Spring clean your sports gear

Clothesline

With summer fast approaching, now is a great time to get outside and get active. Unfortunately, some of our sports gear might be showing the signs of a long dark winter.

From our favourite basketball jerseys to our most trustworthy shoes, wet basketball courts and muddy ovals can be tough on all our activewear. So before you get back out there, here are some tips to freshen up your gear - so you can look as good as you play!

Running Shoes

Our shoes are on the frontline of the mess when it comes to exercising. Soggy running tracks and dusty trails are sure ways to wreck your favourite shoes. But that does not mean you can’t restore them to their former glory. While it can be a bit tricky to get them looking brand new again - especially if your basketball sneakers haven’t seen the light of day since last season (it happens) - it’s not impossible. Below we’ve listed our top tips on how to get those runners looking and smelling fresh once more.

1. Machine wash

Many running shoes can be washed in the washing machine. That said, all shoes are different and some manufacturers request the wearer does not machine wash their shoes. We highly recommend checking the label before going down this route.

Generally, if there is no warning against it, a cold machine wash without detergent should not harm the shoe. Before you throw them in the wash though, here are some things to do first to ensure you get the best results:

  • Clap the soles together to remove as much mud or dirt as you can
  • Tie the shoelaces together and remove the inner sole
  • Put the shoes and inner soles in a washing machine bag
  • Set the temperature to 30 degrees and use a slow spin cycle

To retain the shape of the shoe after washing, stuff them with newspaper and then leave them somewhere to dry naturally. This can take around two days, so it’s a good idea to take advantage of the warmer weather when doing this.

2. Hand wash

While the previous option is quicker and easier, hand washing is the safest way to clean your shoes. If your sneakers aren’t too dirty to begin with, this may be a good option for freshening them up.

  • Brush or shake off as much dirt and dust as you can
  • Remove insoles and laces – you will want to wash each part of the shoe separately
  • Fill a bucket with warm water and 15-30ml of mild detergent
  • Dip a scrubbing brush in the water and clean the soles of the shoes
  • Use a wet soapy sponge to gently clean the outside of the shoe. If your shoe is made of mesh, fabric or canvas, it’s best not to submerge it in water
  • Clean the insoles and laces in soapy water
  • Leave the shoe to dry (once dry, you can sprinkle baking soda inside them to try absorb any residual odours or moisture)

Baseball Caps

Now that the sun has some bite to it again, hats are an important part of our outdoor sporting attire. Given they collect a lot of sweat, it is a good idea to freshen them up every now and then.

While some people say you can wash your cap in the washing machine, hand washing is the best option here, to preserve the hat's shape. If you are going to use a stain remover, always colour test the fabric before cleaning the whole hat.

  • Fill the sink with warm or cool water and add a couple of drops of laundry detergent
  • Soak the hat for 15 mins
  • Rinse thoroughly with cool or warm water
  • Pat dry with a towel
  • Place the hat on a small bowl (or anything else that has a similar shape to your head) and leave out to dry

Basketball Jerseys

In our opinion, this is the most important item of your gear to keep clean and fresh. While different materials require slightly different approaches to cleaning, regular cleaning of your jersey will keep it looking and smelling great.

We have written a more in-depth guide on how to care for your Vortex basketball uniform if you want to know more.

Now your gear is looking good and smelling good, you are ready to get out and enjoy the sunshine! And if some of your jerseys are past the point of repair, fear not. We’re here to help get you decked out again in one of our brand new custom singlets.