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Washing Instructions for GAP Activewear

May 24, 2019

Gap is a well-known apparel company that operates worldwide. They sell a variety of products including tops, bottoms, outerwear, loungewear, and more for men, women, and children. They even have their own maternity line! Aside from clothing, they also manufacture shoes and accessories such as scarves, hats, belts, and bags.

More About Gap

Gap was founded by Doris F. Fisher and Donald Fisher in 1969. Later that year, they opened their first retail store in San Francisco. Incredibly successful, the company soared in popularity over the next few years. By the early 70s, the brand had more than 25 locations across the country. However, it wasn’t until 1974 that they started to manufacture private-label products.

Today, there are more than 3,500 locations worldwide, over half of which are in the United States. Aside from Gap, their namesake banner, they’ve also launched a few other divisions including Old Navy, Athlete, Banana Republic, and Hill City.

A Closer Look at Gap Activewear

As you might be aware, they also have their own line of activewear. To be more specific, they sell shorts, tops, leggings, sweatpants, sweatshirts, and hoodies. A variety of sports bras are also available for women.

closer look at gap activewear

Price-wise, their products are not terribly expensive, however, they’re not super cheap either. If anything, they’re priced fairly. For instance, you can get a pair of running shorts for ~$30. Some items such as their jackets are a bit more expensive, though, at around ~$100.

Taking Care of Gap Activewear

Gap’s activewear line is good value for money. In other words, they are durable and not prone to falling apart, the latter of which is a common problem with cheaper brands. With that said, their clothing will eventually wear out over time—that’s to be expected. After all, fabrics are fabrics.

That’s not to say that you can’t extend their lifespan, though—you can. There are several things that you can do to prevent your clothes from wearing down prematurely. For starters, you want to make sure that you’re washing them properly. Ask yourself—do you read the care tag labels before doing the laundry? Because that’s one of the most important things when it comes to caring for your clothes. The last thing that you’d want to do is to throw a “hand wash only” garment into the washer! As you can imagine, you can some pretty consequences.

Need some tips on how to wash your Gap activewear? That’s why we’re here! Before we dive into the instructions, however, let’s take a look at some of the fibers and materials that they use for their clothes. Why? That determines the washing method, after all!

Fabrics Used For Gap Activewear

Gap uses a variety of synthetic fabrics for their activewear. Here are some of them!


Polyester is one of the most common man-made fibers that you’ll come across. The great thing about this fabric is that it is super resilient. For one thing, it is very durable; it will not fray or wear out with just a few washes. Moisture-wicking, it is capable of pulling sweat to the surface, where it can then leave through evaporation—this makes it a fabulous choice for sportswear. After all, you’ll be sweating at the gym!

Gap uses polyester in their leggings, sweatshirts, hoodies, sports bras, tees, and more.


You’ve probably heard of spandex before—it’s the material that gives your clothes their stretch! Without it, your garments would have no flexibility at all, which isn’t something that you want when you’re working out. Unlike polyester, however, it is often blended with other fabrics. In other words, you probably won’t find a shirt that’s 100% spandex.

Gap uses polyester in their leggings, swimsuits, sports bras, shorts, tees, and more.


Nylon is a lightweight fabric that’s often compared to silk. One of the great things about it is that it does not absorb water—this is why it’s often used for swimwear. Not only is it easy to wash, but it dries quickly and resists wrinkles!

Gap uses nylon in their swimsuits.


Rayon is a versatile fabric that has the same comfort levels as natural fibers. For one thing, it is very soft to the skin. Sometimes called “artificial silk”, the material can easily be dyed a number of colors. Strong and durable, it is well-suited for sportswear.

Gap uses rayon in their tees, sweatshirts, and more.


Cotton is a natural fiber that’s known for its breathability. Because of this, it is sometimes used for sportswear. Made from cellulose, the fabric is very comfortable to wear. On top of that, it resists static electricity build-up, which can be an issue with man-made materials. However, it dries much more slowly than its synthetic counterparts.

Gap uses cotton in their sweatshirts, hoodies, and more.

How to Wash Gap Leggings, Yoga Pants & Tights

Do you wear leggings or tights to the gym? If so, it’s probably a good idea to wash them once you get home. Assuming that you’ve worked up a sweat, the moisture can easily cause bacteria to grow on the fabric, which would lead to odors. Don’t worry, they’re easy to wash! Here are a couple of ways to do it.

how to wash gap leggings 1

Washing Your Gap Leggings, Yoga Pants, and Tights with the Washer

Are Gap leggings machine washable? Yes, they are! It’s probably not a good idea to put them in as is, though. What you want to do is to turn them inside out—this will minimize the amount of rubbing that it’ll do with your other garments. Not only that, but any fading will be on the inside; the outer surface will be left intact. Want to be extra gentle with your bottoms? Consider placing them in a net laundry bag—make sure to zip it securely before putting it in the washer.

Pro-tip: You can wash Gap leggings with other garments under one condition—you’ve separated the colors into appropriate loads. Mixing different colors is always a bad idea as the dyes can leak.

Load your laundry in and close the door. Measure out a scoop of ACTIVE detergent and add it to your clothes. Select a gentle wash setting with cold water (hot water is not ideal for synthetic fabrics) and let the cycle run. Skip the fabric conditioner—the chemicals in these products will coat the outside of your clothes with a waxy substance that will prevent sweat from evaporating from the surface. Consider vinegar instead if you need to soften your leggings or tights (add one cup to the laundry in addition to the detergent).

Take your Gap leggings out as soon as the cycle is finished. Hang everything up to dry on a clothesline—it shouldn’t take long for the fabric to air dry. Do not tumble dry; the heat can cause the materials to warp or shrink.

Hand Washing Gap Leggings, Yoga Pants, and Tights

As it turns out, you can also wash them by hand in the sink (a basin or bucket works too)! Begin by filling the container with water—keep in mind that you don’t want it to be too full. Pour in a scoop of ACTIVE detergent and mix until it’s dissolved. Put your Gap leggings and tights in the mixture; make sure that the fabric is adequately submerged and let it sit for at least 20 minutes (longer if there are especially dirty).

From there, clean the fabric by gently rubbing it with your hands. Rinse the detergent off with clean water when you’re finished—a simple way to do this is by putting it under the faucet. Continue until there are no more soap suds before transferring the item onto a clean towel. Blot off the excess water and line it dry. Do not put it under direct sunlight. Also, you do not want to put the leggings in the dryer!

Note: The above methods can also be used to wash Gap shorts, and tops (tanks, tees, and long sleeves).

Washing Instructions for Gap Sports Bras

Gap also offers a variety of sports bras for women. Similar to their leggings, they can be washed by machine or hand.

how to clean gap sports bras

Tossing Your Gap Sports Bra in the Washer

First things first, check to see if the pads in the bra are removable. If they are, take them out so that you can wash them separately (you can soak them in the sink or put them in the washer). The next step is to put the sports bra in a mesh laundry bag—you don’t want the elastic to wear out, after all! Avoid washing them with coarse objects such as denim jackets as they can cause damage to the bras’ delicate fibers.

Measure and pour in a scoop of ACTIVE detergent. Choose a gentle wash cycle and press start; make sure that you’re using cold water. Do not use bleach or fabric softeners—your sports bra doesn’t need them! As a matter of fact, those products can do more harm than good.

Wait for the wash cycle to finish before taking out your Gap sports bra. Allow it to air dry on a drying rack—you can also line it dry. Whatever you do, do not toss it in the dryer. The heat from the machine will degrade the elastic, rendering your sports bra useless.

Washing Your Gap Sports Bra by Hand

It’s not difficult at all to wash your Gap sports bras by hand. You’ll need two things—a basin or sink and ACTIVE detergent. Start by filling the former with water from the faucet. Add in half a scoop of detergent and mix until you see soap suds. Place the delicate items in, making sure that all of the fabric is saturated. Let them sit for upwards of 30 minutes.

Swirl the bras a few times before picking them up. Gently massage the fabric to get rid of any body oils and sweat. Once you’re done with that, wash out the detergent with water—continue until the item is no longer soapy. Place it on a clean towel. Whatever you do, do not twist the sports bra like a cloth! That’s one of the easiest ways to ruin the elastic. Instead, pat it down with the towel before letting it air dry on a clothesline.

Best Laundry Detergent for Gap Activewear

active detergent for activewear 1

Wondering what detergent you should use? Try ACTIVE detergent. As implied by its name, the product is made specifically for activewear. The key lies in its formulation—unlike regular detergents, which are more for old school fabrics, it contains ingredients that are capable of dissolving gunk from synthetic fabrics. For those who are curious, the job is done by several plant-based enzymes.

On top of that, the detergent is all-natural. Don’t want to use something that is filled with chemicals? Then you’ll want ACTIVE detergent. As mentioned earlier, the ingredients are plant-based. Because of this, it is also more gentle on the skin.

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