CASTELLI CARE GUIDE
How you wash, dry and care for your Castelli cycling kit will greatly influence how well it will perform and how long it will last. So, read on to keep that unfair advantage for as long as possible.
Castelli cycling kit has been especially developed to meet the needs of professional athletes at the highest level of the sport. Whether you're pushing through the pain barrier in the cold and sleet of Belgium in March, or sweating it out in the heat of southern France in July, Castelli kit will allow you to perform at your very best.
To create garments that will maximise your performance in any conditions, whether hot or cold, wet or even snowy, Castelli uses the latest materials, fabrics and barrier technologies. These technologies require sympathetic care to prevent damage to the wicking, waterproof, or sun protective properties.
We can't guarantee that your Castelli products will last forever, but this guide will maximise every product's performance and lifespan.
Where to find Castelli care instructions
Washing instructions are printed on a white tag inside each piece of clothing. This is usually found at the hip on shorts and around the kidney in jackets and jerseys.
Some garments come with swing tags with specific instructions for fabrics, so always read your swing tags too. If the swing tag and care label differ, always go for the lowest temperature.
Following these instructions will help to achieve the highest performance from your Castelli products and extend their useful lifespan. The key thing to bear in mind is to avoid any products containing bleach – which means no biological detergents in the UK.
If you have cut off the label or you want more detailed cleaning advice, please follow the instructions below.
If garments are heavily soiled with mud or road salt then rinse until the water is clear. Do this in the shower or the sink before washing (in cold or warm water only).
If you've used fabric softener in your machine recently, we recommend running a rinse cycle before washing your kit. If you're washing any garments with water repellent treatments, we recommend running a few loads through your machine without fabric softener before washing these items – any residue of fabric conditioner really will destroy waterproof or water resistant properties.
Close all zips and Velcro fasteners and turn the garments inside out.
Try to wash all your cycling kit together and only wash whites with whites, colours with colours. Failing that, don't wash cycling kit with bulky or dyed items like jeans or towels.
Machine wash on a warm cycle with a maximum temperature of 40°C / 105°F (unless the labels state a lower figure), using a small amount of non-bio liquid detergent. We use Fairy Non Bio liquid but any non-bio liquid detergent should do the trick. Choose a cycle with a double rinse and minimise spinning to reduce creasing.
Avoid using powder detergents or any products that contain fabric softeners, conditioners, stain removers or bleach, as they may affect garment performance by destroying wicking treatments, elastics, membranes, water-repellent treatments and sun protection treatments, and may wash out the colours of your garments. Using of any of the above will void your warranty, too.
Remove promptly from the machine following washing and hang dry or dry flat. Do not tumble dry.
SOAK YOUR SOCKS
Put a splash of Fairy Non Bio liquid on your socks and then wash them with your kit. They will circulate in the machine, ensuring even distribution of the detergent, and they are usually the grimiest piece in there. We don't use the supplied ball or the washing machine draw for detergent when washing our kit.
To keep your Castelli Gabba Jersey, Perfetto Jersey and other Castelli soft-shell garments working they need to be clean.
When you Castelli Gabba stops beading rain on the surface (we call this wetting out) don't panic -- getting your jersey back to its best is a simple matter of giving it some TLC. These instructions will also work for any garment with the Wind Stopper badge, but please refer to the special instructions below for gloves and shoecovers. Castelli Gabba jerseys and other soft-shell garments use a DWR water-repellent treatment, which keeps the outer fabric from becoming saturated so that the breathable barrier can do its job. If the outer fabric starts to absorb water, the garment can lose up to 70 per cent of its breath-ability as well as reducing waterproofing. Don't be scared to wash your Gabba or Wind-Stopper winter jacket -- dirty garments lose their water repellent properties and following our general washing instructions may well bring them back to life. However if you need to proof your garment washing with Nikwax Tech Wash is always the best option.
If washing alone doesn't work, the DWR water-repellent treatment may need rejuvenating or replenishing.
Shower in your Gabba. Yep, that's right! If you've been out for a wet ride and need your Gabba the next day, take it in the shower with you to rinse off road grime and sweat (just use water, not shampoo), then hang it up to dry. This will stop the build up of dirt on/in the garment, meaning it will work better for longer.
You can rejuvenate the DWR finish by cleaning and air drying your garment until it's just damp, then putting it in the tumble dryer at a low heat for about 20 minutes. Alternatively you can iron it under low heat using a towel between the iron and garment, but be very careful not to melt the synthetic fibres. This will reactivate the water resistant properties of the treatment. This trick will only work once or twice and when it stops working you will need to consider re-proofing your garment. If in any doubt at all, don't do this! Any damage caused by heat will void your warranty.
You can replenish the water-repellent treatment of your Castelli cycling kit to shrug off showers. The DWR finish on Castelli Gabba and Perfetto jerseys and other Castelli soft-shell garments – including all our winter jackets, wind jerseys and windproof tights (look for the red Wind Stopper octagon) – will wear off over time, but you can re-treat your Castelli product by applying a widely available water-repellent spray-on DWR treatment.
For best results, remove all non-washable parts and clean the garment using Nikwax Tech Wash. There's no need to dry items before waterproofing.
Find a well ventilated area, protect any working surface and lay the clean, wet garment flat with fastenings done up or hang it on a hanger.
Hold the Nikwax SoftShell Proof Spray-On bottle 15cm / 6-inches away from garment. Spray evenly to the outside of the fabric and check carefully to ensure that no areas have been missed.
After several minutes, check for and remove any surplus product with a damp cloth.
Following this, your Castelli garment should be back to its best, so you'll have no excuse not to get out on your bike in the rain!
USE THE RIGHT CLEANER
We recommend Nikwax TX-Direct Spray On finishes for most pieces rather than wash-in finishes to give the best results (a lot of our Windstopper fabrics use a fleece lining; if you use a wash-in you will proof the lining, which isn't optimal). You can however use Nikwax TX-Direct Wash In on the Gabba and Perfetto Range and on eVent and Gore-Tex Jackets.
To get grease out of a your Gabba (or other soft shell garment), dampen the stain with warm water and rub in a little gentle washing up liquid (but not too much! We use Fairy here too). You can then wash the jersey in warm water with non bio liquid.
If the stain persists, sponge it delicately with a cotton wool ball, dampened with the merest hint of mineral spirit (white spirit), but don't let this soak in.
Once the stain has been removed, rinse off any excess and wash. We only recommend this approach on colourfast dyed fabric (single colour soft shell), we do not recommend this on printed jerseys such as team kit.
You will then have to reproof the jersey.
HOW TO AVOID STAINS
Keep the DWR treatment topped up so that it will not only shed rain and aid breathability, but also help to reduce staining.
Castelli Nano Flex fabric repels water thanks to both a DWR water-repellent finish and millions of tiny nanofilaments that cause water droplets to bead up on the surface of the garment and run off, instead of soaking through.
The Nano Flex treatment will last approximately 40 to 50 washes, during which time it's crucial to wash garments correctly, as fabric softeners will immediately spoil the treatment (see general washing instructions above).
If your Nano Flex kit starts absorbing water, the first thing to do is to follow the washing instructions, as grime on the outside of the garments can compromise the treatment's efficacy. If washing doesn't solve the problem, you can try to rejuvenate the treatment by following the Castelli Gabba rejuvenation techniques outlined above.
Unless attempting to rejuvenate the treatment using the instructions above, Nano Flex garments should never be dried in a tumble drier.
CLEAN EQUALS DRY
Keeping kit clean is key – grime on your kit reduces the efficacy of the DWR finishes found on Castelli garments.
Neoprene products require their own care regime.
Always rinse neoprene products straight after use with cold water – neoprene will trap sweat inside your glove or shoe cover, which will lead to a very smelly product in a very short time. You can hand wash neoprene in warm water with a very dilute mix of non bio washing liquid or even baby shampoo. Do not machine wash.
Air dry only – NEVER apply heat or tumble dry.
Never leave neoprene in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.
Never leave your neoprene shoe covers on your shoes after use – both items will slowly rot.
WAX YOUR ZIPS
Clean zips with an old toothbrush and warm water, then rub a candle on your zipper tracks to maintain free sliding zippers. This is especially important on shoe covers.
Liquid or Powder
At cool temperatures, powder can fail to dissolve. It's the same for liquids in gel balls, so use a liquid detergent instead. This will will dissolve quickly and wash away in the rinse cycle.
Here is a list of common ingredients found in biological detergents and fabric conditioners. It includes many names for bleach, which every Castelli garment care label warns against. It also contains alcohols (thinners), enzymes that actively attack wicking and beading treatments and agents that allow photobleaching (whitening in the sun). In fact, none of the items listed are good for your cycling clothing, so we recommend you stay away from them!
Alcohol Ethoxylate (AE) Non-ionic surfactant. Removes greasy stains from your garments.
Alkyl (or Alcohol) Ethoxy Sulphate (AES) and Alkyl Sulphate (AS) Anionic surfactant. Two of the most widely used tools for removing stains.
Amine OxideAmphoteric surfactant. Used along with other surfactants to remove stains. Can be anionic, cationic or non-ionic.
Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC). A polymer that comes from natural cellulose. Helps stop stains from returning to a garment they've been removed from.
Citric Acid The acid found in lemons and citrus fruits, it's mild and helps to remove bad smells from clothes. Known as a chelating agent.
Cyclodextrin Another chelating agent that removes malodors from garments.
Diethyl Ester Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride (DEEDMAC). An ammonium compound used in fabric conditioner to keep fabrics smooth.
Ethanol. A clear, colourless alcohol used as a solvent in detergents.
Ethylene Diamine Disuccinate (SS-EDDS). Developed by P&G as a builder and chelating agent.
Hydrogen Peroxide. One of the simplest and most common bleaching agents.
Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate (LAS). The most widely used anionic surfactant in the world. Removes stains from your garments.
Mono Ethanol Amine (MEA), 2-aminoethanol or Ethanolamine. An organic amine and primary alcohol used as a solvent and a weak base (maintains the pH balance in your laundry).
Percarbonate Sodium. Percarbonate is a bleaching agent used in detergents.
Polyethylene Glycols (PEG), Polyethylene Oxide (PEO) or Polyoxyethylene (POE). A polyether compound used for many things, including as a lubricant and surfactant.
Polyvinyl Alcohol. A water-soluble synthetic polymer, used to make the casing for liquid tabs and Ariel PODS.
Propylene Glycol. An organic compound used as a solvent and enzyme.
Sodium Carbonate. The salt of carbonic acid is used as a builder in detergents.
Sodium Disilicate. Used as a builder in detergents.
Sodium Hypochlorite. A chlorine based bleaching agent.
Sodium Triphosphate (STPP). Historically used in detergents as a builder.
Tetra Acetyl Ethylene Diamine (TAED). A bleaching activator and oxidizing agent used in detergents and bleaches.
Titanium and Titanium Dioxide. The most commonly used white pigment.
Zinc Phthalocyanine Sulphonate (ZPS). Used as a photo-bleaching agent where line drying is common.
As well as containing some of the ingredients listed above, fabric conditioners are designed to stretch out and coat fibres, making them feel softer. Unfortunately. this is disastrous for any membrane, water repellent treatment or wicking treatment. The use of fabric conditioners – or even washing in a contaminated machine – will permanently destroy the ability of garments to hold a DWR treatment and will void your Castelli warranty.