How to Wash Bike Shorts with a Chamois


There's nothing like long miles in the saddle to cause discomfort in the nether regions. Fortunately for the cyclist, chamois shorts prevent this very occurrence. The shorts are made of lightweight, moisture-wicking material, and unlike a pair of cotton walking shorts, bike shorts require special care. Washing chamois bike shorts after each use helps prevent infection and painful saddle sores, and employing proper cleaning technique extends the life of the shorts.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • Unscented, fabric softener-free laundry detergent
  • Mesh wash bag (if available)
  • Adjust the washing machine to a gentle wash cycle and fill the washing machine with cold water.

  • Add unscented, fabric softener-free laundry detergent directly into the water.

  • Place the chamois shorts in a mesh wash bag, if available. A mesh bag prevents the straps on bib cycling shorts from potentially becoming entangled with the washing machine agitator. Some shorts may come with a mesh bag. Otherwise mesh bags can be purchased separately.

  • Add the chamois shorts (in the mesh bag) to the water inside the washing machine.

  • Allow the wash cycle to finish. Remove the shorts from the machine, and smell them for detergent. If the shorts still smell of detergent, rinse them one extra time to remove any detergent residue.

  • Turn the chamois shorts inside out and hang them up to dry. Heat from the dryer will cause premature wear to the chamois and lycra material. Avoid hanging the shorts in direct sunlight. Like heat, too much UV exposure results in premature wear of the fabric.

Tips & Warnings

  • If drying the shorts in a dryer is a must, use low heat and avoid dryer sheets. Performance fabrics dry relatively quickly, so set the timer for a short cycle.

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  • Photo Credit Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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