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    How to Wash Your Knee Sleeves and Keep Them Looking Fresh

    How to Wash Knee Sleeves and Keep Them Looking Fresh?

    In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the importance of washing knee sleeves, provide step-by-step instructions, highlight common mistakes to avoid, and offer valuable tips for storing and drying them. 

    jUNE 9, 2023   |    5 Mins Read


    Ever pulled out your knee sleeves and been hit with that 'whoa, what died in here?' kind of stench? Trust me, you're not alone. Washing knee sleeves isn't as straightforward as tossing them in with your regular laundry. Different materials like neoprene, elastic, or rubber have distinct care requirements. Instead of ditching them for a brand-new pair, there's a way to retain their fresh, pre-workout glory. 

    So, let's dive into an easy and effective step-by-step guide to keep those knee sleeves fresh and supportive.

    4 Factors to Consider Before Washing Knee Sleeves

    1. Material Used

    Check the label or product details of your knee sleeves. Are they made of neoprene, a blend of rubber and elastic, or something else? This will determine how you'll approach washing them. The manufacturer's tags are not just for show, so pay attention to what they say.

    The Koprez Knee Compression Sleeves are made with a premium combination of nylon, spandex, and latex-silk so the most ideal way to preserving their elasticity, compression properties and fit is to hand wash them with cold water and mild detergent.

    2. Hot or Cold Water?

    Fill your basin or sink with lukewarm water. Avoid using scalding hot water as it can shrink or damage the sleeves.

    3. Type of Detergent

    Go easy on your knee sleeves. A mild detergent usually does the trick. Harsh detergents can damage the material and cause premature wear. For a natural alternative, as we mentioned above, consider soaking your sleeves to a mixture of vinegar and water - it's gentle, yet effective in eliminating odors. Sports-specific detergents are also beneficial for knee sleeves due to their formula targeting sweat and odor.

    One of the important tips in how to wash knee sleeves is using mild detergent.

    4. Should I wash them alone or with a pile of laundry?

    Wash your knee sleeves alone. Do this for two key reasons: Fabric color, dirt and soils transfer, so it's best to avoid adding other items to the mix. And, more importantly, you'll want to avoid potential color transfer from other clothing and fabrics.

    Plus, other types of clothing require different washing techniques and therefore can potentially damage or wear your knee sleeves if included in the same wash.

    Have some questions about knee sleeves in general? We've curated a whooping list of common questions asked about knee sleeves and their use.

    How to Wash Knee Sleeves: Step-by-Step Guide

    Step 1: Check the Care Instructions

    Before washing your knee sleeves, make sure to check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Different materials and brands may have specific cleaning recommendations that you need to follow to avoid damaging the fabric or reducing its effectiveness.

    Step 2: Pre-Rinse and Soak Them for 10-15 Minutes

    Start by rinsing the knee sleeves with cold water to remove any loose debris and sweat. Allow the sleeves to soak for about 10-15 minutes for optimal results.

    Step 3: Hand-Wash Sleeves Gently

    Submerge the knee sleeves in a cold water with mild, gentle detergent. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners as they can damage the material and reduce its effectiveness. 

    Step 4: Rinse Your Sleeves Gently With Cold Water

    Rinse each knee sleeve under clean, cold water until no soap remains. Squeeze out the excess water gently.  Avoid wringing or twisting them.

    Step 5: Air-Dry Your Knee Sleeves Away From Direct Heat

    To dry, lay the sleeves flat on a towel in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources, which could degrade the material. Air-dry your knee sleeves by laying them flat on a towel or hanging them over a clothesline. Avoid using a dryer, as this can cause the fabric to shrink, which will reduce its effectiveness.

    If necessary, you can use a low-heat setting on your tumble dryer but be sure to check the care instructions for your knee sleeves first. Never use a high-heat setting, as it can damage the fabric, even strong knee sleeves, and should be avoided.

    Expert tip:

    If you've been out on hiking, running, or any other outdoor activity, it's a good idea to air dry your knee sleeve before packing it in a bag. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria and keep your sleeve in good condition for longer periods of time.

    Bonus Tips on Extending the Life of Your Knee Sleeves and Keep Them Smelling Fresh

    The right care and maintenance of your knee sleeves can help extend their life and maximize their performance. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when caring for your compression knee sleeves:

    Do Not Machine-Wash Your Knee Sleeves

    One more thing - remember to keep these little warriors away from your washing machine. It's a bit of a rough ride for them, and could mess up their stretch and fit. Hand washing is the best way for those knee sleeves to retain their shape, elasticity, and overall performance quality. 

    If you really must machine wash (although not recommended), always use a cold setting, place them inside a laundry bag, and never, ever machine dry.

    Soak em' up With Some Vinegar

    For a deeper clean, soak the knee sleeves in a mixture of white vinegar and water. The vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant and helps to eliminate odors and break down the residues of sweat and grime that may be embedded in the fabric. Fill a basin or sink with equal parts of warm water and white vinegar, immerse the sleeves, and let them soak for about an hour.

    Spraying Some Essential Oils (optional)

    To deodorize your knee sleeves, consider spraying them with a few drops of essential oil. Certain essential oils, like tea tree or eucalyptus, have natural antimicrobial properties that can help kill bacteria and fungi. 

    Sprinkle Some Baking Soda 

    Every now and then, try sprinkling some baking soda over your knee sleeves before you wash them. Let it sit for a bit, then scrub and rinse. This is another little trick to tackle any stubborn odors.

    Common Mistakes To Avoid When Washing Knee Sleeves

    When it comes to washing knee sleeves, there are several common mistakes that people often make. These mistakes can lead to damage or loss of effectiveness of the knee sleeves. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when washing your knee sleeves:

    1. Don't use bleach, fabric softeners, and other harsh chemicals.
    2. Avoid using extremely hot water and high-heat settings.
    3. Avoid wrinkling or twisting the sleeves when removing excess water.
    4. Don't scrub aggressively.
    5. Don't soak for extended periods.
    6. Don't tumble dry your knee sleeves.
    7. Don't store when damp.

    FAQs on How to Wash Knee Slevees

    How to wash neoprene knee sleeves?

    Neoprene is a synthetic rubber material known for its flexibility and durability, often used in wetsuits and knee sleeves for its water-resistance and insulating properties—quite different from breathable fabrics like nylon or stretchy materials like spandex. To wash neoprene knee sleeves, simply hand wash them in cold water with a mild detergent, gently rubbing away any dirt or oils. Avoid wringing them out—instead, press out excess water and lay flat to air dry away from direct sunlight. Machine washing or drying can compromise the neoprene's integrity, so it's best to keep things gentle!

    How many times can you wear knee sleeves before washing?

    We recommend washing them once a week if you've been using them intensively or on consecutive days. If you've been wearing your knee sleeves for less strenuous activities, such as walking or mild stretching exercises, then washing them every two weeks should be enough to keep them clean and odor-free. 

    How do I stop my knee sleeves from smelling?

    To prevent your knee sleeves from developing unpleasant odors, always allow them to air-dry thoroughly after each workout, which helps eliminate moisture that can lead to bacterial growth and smell. Regularly wash them following the methods outlined in our guide to keep them fresh. Additionally, you can use a deodorizing spray prepared from water and a few drops of antibacterial essential oils. Finally, avoid storing your knee sleeves in closed or damp spaces, and instead, store them in a dry, well-ventilated area to keep them odor-free.

    If the odors persist after washing, you may need to soak them in the vinegar solution for a longer period or repeat the washing process.

    When should I replace my knee sleeves?

    The Koprez Knee Compression Sleeves are made with a combination of premium nylon, spandex and latex. Our sleeves are constructed with dual-stitched seams and reinforced fabric to ensure long-lasting performance. To guarantee optimal performance and protection, we recommend replacing your knee sleeves every 9-12 months depending on the frequency of use. 

    Final Thoughts

    And there you have it – the full scoop on keeping your Koprez knee sleeves crisp, fresh, and ready for action! The key takeaway? Don’t leave those hard-working sleeves to marinate in post-workout grime. Remember, don't let them linger in the dark depths of your gym bag overnight – give them some air! Unpack, hang them up, and let them breathe. This simple act of care can save you a few washes and prolong the life of your precious sleeves.

    Whether you're sporting Koprez, SBD's, or any other brand – these savvy washing tips will ensure your knee sleeves remain snug and supportive, accompanying you on every rep and every set of your fitness journey.

    That wraps up our deep dive into washing knee sleeves. Here's hoping you found this guide as invigorating as a perfect squat session. Now that your knee sleeves are sorted, there's only one thing left to do – let’s crush those squats!

    For additional knowledge about knee sleeves, read our extensive guide on the full benefits of knee sleeves.


    Claire Evans worked as the content marketing manager at Koprez. Claire combined a background of writing and editing, marketing, and patient education to best serve consumers, fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and anyone who relies on the Koprez brand for helpful information.

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