A stack of leggings all in different colors on a table

How to Wash Leggings

Leggings! Who doesn’t have a pair or two… or ten? These stretchy, comfy pants have taken the fashion world by storm. From workouts to chill-out sessions on the couch, they’ve become a must-have for many of us. But here’s a question that often pops up: How do we make sure our favorite leggings stay looking as fabulous as the day we bought them? You guessed it – it’s all about how we wash them.

You might be thinking, “Isn’t it just like washing any other piece of clothing?” Well, not quite. Leggings need a bit of extra love and care to keep them in tip-top shape. So, for everyone who’s ever wondered “How to Wash Leggings” correctly, this guide is for you! We’ll dive into the do’s and don’ts, and by the end, you’ll be a legging-cleaning pro. So, whether you’re rocking cotton, spandex, or any other material, we’ve got your back. Let’s jump in and uncover the secrets to keeping those leggings looking brand new!

Understand the Fabric:

Common Materials in Leggings

Before diving into “How to Wash Leggings,” it’s essential to know what they’re made of. You might not know it, but the fabric of your leggings determines how you should care for them. Here’s a quick rundown of the most common materials:

  • Cotton: Soft, comfy, and breathable. Cotton leggings are perfect for lounging or light activities.
  • Spandex: Known for its elasticity, spandex is often blended with other fabrics to give leggings that perfect stretch.
  • Polyester: Durable and resistant to wrinkles, polyester leggings are often used for sports and workouts.
  • Nylon: Silky and smooth, nylon offers a tight fit and dries quickly, making it another favorite for athletic wear.

Caring for Different Materials

Now that we know the common types, let’s look at the care they each need:

  • Cotton Leggings: Being natural fibers, cotton leggings prefer a gentle wash in cold water to maintain their softness and prevent shrinking.
  • Spandex Leggings: When wondering how to wash leggings made of spandex, remember to avoid high temperatures. Cold water wash and air drying are the way to go!
  • Polyester and Nylon Leggings: Both these synthetic fibers can handle a bit more than their natural counterparts. Still, to keep their shape and elasticity intact, it’s best to stick with a cold wash and avoid the dryer.

So next time you’re thinking about “How to Wash Leggings,” remember that knowing your fabric is half the battle. Different materials need different care, so always check the label before tossing them into the wash!

Preparing Leggings for Wash:

Before you even think about starting that washing machine or filling up the basin, there’s a little prep work to be done. Just like how a chef preps ingredients before cooking, when it comes to “How to Wash Leggings,” getting them ready for the wash can make all the difference. Let’s walk through the steps!

Tackle Those Stains

First things first: if you spot any stains on your leggings, like from that surprise coffee spill or an adventurous day out in the mud, it’s time to address them. Dab a bit of mild detergent or a specialized stain remover on the affected area and gently rub it in. Let it sit for a few minutes, but don’t let it dry completely. This pre-treatment will help lift the stain during the wash.

Inside Out is the Right Way

Here’s a fun trick that many don’t know: turning your leggings inside out before washing protects their colors and designs. This simple step can prevent potential fading and keep those vibrant patterns or that sleek black looking fresh and new.

Birds of a Feather, Wash Together

Remember the saying, “like attracts like”? It applies here too. When figuring out how to wash leggings, always group them with similar colors and fabrics. This means your bright red leggings shouldn’t be in the same load as your white ones—unless pink is your desired outcome! Also, washing similar fabrics together ensures a consistent wash cycle, preventing wear and tear from mixed-texture friction.

And there you have it! Prepping your leggings for a wash isn’t rocket science, but these steps will certainly give your favorite pairs a longer and brighter life. Ready to dive into the actual washing? Stay tuned!

Hand Washing vs. Machine Washing Leggings:

When it comes to the great debate on “How to Wash Leggings,” two primary methods emerge: hand washing and machine washing. Both have their perks, but which one is right for your favorite pair? Let’s dive in and find out!

Hand Washing: The Gentle Touch

Hand washing is like giving your leggings a spa day. It’s all about being gentle and giving them the attention they deserve.

Benefits of Hand Washing:

  • Gentleness: Hand washing is much kinder to the fabric, preventing rough agitation.
  • Less Stretch: By washing by hand, you can ensure that your leggings don’t overstretch, keeping their form and fit.
  • Longevity: Gentle care means a longer life for your leggings, so you get to enjoy them for many more days to come.

Step-by-step Guide to Hand Washing:

  1. Prep Time: Fill a basin or sink with cold water and add a splash of mild detergent.
  2. Mix it Up: Swirl the water around to mix the detergent thoroughly.
  3. The Dip: Submerge your leggings into the soapy mixture, gently moving them around.
  4. Soak it in: Allow your leggings to sit and relax in the basin for about 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse Away: With fresh cold water, rinse your leggings until all soap is gone.
  6. Dry Off: Gently press the water out, making sure not to wring or twist them.

Machine Washing: For the Busy Bee

For those of us always on-the-go, machine washing is the quick and convenient choice. But hold on! There are some tips and tricks to remember to ensure your leggings come out looking just as fabulous.

  • Cycle Savvy: Opt for a delicate cycle. This gentle setting mimics hand washing, reducing the risk of damage.
  • Cold is Cool: Always use cold water. It’s gentler on the fabric and helps maintain the leggings’ color and shape.
  • Bag it Up: Place your leggings in a mesh laundry bag. This magic bag prevents tangling, snagging, and any unwanted stretching.
  • Detergent Decisions: Go for a mild detergent. And remember, skip the fabric softener. It might sound helpful, but it can break down the elastic fibers in your leggings, and we definitely don’t want that!

Whether you choose to hand wash or machine wash, the most important thing is to give your leggings the love and care they deserve. They’ll repay you by staying stretchy, comfy, and stylish!

Drying Leggings:

After that refreshing wash, your leggings are now ready for the next crucial step – drying. How you dry your leggings is just as essential as how you wash them. Why, you ask? Let’s find out!

The Heat is NOT On:

When diving into the world of “How to Wash Leggings,” you’ll quickly discover that high heat is a leggings’ worst enemy. High temperatures can break down the elastic fibers, cause colors to fade, and even make the fabric shrink or warp. So, rule number one: always be wary of the heat.

Air Drying: Nature’s Best:

The most legging-friendly drying method is letting nature do its thing. Here’s how you can air dry like a pro:

  • The Perfect Spot: Lay your leggings flat on a clean, dry towel. This prevents any stretching that might happen if you hang them.
  • Shape Up: Gently reshape the leggings to their original form. This ensures they maintain their perfect fit and structure as they dry.
  • Fresh Air: If possible, dry them in a well-ventilated area or outdoors. This ensures quicker drying and leaves your leggings smelling fresh!

Machine Drying: The Gentle Approach:

Sometimes, we’re in a hurry, and air drying just won’t cut it. If you must use a dryer, here’s how to do it safely:

  • Keep It Low: Always select the lowest heat setting. Remember, high heat is a no-no.
  • Don’t Overdo It: Remove the leggings while they’re still slightly damp. This reduces the risk of over-drying and damaging the fabric.

In conclusion, drying is a stage you don’t want to rush. Whether you’re letting them bask in the natural breeze or giving them a quick tumble in the machine, always prioritize their care. Your leggings will thank you by looking and feeling fantastic every time you wear them!

Storage and Additional Tips:

Alright, your leggings are now clean, dry, and ready to take on the world—or at least your next yoga class or Netflix binge session. But before we wrap up our “How to Wash Leggings” guide, let’s chat about storage and a few extra tips to ensure they remain in tip-top shape.

Storing Like a Pro:

How you store your leggings can influence their lifespan and appearance. Let’s get it right:

  • The Fold Technique: Folding your leggings neatly can save space and keep them wrinkle-free. If you’ve got the drawer space, this method’s a winner.
  • Hang Tight: If you prefer to hang your leggings, ensure you’re doing it in a way that doesn’t stretch them out. Pro tip: Fold them in half and drape them over the hanger bar.

What Not to Do:

Even with the best intentions, there are some common storage mistakes to avoid:

  • Weighty Matters: Never hang wet leggings by their waistband. The weight of the water can cause them to stretch, and no one likes a saggy waistband!

Routine Check-ups:

Just like a regular doctor’s visit, periodically checking on your leggings can help spot potential issues:

  • Thread Alert: Every once in a while, give your leggings a once-over for any loose threads or seams. If you catch these early and snip or mend them, you can prevent further damage down the line.

There you have it, the final touches to ensure your leggings stay fabulous. With proper care in washing, drying, and storage, your trusty leggings will be with you for many adventures to come. Here’s to comfy, stylish days ahead!

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

Let’s be honest; we’ve all had those “Oops!” moments when it comes to laundry. Leggings, with their delicate fabric and stretchy nature, can be particularly vulnerable. In our journey to perfect the art of “How to Wash Leggings,” being aware of common pitfalls is just as important as knowing the best practices. So, let’s take a moment to address these mistakes to ensure they don’t become habits.

The Overload Temptation:

We’ve all been there: you see a mountain of laundry and think, “I’ll just cram it all into one load.” But beware!

  • Why It’s Bad: Overloading the washing machine can prevent your leggings from getting a thorough clean. Moreover, the friction from other clothes can lead to wear and tear.
  • The Fix: Always leave enough room in the machine for your clothes to move freely. Your leggings will thank you!

Chemical Culprits: Bleach & Harsh Detergents

Bright whites are lovely, but leggings and bleach? Not a good mix.

  • Why It’s Bad: Bleach and aggressive detergents can break down the material of your leggings, making them lose their stretch. Plus, you risk unsightly discoloration.
  • The Fix: Stick to mild detergents and always read the care label. If in doubt, opt for detergent meant for delicate fabrics.

Heat Hazards: Dryer & Sunlight

We’ve touched on this before, but it’s worth reiterating: high heat and leggings don’t mix.

  • Why It’s Bad: Whether it’s from the dryer or direct sunlight, intense heat can fade your leggings and damage their elastic fibers.
  • The Fix: Always dry on low heat if using a dryer. And if you’re air drying outdoors, find a shaded spot.

The Damp Disaster:

Storing your leggings when they’re still a bit damp might seem harmless, but think again!

  • Why It’s Bad: Damp environments are breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. This can lead to bad odors and even potential skin irritations when you wear them next.
  • The Fix: Always ensure your leggings are thoroughly dry before folding or hanging them up. Patience is key!

In the grand scheme of things, these mistakes might seem small, but they can make a big difference in the longevity and appearance of your leggings. Remember, it’s the little things that count, and your leggings deserve the best!

Conclusion: The Legging Lifeline

Leggings have transformed from a simple fitness accessory to an everyday wardrobe staple for many. Their versatility, comfort, and style make them a favorite for all occasions, from the gym to casual outings. Yet, as with all treasured garments, their longevity greatly depends on the care they receive.

Our journey through “How to Wash Leggings” has provided a roadmap, from understanding fabric types to the ins and outs of washing, drying, storing, and sidestepping common mistakes. The key takeaway? Treat your leggings with the care and attention they deserve. They’re not just another piece of clothing; they’re a testament to your style, comfort, and the many adventures you embark on while wearing them.

As you go about your routines, remember these guidelines and tips. With the right care, your leggings will continue to be a dependable and stylish companion, stretching, moving, and adapting right alongside you. Here’s to many more comfortable and fashionable days ahead!


While it’s tempting to use regular detergent, it’s always best to opt for a mild detergent, especially for leggings made of delicate fabrics. Harsh chemicals can break down the elastic fibers and fade colors.

Ideally, you should wash your leggings after every wear, especially if you’ve had a sweaty workout. However, if you’ve worn them for just a few hours and they aren’t soiled, you can wear them a couple of times before washing.

Most leggings won’t need ironing, and direct heat can be harmful to the fabric. If you must get rid of wrinkles, it’s safer to use a steamer on a low setting. Always check the care label first!

Pilling can occur due to friction. To remove them, you can use a fabric comb or shaver. To prevent future pilling, ensure you wash your leggings inside out and avoid washing them with rough fabrics.

While it’s okay to wash leggings with other clothes, it’s best to group them with similar colors and fabrics. Using a mesh laundry bag can prevent tangling and snagging.

Once the elastic fibers are damaged, it’s challenging to restore the original stretch. However, washing them in cold water and air drying can help regain some form. In the future, ensure you follow proper washing and drying techniques to prevent such issues.

Not necessarily. Always refer to the care label on your leggings. Different materials and fabric blends may have specific care requirements.