How to Wash Lulus and Keep Them in the Best Shape Possible

Brooke Ressell
by Brooke Ressell

Lululemon is known around the world over for its high-performance clothing. From underwear to sports bras to tank tops to leggings, Lululemon’s proprietary fabric keeps users feeling dry and confident, even when working up a good sweat.

And we’ll be the first to say: Lulus aren’t cheap. When you invest in a high-quality product—in this case, athleticwear—you want to make that the investment, is well taken care of, right?

The tricky thing about Lululemon is that while its fabric does wonders at wicking away sweat, it often can’t go through your standard laundry routine without the risk of thinning, shrinking, or pilling.

Luckily, in this guide, we’ll walk you through how to wash Lulus with the simplest steps possible, whether you’re trying to get a stain out of your new leggings or need to refresh your well-loved tank top.

Black Lululemon leggings and green shirt

About Lululemon fabric

Lululemon is intentionally vague about its fabrics (that have ambiguous names like Everlux, Luon, and Luxtreme) in order to keep them a secret so that other companies can’t make knock-offs of the same fabric.

While you really can’t blame the company for keeping the fabric blends a secret, it makes Lululemon washing a bit more complicated every time you start a new load.

Because of this, following the company’s laundering instructions is key to maintaining the activewear’s shape and size as well as keeping the fabric looking new for as long as possible.

How to treat stains on Lulus

Let’s face it: It can be incredibly frustrating to find a stain on any of your Lululemon products. Luckily, with these steps, we’ll show you how to treat stains on Lulus so you don’t have to toss your favorite tank top or pair of leggings in the trash.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Cold water
  • Stain remover
  • Liquid dish soap (optional)
  • Laundry detergent
  • Sink or washbasin (if needed)
  • Washing machine
  • Drying rack or dryer

1. Rinse fabric

The best way to treat stains on Lulus is to rinse the stained area under cold water as soon as possible after a spill has taken place. Avoid rubbing the fabric, which can cause pilling.

2. Pretreat

If you’re unable to remove your Lululemon clothing and rinse it with cold water as soon as the stain appears, your next best bet is to pretreat the stain before washing the garment.

Before you start the stain pretreating process, you’ll want to test the stain remover for colorfastness. Spray the stain remover on an inconspicuous part of the fabric, like inside the waistband.

Let the stain remover sit for a few moments, and make sure there isn’t any damage or color bleeding.

If all goes well with the test patch, go ahead and spray the stained area with stain remover, and let it sit for fifteen minutes before laundering the item.

If you do not have stain remover available, you can use a mild liquid dish soap instead, which works particularly well for stains that are greasy or oily in nature.

3. Presoak

Next, place the stained clothing in a load of like fabrics and presoak it.

Most washing machines have a presoak setting built-in, but if yours doesn’t, soak your stained clothing in cold water (in a sink or washbasin) with a splash of laundry detergent for at least fifteen minutes before starting the gentle cycle.

4. Wash

Then, wash your stained clothing in cold water on the gentle cycle with your regular laundry detergent.

5. Inspect

Once the washing cycle has ended, inspect your clothing. If the stain has successfully been removed, you can air dry the garment on a drying rack or in your dryer on low heat.

If the stain has not lifted, you’ll want to repeat Steps 2 through 4 until it is.

Don’t Dry If the Stain Persists

Placing a stained item in the dryer will cause the stain to set. So, be sure not to dry stained clothing in a dryer and repeat the necessary stain removal steps instead.

How to hand wash Lulus

With the right care, your high-quality Lululemon products can last a really long time. And this is especially true with the laundering techniques you use to keep your activewear clothing clean and fresh.

If you have the time (and the patience), hand washing your Lulus is always a good idea. The less that the clothes get tousled in the washing machine, the longer they are likely to last.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Sink or washbasin
  • Cold water
  • Liquid laundry detergent

1. Fill the sink or washbasin

The first step in hand washing your Lulus is to fill the sink or washbasin with cold, soapy water. Depending on how many pieces of activewear you’ll be washing, you may only need a few drops of liquid detergent.

2. Submerge the clothing

Next, submerge the clothing in the cold, soapy water.

3. Gently agitate

Gently agitate the clothing so that the entire garment is evenly wet and the soapy water soaks deep into the fabric.

4. Allow to sit

Allow the clothing item to soak for about thirty minutes.

5. Rinse well

Rinse the clothing item out well with clean water, removing any of the soap that remains.

6. Gently press water out

Once the item has been rinsed well, gently press the remaining water out of the garment. Avoid wringing out your Lululemon clothing; this can cause the fabric to wrinkle or lose its shape.

7. Dry

Lay the item flat to dry or dry it on a low heat setting in your dryer then remove promptly.

hand pressing button on washing machine

Photo via LyndsCorr DIY

How to machine wash Lulus

Whether you're wondering how to wash Lululemon pants or how to wash Lululemon shorts, the good news is that most Lulu products are perfectly safe in your washing machine at home.

There’s no need to go out of your way to follow special instructions for most of the activewear loads you’ll be cleaning, but it's important that these garments be washed by themselves to avoid snagging or lint from other clothing.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Delicates bag
  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer

1. Separate clothes from other laundry

To start, you’ll want to separate your Lululemon activewear from all of your other laundry. Things like denim, buttons, zippers, and velcro can snag and damage the fabric blends found in Lululemon products.

Things like cotton towels can also leave lint all over Lululemon fabrics, which can be really difficult to remove.

To play it safe, wash just your activewear pieces in smaller loads and skip the headache that comes with cramming them in with other loads of clothes.

2. Turn clothes inside out

Turn the Lululemon garments inside out to expose the innermost fabric layer where there’s likely the most sweat buildup.

3. Put clothes in delicates bag

Place all of the items into a delicates bag, which will provide another layer of protection.

4. Separate clothes by colors

Next, separate your Lululemon clothing by color. Lights with lights and darks with darks will keep color from bleeding and ruining the clothing items.

5. Run washing machine

Then, turn the delicate cycle on and fill your wash machine tub with cold water. With these settings and a mild detergent, your Lululemon clothing will clean up well and the gentle conditions will keep the fabrics safe.

Skip the Fabric Softener

Fabric softener adheres directly to fabrics which, in turn, makes the wicking properties in Lululemon clothing ineffective.

6. Let dry

Once the gentle washing cycle has ended, lay the item of clothing flat to dry or transfer it to your dryer. To see drying instructions, proceed to the next section.

Can you put Lululemon leggings in the dryer?

You can! While the best way to dry your leggings, or any other Lululemon products, is to lay them flat, you can choose to throw them in the dryer as well.

Be sure to dry Lululemon items on a low heat setting and remove them as soon as the cycle is finished. Over-drying Lululemon clothing can damage the fabrics and lead to shrinkage, so play it safe and opt for air drying or low-heat drying only.

Do Lululemon leggings stretch out?

Lululemon leggings certainly stretch while you’re wearing them, but they'll maintain their original size and shape pretty well.

However, if you notice any gapping, wrinkling, or shiny areas of fabric, that may mean that your Lululemon clothing is overstretched. In that case, you’ll want to replace it with a new piece or consider going up a size if needed.

Do Lululemon leggings shrink?

Yes, Lululemon leggings can shrink if you’re not careful.

Lululemon clothing comes pre-shrunk, and their products are made from mostly synthetic fabrics, so you shouldn’t notice a lot of shrinking occurring through normal usage.

You may run into issues if you dry your Lululemon clothing on high heat settings for long periods of time. All fabrics break down over time, and synthetic fabrics are no exception.

To avoid this problem, lay your items flat to dry whenever possible or at least use your dryer's lowest heat setting and remove the clothing as soon as it's dry.

towel pretreating stain on Lululemon leggings

More Lulu care tips

Make that investment last longer! Here are some of our favorite tips for taking care of your Lulus:

  • Check the washing instruction labels on all of your Lululemon clothing items.
  • Close any zippers or velcro closures on jackets, hoodies, or pants before washing them.
  • Do your best to avoid hitting sharp edges like desks, countertops, and work equipment while wearing Lululemon clothing.
  • Avoid hot water, fabric softener, and high heat while laundering.
  • Don’t wash your activewear with rough materials like denim, overly smelly items like sports gear, or clothing items soaked in grease or oil.
  • Take the time to pretreat stains and wash items well before allowing your Lulus to dry.
  • If air drying, flip the clothing item over periodically to speed up the dry time.

Do you have any care tips or advice for how to wash Lulus? Share them in the comments below!

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation