Athletic uniforms are usually made of synthetic fibers, such as nylon, polyester, spandex, or a blend of these fibers. Athletic uniforms may experience dye bleeding during the cleaning process, so it is important that you follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. Because some dyes are water-soluble, resulting in fading or dye transfer during washing, many uniforms have care labels that recommend a cold water wash. The color should be safe if washed in cold water, but it will often bleed if washed at a higher temperature. If the color bleeds when washed at the recommended temperature, the manufacturer should be held responsible.

Care must be taken in stain removal. Some uniforms contain lacquer prints that loosen or are removed when oily-type paint removers or volatile dry solvents are used. When using wetside stain removal procedures to remove water-soluble stains, such as mud or grass, the fabric should be dried thoroughly before cleaning to prevent localized color loss.

Athletic uniforms should be able to be finished on a utility press without damage. If a hand iron is used, make sure it is set at the proper setting. Since most uniforms are made of synthetic fibers, a low temperature setting, such as polyester, is safe. You may also want to use a press cloth on areas that contain laminates to prevent dye transfer onto the press head.

Cleaning Athletic Uniforms