Wednesday, August 10, 2005

In Which The Avoidance of Laundry Leads to the Sniffing of Shorts

I tell you this with an odd mixture of glee (it's fast! it's efficient!) and embarrassment (I'm not certain if it's gross or not. Something tells me it might be, but I can't pinpoint the exact source of the actual potential grossness.)

Lisa Lisa, a character in Po Bronson's novel Bombadiers (Catch-22 based in San Francisco's financial district) can run four miles in 28 minutes, and when she gets home, she showers in her running clothes, then swishes them around to rinse out the soap.

I thought of this a few weeks ago when it looked like I was drowning under a pile of sweaty Cool-Max, and tried it out.

Washing your clothes in the shower rocks. Go and do it right after your next run. Seriously. Here's what happens: You wash them while you wear them, then rinse them under the shower. If you wear tech fabrics, they dry really really fast. They seem to get really clean: I was initially skeptical until I smelled them the next day (yes, I sniffed my shorts. Shut up.) and was greeted with nothing more offensive than Irish Breeze. (Shut up!) And - this is anecdotal, but it kinda makes sense - handwashing in the shower seemed to restore all the original wicking properties that tend to disappear after multiple machine washings and dryings.

12 comments:

DREW said...

Yes! I can get my shorts cleaner and better smelling by rinsing in the shower. Think about it, it's actually less gross than machine washing because you're more likely to do it every time you use them instead of re-using dirty stuff because you've neglected the laundry.

Take this one step further and you never have to take your running shorts off. They'll actually dry more quickly on your body than off. (OK, that IS gross.)

You make a good point, though, about the type of fabric. Wouldn't think about doing this with any type of cotton.

Reba said...

I'm so glad you dropped by my site because by golly THIS is a great post!!! Have to try that one soon.

Running from my House said...

i'm so going to shower with the running clothes on! (not the socks though, yucky). Now I need wicking under unmentionables. I never knew that washing wicky things reduces the wickiness (fun word!). I never dry them though.

found you through the rundown, great blog!

Scott in Washington said...

My dad always washed his running togs that way, but then he'd hang them to dry in the shower, which was a pain for the rest of us.

Do you really use Irish Breeze? Do you remember the commercials where the guy cut into the bar with his pocket knife and water came showering out? I was so bummed when I found out that didn't really work (I was a kid).

partyrunner said...

you've talked me into it. i'm totally trying it.

Susan said...

Wow, I would never have thought of this in a million years. I'm not sure I'm up for it, but I've got this image in my head now.....

Kiran said...

Once a month I take all my CLEAN running clothes and wash them in the washer WITH NO DETERGENT. Since they are already clean the plain wash removes any soap residue in the fabric which prevents wicking.

Scott in Washington said...

I tried it tonight. It was really hard to get in there in my cloths. I kept trying to take them off without thinking about it. Its just force of habit. "Taking off my cloths so I can get in the shower, do, do, do, NO, stop it! get in there with those cloths on!"

OK, I don't really talk to myself like that... do I?

skipsaw said...

Irish Spring? Geez, Riona... Do you eat Lucky Charms for breakfast, too? ;-)

skipsaw said...

Not to rain on everybody's parade here, but... my wife Stacy thinks that, while very efficient, this might not be the most *sanitary* method for washing the running threads:

"The shower technique kills the smell but not the germs. Even if you're taking the clothes off and hand-washing, you're missing the 'sanitizing' effect of laundry detergent (the name says it
all - deter-gent). Next post - The Rash I Got From Not Washing My Running Clothes."

Riona said...

Skip, Stacy, Scott hi! Irish Breeze - WHY NOT? :-) When I moved to the States first I was baffled by all these people coming up to me and making references to "lucky charms" - I had no idea what they were talking about, having never seen the cereal or the ads.

Re hygiene - to be fair, I'd only do the shower thing once, and next time throw them in the machine ...

Yikes, rash. I'm starting to itch,

jeff said...

i am SO going to try this.

and about the lather? i'm confident that it isn't soap. that's what i thought it was at first, so i've done lots of expirimentation.