A busy schedule of cheerleading, school and life can really take a toll on your cheer uniform. When you get home, the question becomes how to wash your cheerleading uniform. With every great idea of how to care for your cheer uniform comes a whole book filled with bad ideas. Here are some of the way you can ruin your uniform:
Tossing it in With the Rest of the Laundry
Never mix colors with whites — unless you want to turn that delightful white shirt into a delicate shade of pink. Remember: if it looks different, it may make everything else different!
Separate white and colored clothing, and make sure to use a little color-safe bleach to bring out the purest white possible in your clothes.
Removing Stains with Acid
Grass stains are a pain to remove, and a stubborn mark can turn a cute skirt into something only fit to wear while gardening. When the first blotch of green appears, it is common to seek out any remedy possible. The one thing you should never reach for is that big bottle of acid. It may be good for cleaning stone, but not for clothes!
One drop will get rid of the stain — and the fabric underneath! Imagine the fashion trend you will set wearing an acid-holed cheerleading outfit to the football game. Use the right detergent, or risk damaging your clothes.
Washing with Hard Water
We covered strong cleaning agents and mixing and matching, now let us look at the type of liquid you should use.
Hard water, which is water that has high levels of calcium and magnesium, can permanently stain clothes and ruin that beautiful uniform. Make sure to have the softest, purest water possible when washing your clothes. Otherwise, the results will be less than stellar.
Back to Reality
Now for some serious information about caring for your cheer uniform. Start with a presoak. Presoaking is the most gentle way to deal with the stains and odors that will inevitably find their way into your uniform.
Choosing a detergent for your cheer uniform is of utmost importance to keep your uniform in its best condition. Do not use bleach or fabric softener. Bleach can discolor the vibrant sections of your uniform. Fabric softener can cause residue to build up and often comes with its own coloring, which you will not want to transfer to your uniform. We recommend using Cheer, Tide Sport and, when necessary, a color-safe bleach.
Wash your uniform alone and in cold water in the washing machine. It’s even better if you can wash your uniform by hand, but be careful not to wring it out too aggressively.
It is not recommended to dry your cheer uniform as the heat and tumbling action of the dryer can cause your uniform to lose its shape and can flatten pleats. The best practice is to let your uniform air-dry. Find a flat, clean surface to lay your cheer uniform on. Better yet, you may purchase a sweater drying rack to promote airflow around your uniform while it dries. A small, dry towel or cloth can be inserted into the top of the uniform if desired. This will assist in keeping the front and back sides of your uniform separated while they dry. If you feel that your uniform is wrinkled or creased after air-drying, use a steamer (not an iron) to finish it off.