Getting my workout clothes clean is important, who wants to stink BEFORE they start running? So when I was sent a bottle of WIN High Performance Sport Detergent to try, I was pretty excited. (Yes, I am a dork where even trying a new cleaning product can make me excited to do a regular chore!)
As more and more people embark on fitness programs, manufacturers in the apparel industry are creating more and more types of garments designed to wick away sweat and keep the wearer at an optimal temperature. Since many detergents were created several decades back, it only stands to reason that detergents would need to evolve to match the cleaning needs of these materials as well.
WIN High Performance Sport detergent is the official detergent of the US Olympic Team, so that means all the athletes in Beijing this past summer were wearing clothes laundered in this stuff. So I can pretend to be as awesome as Deena Kastor, at least while washing my clothes. (Of course, she probably didn’t have to wash her own clothes either… so I guess I’m still not as awesome as her!)
The technical side of how this stuff works according to literature the company sent is kind of complex… a whole page of information about how the surface active agents lower the surface tension of the water so it is easier for the surfactants to stick to the oils, grease and dirt in the fabric. The churning motion from the washer is then better capable to pull these things out of the fabric and get rinsed away. There is even more information about nonionic surfactants, anionic surfactants, oxygenated systems… It’s quite in depth.
So here’s my experience with WIN, a far less technical explanation! I washed a load of laundry with this stuff and had mixed feelings toward the results. Nothing smelled bad anymore and it even got most of the blood out of my shirt from the DNF faceplant. But I thought it was probably overpriced for the results I got, especially when I have a pretty good system in place for washing my clothes. I also thought the clothes didn’t feel as soft as when I launder them with my usual method.
However, after the second load, I was more impressed. Several of the items in this load were in the initial load (I tend to “run” through most of my workout clothes each week, thus needing to do a load every weekend). The second wash seemed softer than before. I don’t know what the reasoning for that is, but they really did feel better than they had after the first wash.
The other thing that impressed me was the fact that the clothes all smelled clean. Not the typical overly-perfumed scent of clean that so many detergents seem to use, but just fresh. That was nice.
So I’m torn on this product. If it really is supposed to help extend the life of my workout apparel, something I spend a fair amount of money on, then that is definitely a perk. However a 2 oz. bottle that washes 14 loads of laundry retails for $6.99, and that is steeper than most traditional detergents on the market. Although it seems pretty comparable to most sport-specific detergents, maybe even a little cheaper than some I’ve seen.
In the meantime, I’ll keep using it and see how it goes!