Posted by: Joe Nuss on Apr 18, 2012
By D.C. Lucchesi
There’s nothing quite like finally shelving all that winter workout gear for the season. But remember the way it smelled right out of the box before you first shouldered that long-sleeve shirt back in October? Yeah. That smell. And chances are last year’s stuff didn’t feel quite as soft as the stuff you bought this season. What up with that, as Deandre Cole would say.
Even if you follow label directions, skip the fabric softeners, hang dry or tumble on low, technical fabric fibers eventually lose some of their wicking abilities. And along the way, they’ll become less breathable, pick up oils and residues from your stinky bod and lock them in for a lasting odor that won’t wash out with regular detergents. Enter Nikwax BaseWash. This specially formulated cleanser – don’t call it a soap – is made for materials and fabrics that are used next to the skin. Think base layers: socks and sports bras and shorts. Nikwax BaseWash is easy to use – just put it in your washer like any other detergent. It’s water-based, biodegradable and doesn’t have any environmentally damaging chemicals in it, either. Nice!
While it didn’t remove the graying that sweat and body oils have deposited on some older white technical fabrics we tested it on, Nikwax BaseWash made those same pieces feel much softer and removed that “old” smell from the fabric. Newer pieces fared well too, with the fabrics even seeming to dry faster on the line and feeling softer against the skin. Nikwax Basewash may be just the ticket for that final washing before out-of-season storage for your winter gear. If workout gear piles up quickly at your house, a more consistent level of routine “fabric care” versus conventional washing and wearing might be easier to achieve. Consider it a worthwhile investment in extending the life and extinguishing the smell of your workout clothes.