When you buy UPF clothes, you might be wondering if you can wash them. Learn how to care for and maintain UV clothing by clicking here.

90 percent of skin aging is estimated to be caused by the sun.

Thankfully, you can use UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) clothes to protect your skin. This sun protection clothing helps you protect your skin no matter which outdoor activities you're doing, whether that's playing tennis, boating, or even swimming!

But you can't just toss your UPF clothes into the washing machine with the rest of your laundry and call it a day. Improper care of your UPF clothing could cause decreased UV protection, snags, or cause them to shrink so much that they don't fit anymore.

Ready to learn how to give your UPF clothes the proper care? Keep reading to learn all about how to wash and maintain your UPF clothes!

Read The Label Carefully

Some UPF-treated clothes get their UPF protection through chemicals, while some get them through the fabric itself. This is why you need to carefully read the label on your clothes, as improper washing can damage some of the UPF properties of your garment.

The most common ways that UPF clothes get their sun protection are:

  • Weave
  • Fabric
  • Dyes
  • Chemical treatments

Tightly woven fabrics are great for UV protection as the tight weave prevents UV rays from penetrating the fabric.

Some fabrics are also formulated to deflect UV light. Certain dyes can also do the same thing, while chemical treatments also help reflect UV light, though these may not last forever.

At BloqUV, our clothes aren't sprayed or dipped into UV-protective chemicals, so you can feel at ease washing your UPF clothing in water. Instead, we use high-performance fabrics that are extensively UV tested.

It can be a bit tough to understand labels sometimes. Check out this guide to learn how to read laundry labels. 

Rinse After Using

If you can, try to give your UPF clothing a quick rinse under cold water after every use.

This will help you rinse out any sweat or dust in the garment without washing it with detergent or in the washing machine, helping the fabric to last longer.

Rinsing after use is most important if you've been using UV-protective swim apparel. Saltwater can create stains and discoloration on your clothes, while the chlorine from swimming pools can cause your clothing to fade over time and damage the fabric of your clothes as well.

Wash By Hand Or On Delicates

There are several approaches you can take to washing UV clothes, depending on how much time you have.

The best method is to wash them by hand in cold water. This way, you can make sure the clothes don't stretch out or get snags in them.

And while you might think that cold water doesn't wash your clothes as well as hot water does, it actually does work very well and helps your clothes to resist shrinking and discoloration.

Plus, modern washing machines are engineered to use cold water, so you can rest assured that your clothes will be clean afterward.

If you're short on time, then you can put your UV clothes into the washing machine. But make sure that you always use the "delicates" cycle to wash these clothes.

The delicates cycle uses a slow spin to wash your clothes, which means the fibers are less likely to stretch apart (which decreases the UV protection of your clothes).

Be mindful that constant machine washing may still reduce the UPF factor of your clothes over time, so opt for hand-washing whenever you can.

Use The Mildest Detergent You Can Find

While mild detergents are a great option if you have allergies or sensitive skin, they're also vital for cleaning your UPF apparel.

This is because more "heavy-duty" detergents may contain abrasive ingredients or enzymes that penetrate the fabric of heavily-soiled clothes. These can damage your fabric over time.

Even "normal" detergents may contain these ingredients, so be sure to carefully read the label on your detergent bottle.

Mild detergents, on the other hand, tend to only clean dirt and grease from the surface of your clothes. This means that the detergent won't interfere with the quality of the fabric, which is great for protecting the tight weave of UV clothes.

Dry on Low Heat

To dry your UPF clothes in the dryer, make sure to keep the setting on low heat.

Remember that any aggressive methods like bleaching and dry cleaning will damage the fabric. Fabric softener will also wear down the fabric.

This damage in turn decreases the amount of UV protection your clothes have over time.

If you don't have a dryer, you can also lay your UPF clothing on a flat surface so that the fabric doesn't stretch from the weight of being wet. Make sure to keep it away from direct sunlight.

Remove Stains Immediately

If you pre-treat stains, there's a much lower chance that you'll need to use aggressive cleaning methods to wash the stain out later.

To care for your UV clothing, we recommend using a Tide-to-Go pen to remove stains right away.

Make sure you use a blotting motion on the pen rather than vigorous rubbing, otherwise you could make the stain worse and damage the fabric. For best results, wash the garment after you treat the stain.

You can also use baby wipes or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to remove stains right when they happen, so consider keeping these on hand if you're going somewhere where you know things might get messy.

These items are also a great option if your kids are also wearing UPF apparel.

Protect Your UPF Clothes With These Methods

UPF clothes are one of the best ways to have peace of mind that your skin is protected while enjoying outdoor activities.

To get the most wear and life out of your UPF apparel, make sure to treat them as you would delicate clothes.

And if you're looking for more UPF clothes to add to your collection, we have what you need at BloqUV.

Whether you're looking for a UV-protective hiking sweater or a multifunctional top you can wear for tennis and swimming, shop our catalog by activity today to find your next favorite piece.

January 13, 2023 — Gabriella Lowell