How To Wash Your Yoga Leggings Without Stretching Them Out

If you're an avid yogi or just wear your yoga leggings frequently, you'll know the sinking feeling of seeing your favorite pair stretched out after you remove them from the wash. Add pilling and fading to the mix and it's easy for your yoga leggings to become washing-machine casualties. Especially with how expensive a good pair can be, you'll want to prolong their wear for as long as possible.

The biggest mistake many people make when washing their leggings is using warm water. Since they're often made of synthetic fibers such as spandex and latex, yoga leggings will hold up much longer when you wash them in cold water because these materials are rather delicate, The Spruce explained. Plus, drying them can make matters even worse. You'll want to air dry them for best results. 

On top of using a different temperature, avoid putting your leggings in the wash with cotton items. The outlet revealed that cotton produces a lint that works like a magnet to the spandex fabric that you're  are made from. This issue can cause pilling, making your leggings looking worn out within a few weeks. If you must wash your leggings with other items, be sure to turn them inside out, The Spruce recommends. And as far as the cycle speed goes, turn it down to gentle. Just because you sweat in your leggings doesn't mean that you have to be rough to get them clean. Lower the spin speed to prevent the threads from stretching out and wearing thin.

When it comes to detergent, less is more

When you sweat in your leggings, they absorb the dead skin cells and oils that you release during exercise, Shape explained. As such, you'll likely need to wash your workout gear more frequently than your other outfits. Yoga leggings cling to the body, which can accumulate yeast spores and other bacteria from your skin, according to The Spruce, so washing them after every wear is next to essential. But when it comes to washing, more detergent isn't always the answer.

According to Shape, washing machines have a set amount of detergent to use for each cycle, no matter the size. Excess soap gets tossed in rather than rinsed out, and can build up in your workout clothes — making way for mildew to grow, the outlet explained. "If you notice a funky smell, that's probably mildew. It feeds off soap as well as dead skin debris," said cleaning expert Jolie Kerr. Choose your detergent and the amount wisely, as not all are created equal. The Spruce recommends opting for a soap that contains enzymes strong enough to remove body oils and stains.

An absolute rule to always follow when washing your yoga leggings involves ditching the fabric softener. Fabric softener leaves behind a thin film that locks odors in your clothes, particularly your workout leggings or yoga pants, Shape said. Who knew such a simple clothing item could come with such a long wash tag? Even though it may be a pain, laundering your leggings the right way will help keep them wearable for much longer.