Article was originally published on MXStore.
Despite being made specifically to be worn in the dirt and mud all the time, there’s surprisingly little information going around on how to properly wash and care for your motocross gear. Given that a fresh gear set is typically an investment you’d like to last, it’s important to know the ins and outs of looking after your kit. Since different brands and ranges of gear are made of a few different materials, particularly high-end pants with leather on the insides of the knees, you need to be very careful with what you use to clean them or you could damage the gear and shorten its lifespan. Here at MXstore, we’ve taken the time to put together a little how-to of everything you need to know when it comes to taking care of your moto gear.
Generally you need to follow the instructions on the care label which is attached to each individual product. If you cannot find the label here are some basic guidelines to follow:
Care instructions must be followed carefully to avoid damaging your gear in the wash!
- Do not use oxygenated detergents: (napisan, stain remover, spot clean, bleech or soaking agents) . Washing gear using any of the methods mentioned in the first point may cause the colour to run and/ or the leather panels to disintegrate. Manufacturers warranty does not cover damage caused by not following care instructions listed here or on the instructions printed on the tags of the garments
- Wash gear immediately after riding, do not leave it in your gear bag for a week!
- Turn your gear inside out
- Wash by hand using mild detergent or machine wash on a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent
- Hang out to dry in a ventilated area out of the sun
- Do not wash gear with any item which has velcro (it can damage jerseys)
- Do not bleach
- Do not tumble dry
- Do not iron
- Do not use pressure washer on any of your gear
HOW TO WASH MY MOTOCROSS GEAR WHEN IT’S REALLY MUDDY:
If you have been riding in the mud and your gear is heavily soiled, start by hosing off as much dirt as possible under low pressure. Remove dirt stains and smudges with a soft brush, mild soap and rinse with cold water. The key is getting the bulk of the mud off the gear, making the next stage of the process a lot easier. Machine wash on gentle in cold water using a mild non oxygenated detergent.
DRYING YOUR MOTOCROSS GEAR AFTER IT IS WASHED:
Hang your gear up to let it drip or air dry. Do not use machine dryer, sunlight, hair dryers or any type of heat during the drying process. Limited warranty is void if pants are placed into dryer. Always ensure your gear is sufficiently dry before heading out on the bike again. For those of you riding frequently, it’s not a bad idea to have a backup set of gear ready to go.
CARING FOR THE LEATHER OF YOUR MOTOCROSS PANTS:
It is critical to care for your pants leather inner knees properly. When leather is almost dry after cleaning, apply a leather conditioner to keep it flexible. When leather has completely dried, apply an additional coat of conditioner. This should be done occasionally to replenish the suppleness and insure durability.
HOW TO CORRECTLY STORE YOUR MOTOCROSS GEAR AFTER WASHING:
Avoid unnecessary exposure to sunlight and UV rays particularly when storing your pants. Always store pants in a dark, well-ventilated area. Pants are best hung on a wide padded hanger. Do not wrap the pants in plastic or other non-porous materials as the leather portions of the pants need to breathe to avoid damage from mould.
EXPLAINING THE DO NOT’S OF WASHING YOUR MOTOCROSS GEAR:
- Do not bleach – This is a harsh way of cleaning anything and the chemical in bleach will strip the colour from the fabric and destroy the leather in the knees
- Do not use oxygenated detergent – This type of detergent will absorb all of the oils from the leather in the knees of your dirt bike pants. This will cause the leather to dry up and become stiff. This will eventually cause them to crack and disintegrate completely
- Do not tumble dry – Your gear gets knocked around enough on the bike, you don’t want to beat it up any more than you have to!
- Do not iron – If you iron your motocross gear you will most likely melt it. Especially your motocross jersey
- Do not use pressure washer on any of your gear – Pressure washers will destroy your gear, the force will blow the oils out of the leather knees on the pants. If you don’t know how this could be possible, think about the last time you accidentally shot yourself in the foot with the pressure washer… It would have felt like somebody had used a cheese grater on you! Leather is just skin… but from a cow, so be gentle!
- Do not leave your dirty motocross gear in your gear bag for a week – If you leave mud on anything for long enough it will stain and sweat destroys material. If you touch an old pair of footy socks you will notice it feels more like builders sandpaper. It’s your choice but nobody wants to be riding around in stained sandpaper gear!