All Ground Effect clothing enjoys a warm 40ºC machine wash. Try to avoid cold-water detergents and those with bleach, 'oxygen whitener' or fabric softener.
The cold-water varieties have little enzymes that are super-charged to brave the cold but can damage technical fabrics and cause skin irritation.
Bleach rots natural fibres like merino, strips the dye, attacks the HydroFoil laminate and can also cause irritation.
Sodium Percarbonate (the main ingredient in oxygen whitener) can make colours run.
Fabric softener and stuff containing it like wool wash destroys the water repellent finish on fabrics like HydroFoil and can also make colours run.
As a rule of thumb, a product that is easy on the planet is also easy on your body. Select a mild plant-based soap like Ecostore, Earthwise or Aware.
Hand washing is sometimes the only option on tour, but a washing machine rinses more thoroughly and is preferable if you have the choice.
Drying on the line or hanging on the bedpost is generally preferable to using a dryer. Most Ground Effect gear dries super-fast anyway. High heat can damage some fabrics so if you must take your threads for a spin set the device on 'medium' or 'warm' rather than hot.
Wash with any of the plant-based products listed above. You can also use a specific sport wash like Grangers Extreme Cleaner, Nikwax Tech Wash or Atsko 'Sport Wash'. Around NZ$30 from most outdoor shops.
Any stubborn stains should be dabbed not rubbed clean. For grease spots you can use a degreaser like Swarfega. It's aggressive stuff though so take care - it might be best left alone as added character.
Keep it clean, but don’t wash too often. General wear along with washing progressively removes the water repellent treatment from the outside the fabric. This treatment helps rain to bead and run off - and enhances the overall performance of the fabric. Dirt, body oil, sunscreen and sweat also attack the water repellent treatment and can cause the waterproof-breathable membrane to delaminate. Wash frequency depends on how often and how hard you use your garment. We suggest at least a couple of times a year - certainly after a muddy mission, an especially sweaty ride, or say half a dozen sessions in the rain. Use your judgement - if the garment looks dirty, the fabric is 'wetting out’ too quickly, or feels clammy then it's probably time for a clean.
When the fabric starts 'wetting out', it's time to apply some love. You can help restore the water repellent treatment after washing by chucking it in the dryer using a warm (not hot) cycle. This 'recharges' the treatment so it lasts a bit longer. When this trick no longer does its magic you can beef up the original treatment to some extent with a product like Nikwax TX Direct - $39 from Ground Effect. A bottle is good for two or three rounds with your jacket. The effectiveness of this process depends on the age and condition of your jacket.
Note that while the fabric's wetting-out impairs performance, particularly breathability, the HydroFoil laminate should still be waterproof.
Always ensure your HydroFoil garment is completely dry before storing. Putting it away damp can destroy both the water repellent finish and the waterproof coating. Hanging on a hook or coat hanger is best. Take care of your gear and it will take care of you.
With shorts in particular, cold-water detergents and those with bleach or fabric softner can cause 'nappy-rash' so if you're experiencing issues in that department try a warm 40ºC machine wash and a change of cleaning brew.
A washing machine rinses more thoroughly and is preferable if you have the choice.
UV rays accelerate the decay of lycra. Our fabric is knitted so the lycra component lies on the inside of the fabric - shielding it from the sun when you're out riding. Consequently you should avoid drying these shorts inside-out. It's not a bad idea to do so occasionally as the sun does help keep the pad hygienic - although it is treated with an anti-bacterial finish anyway. But drying in this manner is a trade-off with the damage done to the Lycra.
It's important to avoid using the dryer for any shorts with our eXo™ pad. This can cause the pad to delaminate.
It's common practice to not wear underwear with your riding shorts so you need to wash your shorts daily. And it's recommended to give your shorts an initial wash when they're new - the eXo™ pad in particular becomes less stiff after the first wash.