How to Wash Your Knee Sleeves

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Coach Nick wrote a great post on the benefits of knee sleeves a few months ago. Here’s the link in case you missed it: The Benefits of Knee Sleeves. He mentions that neoprene sleeves can start to accumulate a distinct odor. I’ve worn knee sleeves for years and I can attest that they will definitely begin to develop a smell if you don’t take care of them properly.

Method 1: Prevention Is the (Best) Medicine

Method 1: Prevention Is the (Best) Medicine
The best way to keep your knee sleeves smelling fresh is to prevent mildew (and who knows what else) from growing in the first place. If possible, don’t throw your sweaty knee sleeves into your gym bag and seal them up until your next training session.

  • Turn your knee sleeves inside out after use and allow them to air dry.
  • Depending on how frequently you use them, wash your knee sleeves with a normal load of laundry as needed and air dry them completely before putting them back in your gym bag.

If you find that homeless people grimace when you run by with your knee sleeves on or maybe the UN has requested an inspection of your gym bag for biological and chemical weapons, you might want to try one of the two methods outlined below.

Method 2: Boil Your Knee Sleeves

I first heard of this method from Freddy Camacho of CrossFit One World. It’s pretty simple — all you need is a pot of water and some soap.

  • Boil your knee sleeves in a pot of hot water for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from heat.
  • Add a small amount of dish soap to your sweaty neoprene mildew broth.
  • Allow your knee sleeves to cool in the pot.
  • Rinse your knee sleeves off and allow them to air dry.
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