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A dirty uniform is the sign of a great baseball game. When my kids walk off the field with pants covered in dirt and grass stains, with sweaty socks and dirt on their caps, you know they had fun and tried their best.
Keeping baseball uniforms clean is no small task, especially if your team’s uniform includes the bane of every Baseball Mom’s existence – the dreaded white pants. With a little extra care, you can keep your kids’ baseball uniforms (and those white pants) looking ‘Opening Day fresh’ up through the last tournament of Fall Ball.
Follow these tips to keep your kids’ uniforms looking great all season long.
Important: Washing uniforms separately is key!
After a long tournament weekend ends, it’s so tempting to throw all of your kids’ sweaty, dirty uniform pieces – – dusty jersey, grass stained pants, filthy socks – – into the washing machine, throw in some detergent, and then set it on hot and walk away. Don’t do that!
Most uniform jerseys and pants are made of polyester. The benefit of polyester is that the material will last through a season’s worth of slides and dives. The downside of polyester is the material shrinks and discolors if exposed to too much heat in the washer and dryer. Patches, names, and numbers on jerseys are also notoriously delicate, and require gentle handling. Polyester uniform jerseys and pants should be washed in cool or warm water. Air drying helps to keep the uniform looking its best, but uniforms can be tumble dried on low if you need the uniform dry quickly.
As for socks, cups, cotton or synthetic undershirts – – yes, wash them in hot water to kill all.the.bacteria.
Here are step by step instructions for How to Clean a Baseball Uniform. I’ve also created a handy printable here that you can print and post in your laundry room.
Step 1. Sort and Separate
- Start by removing the belt of the pants and checking pockets for seeds, gum, etc.
- Uniform jerseys and pants should be washed separately from other uniform pieces like socks, cups and chest protectors.
- Socks and cup protectors (minus the inserts) should be washed in hot water to kill bacteria and eliminate odors from sweat.
Step 2. Prep and Pre-treat
- If possible, shake out any loose dirt outside.
- If the uniform is very dirty or muddy, rinse off as much dirt as possible in a sink or bathtub. Then pre-soak the uniform in a sink, bucket or tub filled with warm water and a stain removing treatment. I recommend using OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover for pre-soaking. Follow manufacturers directions and pre-soak for 1 to 6 hours.
- After pre-soaking, pre-treat any remaining stains with a spray on stain remover (I recommend Oxi Clean Max Force).
Step 3. Wash
- Use a heavy duty detergent (like Persil Pro-Clean Liquid Laundry Detergent), and wash in cold or warm water (depending on how dirty the uniform is) on the permanent press cycle. For white pants and jerseys, I add a scoop of Oxi-Clean Versatile Stain Remover to the wash to whiten.
- Remove the uniform from the washing machine immediately after the cycle ends.
Step 4. Dry
- Shake and lie flat to air dry, or lay over a drying rack.
- If the uniform is needed quickly, you can tumble dry on low and remove as soon as the drying cycle ends. Hang until needed.
Hats, Belts, etc.
- For baseball caps and belts, I recommend spot cleaning. I use a diluted solution of Oxi-Clean Versatile Stain Remover and warm water. Just spot clean, then rinse and lay flat to dry.
In conclusion, keeping baseball uniforms clean is no small task for a Baseball Mom. With a little special handling, baseball uniforms can look clean and new from ‘Opening Day’ up through the last tournament of Fall Ball.
Did you like this post? Follow this link for a handy How to Clean Baseball Uniforms printable you can print and post in your laundry room.
Do you agree that a dirty uniform is the sign of a good game? Here’s a Ricky Henderson Quote Printable as a reminder that a dirty uniform is always a good thing. Download and hang in your laundry room.