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How to Wash and Care for Athleta Girl Clothing

This article explains how to wash and care for Athleta Girl clothing, a stylish and comfortable activewear brand for girls and young teens. It recommends using Heritage Park Activewear Laundry Detergent, a fragrance-free formula made to effectively clean performance clothing while protecting fabric and being gentle on sensitive skin.

A Golden Age of Girl Power

Here at Heritage Park, we feel blessed to be parenting daughters in an era with plentiful female athlete role models. From Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese to Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff, today’s female athletes model values we embrace for our girls: persistence, hard work, sportsmanship, individuality, and–most importantly–confidence. That’s why, when choosing sports and activewear for our tweens and teens, we invested in a brand that reflects those values: Athleta Girl.

Athleta Girl: Our Go-to Brand for Sporty Tween Apparel

Athleta clothes really are a family affair for us. You’ll find us sporting our Athleta leggings and yoga pants in the gym and around the Heritage Park offices. That’s why Athleta Girl–which produces activewear for girls ages six to 14–is a natural fit for our families.

But Athleta Girl is much more than “mini me” editions of their women’s collection. The brand, a division of Gap, Inc., recognizes that young girls have unique needs when it comes to activewear. They require clothing that allows them to move freely, feel confident, and express their individuality. Athleta Girl is all about an active lifestyle with clothing that is fun, fashionable, and (thankfully) age-appropriate. Athleta Girl offers a range of styles–including leggings, yoga pants, shorts and skorts, graphic tees, sports bras, and outerwear–made with moisture-wicking fabrics, four-way stretch, and adjustable waistbands.

Our girls love the comfort, confidence, and style of their Athleta Girl apparel. But it’s definitely an investment. That’s why we’re here to share step-by-step directions for washing Athleta Girl clothing. Follow these guidelines, and your daughter should outgrow her performance gear before it wears out (Athleta Girl clothes make great hand-me-downs!) 

Heritage Park Activewear Detergent: Perfect for Washing Athleta Girl Clothing

When washing your Athleta Girl clothing, you need a detergent that does a great job cleaning fabric after a hard day of play (and yes, a young girl can absolutely work up a sweat). That means a formula that removes dirt, stains, and odors, not just covers them up with fragrance. At the same time, you want to protect both the fabric and her delicate skin (we speak from experience, having raised a child who flared up with atopic dermatitis on an almost weekly basis). Grocery store brands are just too harsh on skin, while typical gentle detergents don’t get the job done.

That’s why we’re so happy about our Heritage Park Activewear Laundry Detergent, a gentle, plant-based formula made specifically for washing sports and workout gear and high-performance fabric.

  • Effective: A double dose of laundry enzymes work to break down and remove sweat, stains and sports odors from workout gear and gym clothing (no more lingering embarrassing odors in your ‘tween’s clothing).
  • Protective: cleans and protects the integrity of wicking and performance fabric.Also works great on “everyday” pieces like the Athleta Girl High-Rise Chit Chat Pant.
  • Safe: plant-based formula is made without dyes, phosphates, sulfates, chlorine, bleach, or brighteners. We use this on our own family’s clothing.
  • Fragrance free: No masking unpleasant odors with perfume; no potentially irritating fragrance added. The powerful enzyme blend breaks down and removes stains and odors from fabric.
  • Versatile: Can be used in regular or HE machines at any temperature and for handwashing.

“Our Activewear Detergent is a plant-based, gentle formula that is up to the task of cleaning athletic wear for the whole family,” said Taylor Robertson, Heritage Park Brand Manager. “It is made with natural ingredients that parents can feel good about.”

Before and After of our Activewear on Shoes

Supplies You’ll Need to Wash Athleta Girl Clothing

You can wash Athleta Girl clothing with the same supplies you use for everyday laundry and very little extra effort.

  • Heritage Park Activewear Laundry Detergent.
  • A washing machine with a gentle cycle.
  • Mesh laundry bags.
  • A spray bottle for making your own enzyme solution.
  • A tub or bucket for pre-soaking.
  • A drying rack or lint-free towel.

Simple Steps for Washing Athleta Girl Clothes

Follow these instructions to machine wash Athleta Girl clothing. Some items, like a sports bra, will need to be washed every time they are worn. Other pieces, like yoga pants or a sweatshirt, typically can go multiple wears between washings.

Step 1: Read the Care Label

Follow the directions on the care label. Many Athleta girl pants, leggings, sport tops, tees, and tanks are a breathable, wicking, nylon/Lycra blend. Depending on the style there may be a bit of Spandex in the mix. The graphic tees are 100% organic cotton. All of these styles are machine washable.

Step 2: Pretreat and Presoak Stains 

Pre-treat or pre-soak any stains as soon as possible. We recommend using an enzyme stain remover or make a solution of a 1:1 ratio of Heritage Park Activewear Laundry Detergent and water in a spray bottle. You can also pre-soak dirty clothing in a concentrated solution of Activewear Detergent.

Step 3: Mesh Laundry Bags Are a Good Idea

Think about putting your Athleta Girl pieces in a mesh laundry bag to protect them from snagging on tiny burrs of metal inside the machine tub or twisting around the agitator mechanism. You should definitely do this with smaller items like bras and swimwear, which are more likely to get tangled. You can further protect these pieces by laundering them with similar fabrics (for example, not with linty items like bath towels or heavier clothing like denim).

Step 4: Use A Gentle Cycle and Warm Water

Hot water is not recommended for performance fabric. Choose a delicate or hand-washing cycle for your machine. 

Step 5: Never Use Bleach, Fabric Softener, or Dryer Sheets

These products are ruinous to clothes, especially performance fabric. Bleach will cause discoloration and yellowing. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are also bad; they leave a waxy build-up both on fabric and on the inside of your machine. Even worse: that build-up degrades the ability of fabric to wick sweat, which is an essential feature of some of the best-selling Athleta Girl styles like the Transcend Tight.

Step 6: How to Dry Your Athleta Girl Clothing

On this point, we are a bit more conservative than the care label, which says to machine dry. That’s perfect for materials like cotton. However, the performance fabrics really will last longer if you air dry them. Simply lay on a drying rack and they should dry quickly. If time doesn’t permit air drying, tumble dry on low heat.

As we mentioned earlier, the goal is to keep your daughter’s Athleta Girl clothing looking and feeling great so she grows out of it before it wears out (there are a few little sisters in the mix here who love calling dibs on hand-me-downs). If you have any questions about washing instructions or any of our products–including our highly anticipated Activewear Detergent–please feel free to contact our team. We are here to help.


Heritage Park Laundry Essentials

At Heritage Park, caring for fine fabric is our passion. As lifelong collectors of luxury sheets, towels, and cloths, we found many commercially available "gentle detergents" either damaged our fabrics or didn't get the job done, leaving stains. We knew we could do better. So we developed a formula with the perfect balance of powerful -- yet safe -- ingredients designed to remove tough, set-in stains while remaining gentle on luxury linens. Please connect with us at (800) 977-1841 or visit our store or email us with any product feedback or cleaning questions.

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