WAG Washing leos

Parents... Coaches... Judges... Gymnasts...
DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members See FEWER Ads!
Join for FREE!
I would use a survival of the fittest mentality for the bulk of training leotards.... if it's worn frequently it, better be able to handle a regular wash cycle.
Here is an old thread about washing leotards as well...

Thanks, I was trying to find the post that had these washing instructions...:D

"I only wash mine using water which has been purified by running through volcanic lava, and I add natural salt that has dried for 3 weeks on limestone rocks. The detergent is made from flowers collected at night by the light of a full moon by monks in their 3rd year of training or higher, and then carefully purified according to an ancient set of rituals. After dipping in the special water for precisely 1.3 minutes, I carefully infiltrate a little of the detergent, then immediately remove the leotard and place between towels made from the wool of Alpacas aged less than 2 years. I then replace the leotard in the water (26 seconds this time), remove and dry between silk and cotton, before delicately placing on hangars made of high-grade non-acidic polymer."
Practice leotards - wash and dry with regular clothes (not with clothes that have zippers or hooks) using our regular detergent, scent-free, dye-free fabric softener, and distilled vinegar. They are usually washed inside out. We actually have practice leotards that are on their 3rd or 4th gymnast and are still holding up.
Competition leotards - wash and dry with other leotards, socks, undies, sports bras, t-shirts, and leggings. These loads get extra vinegar and less fabric softener. We make sure the detergent doesn't come into direct contact with leotards (part of why they are washed with other stuff). We also use the "extra rinse" setting on our washer.

We use homemade detergent (our friend makes it in 5-gallon containers). The ingredients for the entire 5 gallons don't cost as much as one bottle of store-bought detergent. We keep it in old fabric softener bottles (properly labeled all over the bottles). We get 10-12 bottles worth at a time ... because we only have 12 spare bottles, lol.
As we've gotten more and more into gymnastics as a family, the leos get less and less special treatment. The regular ones get washed regular cycle with everything else in a lingerie bag and hung to dry.

A modern front load washer with a high quality "natural" laundry detergent is very easy on clothes.

The rhinestone comp leos get hand washed.
That old post is hilarious! When we got the new $400+ leos this year (freaking stab me in the eye!), the gym mgr included a note that said something like "Washing instructions: Hand-wash only in unicorn tears, using the magical hands of a fairy. Dry with the warm loving breaths exhaled from the mouths of 1000 white diamond encrusted pegasi." Clearly she was not a fan of the selected leo either! I literally make my kid wear gloves when handling it so she doesn't snag the mesh with her chewed up finger nails and callused hands!

That said, we don't buy shiny/foil/metallic practice leos primarily because I'm really bad at laundry. I wash all practice leotards in the laundry machine with all of my kids' other clothing, on medium spin cycle, normal fabric setting, warm water. I hang all to dry. I do not place them in a mesh bag or anything special. I use whatever detergent we have, which is usually Defunkify free and clear powder or 7th Generation free and clear.

With meet leotards, I first panic. Then I drink heavily. Then I gently take a whiff of the key stink-risk areas from a slight distance to gauge how intensely I will need to wash it. Note that I am very smell sensitive. I fill a clean basin with very cold water mixed with a very small amount of detergent (same ones as above), turn the leo inside out and dunk it a few times until it is completely wet. I do not soak it ever. I have pretty dry skin, so I put on disposable gloves to avoid snagging the fabric when handling it. I just gently hand wash the crotch and pits by lightly rubbing between my fingers. Then dunk and swish again several times. I then change out the water for clean cold water and repeat the dunking and swishing. Change it again and dunk and swish. I do that until I feel pretty satisfied that there is no detergent left. They I lay it out on folded clean white towels and use another clean white towel on top. I gently push around until excess water has been absorbed and then leave it flat to dry.

Another tip that someone here passed along is to keep some vodka in a misting spray bottle and spray the pits and crotch lightly (I do not saturate the fabric but it will be damp to touch) immediately after removal each time. That worked wonders for us when we bought a used meet leo that had horrible body odor.