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After a recent article in the Wall Street Journal titled “The Dirty Secret of Yoga Pants: They Smell” authored by Ellen Byron we here at Westbank are propelled to further inform and enlighten our dry cleaning fans!

Yoga pants are part of a huge ‘athleisure’ category (‘athleisure’ made it to the Miriam-Webster dictionary in 2015): $67 Billion sales of athletic wear in 2015 in the US alone – up about 40% from the previous year. New types of fabrics and many combinations are used to enhance the form-fitting look. These new fabrics ‘grab away your sweat’ and wick it away from your skin. The problem is that it also ‘holds on’ to odors and smells when not laundered and dried properly.

Many of the problems with athleisure wear is the new technological advances made in the last several years by famous purveyors of the gym and work-out clothing such as Lululemon. A big addition has been adding in nano ‘microscopic’ particles such as silver. Silver is a major anti-bacterial element that kills germs that are present on your skin. Killing germs before they grow and proliferate on your skin and grow ‘odorous’ and offensive is key. Modern fabrics are not just cotton but man-made such as lycra and nylon and other stretchy fabrics. With the addition of silver, the threads are infused with silvers anti-bacteria. Remember the anti-wrinkle properties of ‘wash and wear’ fabric from the 1970s? They were coated and ‘baked’ with Teflon in them.

We sweat daily, it’s necessary for our bodies to cool off and rid our waste product and cellular debris with bacteria and proteins. Sweat itself doesn’t smell it’s what happens to the bacteria and proteins when it is excreted on to our epidermis that starts to make the smell. The problem may be that we don’t properly dry and then launder our garments in time before the foul odors set in.

The Solution — Yoga Pants

At Westbank Dry Cleaning, we take care of your athleisure and many other fine garments with the utmost care by completely understanding and enhancing the commercial laundering process. We have the right laundry equipment and supplies!

“Our industrial strength washing machines are finely tuned to wash delicate athleisure wear by calibrating the right drum rotations by timing the wash and spin cycles correctly as well as controlling the wheel rotation and wash times” says Greg Toombs, CPD/CPW from the R R Street and Co. a major purveyor of dry cleaning and washing supplies to the trade since 1876.

Other major components of washing your specialty items that we monitor at Westbank is the temperature of the water, the pH and the detergents and solutions used. The water temperature should be warm depending on the fabric as the enzymes work best. If the water is too cold the enzymatic reaction is too slow; at high temperature, the enzymes are denatured and stop working.

The actual content of the water is also monitored at Westbank as “City water contains iron and other solids from soil and rocks. Using city water without treatment can stain certain materials, shorten their serviceable life, and alter the way in which water reacts with soap and other chemicals. Testing water hardness on a regular basis is very important. We use chemicals to treat the city water coming into our plants.” Josep Tarraso Plant Manager  Westbank Dry Cleaning.

Enzymes based agents in this Westbank Dry Cleaning special laundering formula “break down proteins, starches and fats by breaking up the large insoluble molecules into smaller, more soluble ones” [Source: The Chemistry of Stain Removal from CompoundChem]

Using the correct timing on all of the laundry processes prevents the odorous culprits from reattaching themselves to the threads and thus being ‘baked’ back into the fabric when you dry them at high temperatures. At Westbank Dry Cleaning we use these industrial strength enzyme-based detergents to thoroughly remove and prevent ‘re-blooming’ of odors in your yoga pants. Source: WSJ article.

The drying process (where the heat and humidity are carefully controlled) are also important and that is why cleaning your yoga pants and other athleisure wear is best left to professionals like Westbank Dry Cleaning!

Sources:
https://www.active.com/fitness/articles/why-do-you-sweat
http://www.4streets.com/
http://www.compoundchem.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Chemistry-of-Stain-Removers.png
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/triple_ocr_gateway/beyond_the_microscope/enzymes_in_action/revision/2/
http://www.si.com/edge/2014/10/24/lululemon-stops-stink-using-silver-infused-yarn
http://www.today.com/health/some-anti-odor-workout-gear-may-put-you-risk-study-6C10945742