Your daughter will put their gymnastics leotards through a lot. Leotards are expected to fit like a second skin, be stunning to look at, and shouldn’t have to cost a ton. To do this, gymnastics leotard companies use special fabrics and ways to manufacture these leotards to get the look you desire. As a result, leotards are high-performance athletic gear that is a bit fragile. There is nothing worse than spending a great deal of money on a stunning leo only to have it look faded with missing embellishments just a few months later. It’s even more disappointing to know the way you wash your daughter’s leos determine how long the leos will last. Here we will explain how to make your gymnastics leotards last longer.
Understanding Gymnastics Leotard Materials
The key to taking care of your leotard is understanding the materials used to create this gear. Gymnastics leotards are created with:
Many of these materials are very similar. Usually, Spandex is added to other fabrics to create different appearances that allow the leos to stretch and cling to the body in different ways. For impressive, eye-catching results, many leotard companies add foil print to leos. If you want to purchase leos that are going to last a very long time with minimal effort on your part, you should choose leotards made with lycra or velour.
Take Leos Off as Soon as Possible
It’s important for your gymnastics to remove their leo as soon as possible. As soon as the leo is off, have your gymnast turn it inside out. Turning the leo inside out allows trapped sweat or moisture to escape, and won’t allow it to stay trapped in the garment. After removing the leo, it’s important to fold it. Never scrunch a leo, especially if it is sweaty or full of moisture. When transporting a leo home to be laundered, it’s best to carry it in a mesh bag that will allow air to circulate. You should never wash a leo that is still damp from your child’s workout. Instead, you should not launder a leo until it has had a chance to dry completely.
How to Wash Your Gymnastics
It’s important to read the gymnastics’ leotard tag for laundering instructions. The best gymnastics companies in the market have spent a great deal of time and money developing materials and technology that allow your son or daughter to get the best fit, look good, and stay comfortable in the gym. Some gymnasts will demand their leotard tags be removed because it is uncomfortable. However, removing the tag can cause itchiness on its own, and also allows you to lose track of the washing instructions. If your gymnast can’t live with the tag in her leo, you can choose to remove it, but don’t lose track of it. The tag will encourage you to do the following:
• Don’t use detergent
• Don’t tumble dry
• Don’t use fabric softeners
• Don’t use bleach or bleach detergents
• Don’t iron
• Don’t scrub or rub metallic or print garments
• Never hang over a radiator
• Don’t store in a plastic bag
Now that you are familiar with everything you shouldn’t do when laundering a gymnastics leotard, you are ready to learn what you can do.
• Wash your leo inside out by hand in cold water
• You can add a teaspoon of salt to the cold water to sanitize your leo
• Only use enough water to cover the leo
• Gently squeeze the water out of the leo (never wring or twist)
How to Dry a Gymnastics Leotard
To dry your gymnastics leotard properly, you need to lay your leo flat and away from any heat. Never use clothes pins because they could weaken the fabric. Clothes pins are especially damaging to leotards made with velour. If you want to use a hanger, use a plastic hanger. However, laying the leo completely flat will allow it to keep its shape better.
If you do not have time to hand wash your gymnastics leotards, you can machine wash them, but you must do it appropriately. To do this:
• Turn them inside out
• Machine wash individually
• Use cold water on gentle cycle
• Only use very mild liquid laundry detergent
Another bonus to keeping your leos in tip-top shape is that you can pass them on to other gymnasts (resale or donation), and your gymnast will allows look good every time they hit the floor.
We’ve covered all the basics here, but would love to hear how you care for your daughter’s leotards at home. Feel free to add your leo washing and care tips in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Leotards by Gymlingo