If your knee sleeves STANK so bad that nobody wants to share a squat rack with you, maybe it’s time to give them a wash. BUT HOW? I spent hundreds on these neoprene bad boys and I don’t want to ruin them. Well listen up folks – it’s time to learn how to wash your knee sleeves WITHOUT ruining them. When in doubt give them to your mom and she’ll figure it out.
As a rule of thumb for doing laundry, anything delicate that you don’t want to ruin is best to hand wash, and air dry. But not everyone has time for that so it is possible to wash these in the machine on cold, and gentle cycles but definitely hang them afterwards.
In the machine
That’s right, you can just throw them in the machine. Is it the best and most gentle way that will preserve your sleeves for 20 years? Maybe not but I’ve put many pairs of expensive sleeves through the washing machine with no ill effects. Put them on through a cold, gentle cycle with a gentle detergent and hang them up inside out to dry. If they’re particularly raunchy you may want to soak them in vinegar and cold water for a while before washing them.
Vinegar soak then hand wash
Pretty much the same as above, but a more gentle process. Soak them in vinegar and cold water for 20 or 30 minutes, then wash them by hand in the sink with the detergent of your choice. Hang them to dry afterwards. This is the best method – lowest risk and damage to the neoprene and they’re just as clean as the rest.
BOIL EM MASH EM – stick em in a stew?
Yeah apparently there’s this washing technique going around where you boil your knee sleeves – I’ve never done it but it sounds like a great way to kill any living things in your knee sleeves. Maybe consider this method if you’ve been wearing the same sleeves for 5 years and are washing them for the first time. Soak them in vinegar then BOIL EM for 5 or 10 minutes. Using the broth afterwards is optional.
Wash them like a wet suit
I was thinking – divers use a lot of neoprene I bet they would be great to ask about washing knee sleeves. Similar to my vinegar and hand wash technique they have a variety of anti-bacterial solutions (Sink the Stink is popular) so they squirt a bit in a bucket, fill with water, and wash their wet suits in there. You can bet that they care about washing their thousand dollar suits effectively, so their methods and products should be more than sufficient for our knee sleeves!
- Don’t put them in the dryer
- Don’t put them in with all your other clothes on a heavy duty cycle
- Don’t bleach them
- Don’t not wash them for 5 years
Conclusion: Beat The Knee Sleeve Stank
A final note, maybe to save you a few washes here and there is to not let your knee sleeves stew in the gym bag overnight. Take your bag home, empty the contents and hang up the sleeves and other gear to dry! Whether you have Rehbands, Strong Sleeves, SBD’s, or any sleeve in between – you can use this guide to keep them squeaky clean and tight on the knee.
That’s the end of our how to wash your knee sleeves article – I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Now let’s go do some SQUATS!
For additional knee sleeve education hop over to our extensive knee sleeve buying guide!