When you have kids, stains are just a part of the daily routine. Throw sports into the mix, and those stains become even more regular than before – let alone the odor issues. But have no fear, there are plenty of tips and tricks to get our moms (and dads) through each load of their athlete’s laundry without batting an eyelash or throwing away practice clothes or game day attire.
Below, you will find 10 laundry hacks that are perfect for our sports parents to take note of. Tide Sport works great, but what else can you do on your own, without spending an arm and a leg, and focusing on natural remedies? Take a scroll below.
Separating colors and whites is an essential part of doing your laundry – and doing it well. It only makes sense that you keep the sports attire separated as well. Buy a hamper that is solely used to house dirty practice gear and uniforms.
This nixes the possibility that sweaty, dirty practice clothes will be kept with school clothes, spreading the stink and the bacteria throughout a larger hamper.
Make Sure the Washer Stays Clean
Yes, you have to periodically clean the washer. Your washer can build up bacteria as well – it is cleaning all of those dirty clothes you know. And, if you’re washing a lot of sweaty outfits, it’s imperative that this becomes part of your routine.
You can buy washing tablets in the store (these are some of our favorites) or you can do a DIY version by running your wash cycle using two cups of white vinegar.
Treat Stains ASAP
Instead of having your kids throw their dirty athletic clothes in their bins without treatment, make sure you spray or rub those stains IMMEDIATELY. Even if you aren’t planning to do a load until after the next game or practice, treating the stains ASAP makes a big difference when washing comes to call.
Once you take each piece out of the washer, inspect where the stain was. Do not put it in the dryer if the stain is still visible (the heat will set it), instead re-treat and re-wash.
Wash Inside Out
Don’t ruin your team logos, numbers, or names! It’s imperative that you wash jerseys inside out so as to not affect any writing or artwork on the uniform. Most of the time, you will find this all to be made using vinyl decals – and they can easily peel off after some wear.
*Kids seem to make this happen for us without even knowing it. This time, you don’t have to remind them to put their clothes in the hamper on the right side.
Remove Grass Stains
Grass stains seem to be eventual and inevitable (especially for our baseball, softball, and soccer stars!). How can you easily get those green spots out? Well, use a bit of home remedy.
You’ll want to mix three tablespoons of baking soda with two tablespoons of water. This will create a paste that you will apply to the stain and allow it to dry out completely. While drying, mix one-part white vinegar with two parts water and let it soak. Once these steps are completed, you should be able to rub the stain out with a soft bristle before throwing it in the washer.
Remove Dirt/Mud Stains
Dirt and possible mud also seem like quite the inevitable for most athletes. First, rinse the item that is stained (specifically if it’s mud to remove any excess). Afterward, apply a measure of liquid laundry detergent to the stain. Allow this to stay as such for 20 minutes. Scrub with a soft bristle and then toss in the washer!
Injuries happen, especially in the sports world. At one point or another, your athlete may get a bit of blood on their uniforms or practice gear. And if that happens, don’t panic. Blood is easier to remove than you may realize.
First, rinse the item of clothing in cold water. Gently rub the fabric together to loosen the blood. Soak the piece in white vinegar for 20 minutes and then wash as usual.
Every athlete sweats, whether during workouts, games, practices, or a morning run. After a while, sweat may stain clothing – those yellow armpits aren’t very pretty! So, how can you keep those colors and whites bright and rich?
Mix one part white vinegar and two parts warm water, soak, and flush with hydrogen peroxide for good measure. To finish, wash with a sports-centric laundry detergent.
Air Dry It!
Not only does a dryer’s heat lock stains in forever – but a lot of uniforms can easily shrink. Allow those jerseys to air dry instead of immediately throwing them in your dryer. Not only will this save energy, but it’ll save you the stress of stubborn stains and replacing uniforms that were possibly ruined.
And those vinyl decals can easily melt or peel off with too much heat!
Use Member’s Mark Active Clean Detergent or Tide Sport
Both of these detergents are made for odor-fighting and stain removal. They are made with all the needs of a sports parent in mind – including whitening and brightening up those colors and whites that get faded in the sun or after so many washes – or stained with grass, dirt, sweat, or even blood.
It’s important to mention that each of these detergents smells great too!