how to clean leggings

How To Wash Leggings

You finally found the perfect pair of leggings that fit like a dream. Now, let’s talk about how to keep them looking and feeling fresh for as long as possible. Whether you’re working up a sweat at the gym or lounging on a rest day, regular care is key to maintaining the stretch, color, and durability of your activewear. Dive into our top tips for washing and drying your yoga pants like a pro.

How To Hand Wash Leggings

Hand washing is the ultimate way to keep your leggings in top shape. Here’s how to do it right:

You need:

  • Mild or active wear detergent
  • A deep sink or basin
  • A shower rod, laundry rack, or clothesline


  1. Fill a basin or sink with cool or lukewarm water, then add a dime-size amount of mild activewear laundry detergent.
  2. Turn the leggings fabric inside out, then submerge them in the water, making sure to scrub gently (against its own fabric or using a soft-bristled brush) to remove any stains.
  3. Let the yoga pants sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then drain the soapy water and rinse the stretchy leggings in clean cool or lukewarm water.
  4. Gently squeeze out the excess water, but avoid wringing the fabric. This can warp and stretch the material. Allow them to air dry on a shower rod, laundry rack, or clothesline away from direct heat or sunlight which could damage or fade the fabric.

How To Wash Leggings in the Washing Machine

Hand washing is always a better call, but when you’re short on time machine washing your leggings is a solid option. Here’s the method:

You need:

  • One mesh laundry bag
  • Activewear or mild detergent
  • A laundry rack, shower rod, or clothesline for air-drying

Turn inside out before washing. This simple step will preserve the fabric and keep colors and prints vibrant.

Use a mesh bag. This will keep your yoga pants from snagging on the washing machine’s drum or on other clothes in the wash.

Avoid harsh detergents. Stick with mild or activewear detergents that are less likely to cause stretching and pilling. With any detergent, make sure to check the label for what amount to use for your load – adding too much can leave residue on clothing.

Wash on a gentle cycle. Use cool water to avoid shrinkage and a low, gentle spin to preserve the natural shape of your leggings.

Air dry. Hang your yoga pants away from direct sunlight or intense heat to keep them in prime condition.

Some leggings come with specific care instructions, so be sure to check the label before washing. Steer clear of fabric softeners, bleach, and other harsh chemicals that could deteriorate your stretchy yoga pants fabric.

How To Air Dry Leggings

how to remove lint on leggings

Air drying is the best way to keep your leggings in shape. Here’s how:

Lay your leggings flat on a clean surface or drape them over a clothesline.Keep the legs and waistband straight to prevent wrinkles and maintain a quality fit.

Never hang leggings from the waistband. This can cause the fabric to stretch unevenly. Hang them in a ventilated, shaded area to prevent fading and stretching.

Allow yoga pants to dry completely before storing or wearing them.

How To Machine Dry Leggings

If you’re in a hurry, machine drying your stretch leggings can work, but use it sparingly:

Put your leggings in a mesh bag.

Use the lowest temperature setting and tumble dry.

Remove them as soon as they’re dry to avoid extra heat exposure.

How To Get Lint Off Leggings

Lint happens. Here’s how to deal with pilling on leggings:

  • Wash your leggings inside out to protect the exterior fabric from excess rubbing.
  • Avoid washing or tumble-drying your yoga pants with staticky clothing, like wool sweaters or socks.
  • Use a lint roller or double-sided tape to remove loose pilling.
  • Use an electric fabric shaver to trim off any stubborn pilling, but test the shaver on a less noticeable area on a low setting first.
  • Avoid frequent long term use as it can damage the fabric. Stay away from razors and scissors that are not intended for fabric use.

how to wash yoga pants

Additional Legging Care FAQs

How Often Should You Wash Leggings?

Wash your sports leggings after every workout. Your body naturally produces skin oils and sweat that can accumulate on your clothing, especially after a good workout. For casual wear, every other time should be fine.

How To Wash Fleece Lined Leggings

Washing fleece-lined leggings is a little different than nylon, cotton, or spandex yoga pants as you’ll want to take special care of the lining. If your fleece leggings don’t have a special instructions tag, follow these general steps:

  1. Turn your leggings inside out.
  2. Use a mesh bag.
  3. Hand wash with cold water and mild detergent or use the gentle cycle on your machine.
  4. Air dry flat or tumble dry in the dryer on the lowest heat setting.

How To Wash Faux Leather Leggings

The difference between washing faux leather leggings and other yoga pants is that you want to wipe down faux leather after a wash to remove excess water. Make sure to turn them inside out before washing since this type of fabric is less breathable than other legging materials. Otherwise, follow the hand washing steps above.

Nylon vs. Polyester Leggings – Is There a Difference in Washing?

Not really. Both materials can be washed the same way, just remember that nylon can shrink, so always air dry.

How To Get Smell Out Of Leggings

If your stretchy yoga pants aren’t smelling so fresh, consider a few of these tips:

  1. Combine a cup of cold water with a cup of vinegar and allow your yoga pants to soak for 15 minutes before washing.
  2. Sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda into the wash. Baking soda neutralizes odors and will freshen your leggings without wearing them out.
  3. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the water as a natural deodorizer. Fabric softeners add an unnecessary buildup on legging fabric and there are plenty of natural alternatives that work just as well at eliminating odors.

Always remember to turn your leggings inside out during washing to clean the areas where the yoga pants are in contact with your skin.

How Long Do Leggings Last?

How long your leggings last depends on various factors, like how often you wear them, if you’re wearing them casually or for high-intensity activities, the quality of fabric and construction, and, of course, how well you care for them.

Generally, high quality yoga pants should last you 1–2 years. It’s probably time to get a new pair if the elasticity is wearing out and they no longer fit how they used to.

Keep your leggings looking fresh and lasting longer with these insider tips. Clean workout clothes means less worrying and more time focusing on your workout.