How Do Professional Sports Teams Keep Uniforms Clean?

By July 17, 2019 August 7th, 2019 Industrial Laundry, Uniforms
how do professional sports teams keep uniforms clean

As you are cheering for our Women’s National Soccer Team for bringing home the World Cup trophy earlier this month, have you ever wondered how all their uniforms always look spectacular (at least when the game starts)?

We have, and know exactly what it takes to keep uniforms looking like new each time, every time.

Know the material

The process behind a clean sports uniform isn’t always as simple the result. There is a great deal of science behind removing a stain. The best place to start is by understanding the material of the uniforms. Most of the baseball uniforms, for example, are made of polyester instead of cotton to avoid shrinking after wash. Polyester as a synthetic fabric is generally resistant to wrinkles, fading and shrinking when treated properly. That is, it may need presoaking for 30 minutes to overnight, depending on how bad the stains and odor are. Experts recommend using warm water with polyester. And for some special fabric blends, handwashing the uniforms is the best way to keep them in good shape.

Breakdown the stains

In the case of a baseball uniform, breaking down the elements of the most common stains is very important as it has to do with your choice of chemicals. Standard detergent may not be enough to clean up the mud, grass, blood, and sweat stuck on a baseball uniform. Besides, chlorine bleach will not be effective as on other fabric and may degrade the material. For example, the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team use a detergent specifically created for Major League Baseball, called Slide Out. This detergent was designed specifically to remove the grass, dirt, and clay stains that players get when playing baseball. Generally speaking, the ideal profile of water pH balance, hardiness, the chemical structure of the detergent and even the laundry load matters as a whole in a wash.

Dry it the right way

Dry the uniforms in medium temperature, or use a dryer cycle with a cool down to minimize wrinkling in synthetic fabric. Polyester is plastic. It becomes soft when heated in the dryer, and would turn brittle when suddenly stopping the cycle. High heat can also worsen stains and fade colors. Air dry the uniforms on hangers if possible, as it would actually be the best way to protect the quality of your sports uniforms.

Let professionals take care of it

Sports uniform is not only functional but maintains the appearance of how you are perceived at first glance. It can be intimidating to just do the laundry. This is when you may consider professional options. The effectiveness of industrial launders is significantly higher; on the other hand, the formulas are also more difficult to use. These detergents are so potent they are corrosive and require special handling during use and shipment.

With over 80 years of industry experience, CLEAN not only specializes in industrial laundry, but takes our role in the management and sustainability of the cleaning agents seriously. We understand the huge effect these chemicals can have on the environment. That’s why we use NPE-free chemicals, took the initiative to certify all of our facilities with ISO 14001 international recognition for environmental management, and have proper wastewater treatment procedures at all locations.

With all that said, the next time you see Jason Heyward makes a diving catch, you can appreciate why he doesn’t have to worry about what it does to his uniform!

For more information about CLEAN’s green initiatives, visit CLEAN + GREEN, or simply contact us.