With the end of triathlon season quickly approaching, it’s time to think about cleaning all of the gear that has probably been neglected much of the year or left to be “cleaned” by your triathlete. Now is the time to really get in there and get all the sweat and bacteria out of there. If you make this a joint weekend afternoon project, they feel some of the pain, too!
Don’t forget to clean the wetsuit. Rinse it off first, then soak it in a sink or tub full of warm water with a cup of detergent or specialty wetsuit cleaner, give it a good rinse, then hang up to dry on a plastic hanger. Do not hang to dry in the sun or use a washing machine to clean, as neither are kind to wetsuit materials. This is also a good time to inspect for rips or tears.
If you can’t find the manufacturer’s instructions, you’re probably safe to wash it in mild soap and water, rinsing thoroughly, and then air drying. We normally use a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bucket of water and use a sponge to thoroughly clean. Simple Green also works nicely to spray and wipe.
I’ve been throwing his running shoes in the washer, because they’re just too tough to get really clean handwashing. Besides, he gets a new pair so frequently it hardly makes sense to even clean! If you need to use a precleaning treatment to get out blood, urine, etc., you can try an enzyme-based presoak like GOSOAP and then clean as usual.
In terms of bike shoes, I’ve never used the washing machine, but know some people who do on a delicate, cold cycle with towels for padding. People also stuff with newspapers to soak up some of the sweat/water. I have tried the dishwasher and it worked. Here’s how:
- Clean any stains or scuff marks with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or a toothbrush and Tide to Go or Clorox Bleach Pen.
- Take out any removable soles.
- Remove clips or metal hardware.
- Place on the bottom rack on a delicate cycle and turn off heated drying.
- When done, remove and place in sun to dry.
You can also use the presoak with GOSOAP like with the running shoes if need be.
Don’t forgot all of the little items that are used for training and races that are probably overlooked. These include:
- Fuel Belts
- Heart monitor belts
- Ear Buds
Most of these can easily be wiped down, soaked in a sink of soapy water, or thrown in the washing machine and left to air dry, except of course, the electronics. Your choice…
And don’t forget to check out how to clean all of the triathlete bags…