improve the longevity of your chamois, or just about any cycling gear, keep them at their utmost performance by following these best practices.