Cleaning up after a mud run or obstacle race can often be a task. The race is over, and the stack of muddy, wet, dirty and sometimes smelly clothing is sitting on the floor next to a pair of mud-caked shoes and socks. Figuring out how to clean race day clothing can be as mysterious sometimes as figuring out where the funky smell of the mud came from, not to mention how to wash it all without ruining the washer and dryer or bathtub. Below are a few tips to keep your clothing clean as well as your washer and dryer intact after a Mud Run or Obstacle Race.
Prewash at Race
While still at the event utilize the showers or hoses the venue provides. Most events now have at least a hose to rinse off with. Recently a pressure washer was even spotted at a races rinsing station. Try to get the majority of the mud out of your shoes prior to leaving the race. After you rinse off and change into your clean clothing rinse your clothes as well as you can before leaving the race.
Prewash At Home
If you couldn't rinse off your clothing at the race use your hose to rinse off the clothing as well as you can. If the mud is really caked on, dry race clothing first then beat as much of it off before attempting to wash. For apartment dwellers, the drying technique can work well if a hose is unavailable.
If your clothing and shoes are extra muddy head to the car wash. Using the self-service car wash, hang your clothing with the clips for floor mats and pressure wash the mud right out of the clothing.
This is the best way to get the mud off and out of technical fabrics without ruining a washing machine. The pressure washer at the car wash is also and excellent way to clean shoes. Be sure to also take out the footbeds to really clean the dirt out. A few minutes at the car wash will leave your race gear mud free.
If you can avoid soaking dirty race clothing in the tub as the mud can clog the drain and stain the tub. If you have to soak clothing in the tub be sure it is well rinsed off first.
Once you have pre-washed your gear its time to head to the washing machine. If you are fearful of ruining your washing machine the laundromat should be your next stop. Otherwise, the normal home washer will do the trip. If your washer has an additional rinse or pre-wash cycle be sure to use it. Use a detergent like Win High Performance Sport Detergent, Tide plus Febreze Sport Detergent, or Roux Maison Natural Sport Detergent.
Other natural additives to help reduce the odor after a mud run or obstacle race are baking soda, ammonia, or even a little Pine-Sol can help break up the grit and grime embedded in clothing. It might take two cycles to get the race gear looking good again, be sure to check after the first cycle. With a good prewash, it should only take one cycle for the clothing to be clean. Be sure to wash race muddy clothing apart from other clothing and be sure to turn socks right side out or else the mud will stay in the sock.
Most technical fabrics should not go in the dryer or should be dried on the lowest heat setting or air dry. Putting technical or compression gear in the dryer will decrease its lifespan and effectiveness. If you can put up a clothing line or get a small rake to dry clothing in your house. A clothing line can help you save money in the long run and preserve your clothing.
For your shoes, stuff them with newspaper as it will help absorb the water quickly and keep your shoes in great condition.