The No-Frills Racewear & Kartwear Care Guide

Racing and karting suits are notorious for being stain magnets on track; both in and outside your vehicle of choice. A clean suit not only looks better, it might also perform better. As dirt and oil builds up in your suit, its fire-resistance or abrasion resistance is impacted. 

The first step in your suit care regimen starts on the track and has nothing to do with washing. All you need to do is remove your suit as soon as your racing is done and hang it to air dry, away from sunlight. Why would you hang it in the shade you say? Well, UV rays will fade the colors of your suit and they will also weaken the structure of the Nomex fibers in your suit. By doing this, you ensure that all the absorbed moisture is removed and you also prevent any further, uneccessary stains that might happen on the paddock. 

When the time comes to wash your suit, there are two ways to go about it. One (the best, and the longest one) is to handwash the suit. This is the gentlest way to clean the suit and ensures a longer life for your suit. You can also run your suit through a gentle cycle in the washing machine, with a non-bleaching cleaning detergent. Ensure that the zipper is fully closed and the velcro strap is fastened. If you have one, put the suit inside a garment wash bag. Make sure you clean it in a COLD water cycle and if you manage to find a technical fabric detergent, even better. Let the suit drip dry in a shaded area once out of the machine. 

Your racing underwear should be washed inside out, in a gentle machine cycle with cold water. Please make sure you don't use any conditioners, bleaching agents, stain removers or strong soaps. 

For your gloves, the procedure is much the same; just at a much smaller scale. They can be easily cleaned by hand with warm water and hand soap. It is recommended that you wear your gloves while cleaning them to ensure they keep their shape.

For your shoes, remove the insoles (if possible) and brush them with a gentle detergent. If you can remove the laces, simply put them in a container with water and detergent and let them soak for a few minutes, then simply rub them together to get the grime out. The shoes can be dry brushed clean (if leather/suede) or you can use a mild detergent (hand soap) to clean them with warm water if they're made out of fabric. As always, dry them in the shade. 

In our experience, Woolite has been the best detergent for the job but any other delicate detergent will work as long as they do not contain any bleach, whitening agents or strong chemicals. 

We hope that this guide has you looking (and smelling) great for your next race.