how-to guide: washing and caring for your lululemon gear

how-to guide: washing and caring for your lululemon gear

When it comes to our laundry situation, we like to think we’ve got it down to an art. Unlike some clothing that can be worn more than once (we’re looking at you, favourite jeans) when we’re sweating once a day we tend to do laundry more than once a week, too. Because we make technical gear for a variety of sweaty pursuits, we recommend washing our product with care to ensure it keeps its shape and quality for years to come. We have a page filled with all the nitty gritty details and FAQs if you are looking for more info. We also put together these tips for quick reference. Without further ado, may we present to you:

eight commandments for caring for your lululemon gear

1. wash like with like.             

Zippers and denim can abrade your lululemon gear.

2. wash luon and cotton separately.

Because of their different properties, cotton fibres can attach to luon and look like pilling.

3. inside out is the right way out.

Wash your lululemon gear inside out to keep the face fabric snag-free – this really works to help extend the life of your product.

4. take care of your brights.

Wash bright colours alone before you wear them to keep them their best and brightest.

5. wash bright colours together.    

Keep all your bright-coloured luon in the same load to prevent colour transfer.

6. keep wet luon away from light colours.

If you’ve got sweaty luon in bright colours, keep it separate to avoid possible colour transfer.

7. cold wash/warm dry.

When in doubt, wash cold, tumble dry your gear. If there are special instructions for the wash and care of a product (check the label), we recommend following them to ensure the quality and care of your clothing (we don’t throw those instructions in just to create extra work, Guide’s Honour). Find full wash tips.

8. pro-tip for environmentalists.

Do you love the environment as much as your Wunder Unders? You have the option to cold water wash and air dry your gear if you wish to give the Earth a little love.

Got questions around washing your lululemon stuff? Contact our Guest Education Centre at or 1.877.263.9300 and one of our educators will be happy to help you with your query.

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Just to clarify- are you saying we should wash brand new bright gear before we wear it for the first time? I was confused by recommendation 4.

Comment by Jenny — February 14, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

Wash brights together? Wouldn’t they cross colour transfer?

Comment by Shay — February 14, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

Hey Jenny,
Yes, it is always a good idea to wash any bright coloured item before you wear it. To get those really vibrant colours the fabric needs to be highly saturated. This can mean there is some residual dye left over that will be released in the first wash. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — February 15, 2013 @ 9:58 am

Great question, Shay. So with this point you want to take a note from point one as well- like with like. It’s best to wash similar colour together, which will help prevent any colour transfer like you mentioned.

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — February 15, 2013 @ 10:02 am

I love this post. I must say I have followed the Earth Friendly instructions. Wash in cold, “like with like” usually. I do *occasionally* tumble dry extra low (the extra low option on my dryer) for maybe 15 min and finish by air drying. Or skip the dryer altogether (time permitting) and just air dry. With enough selection of my fav yoga gear I can allow them to air dry most of the time. Save your yoga gear and save your world.
-Wendy S.

Comment by Wendy S. — February 15, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

Why do my clothes smell sweaty even after washing. I have never had this problem with other brands. I always wash right when I get home from working out. Is this a quality problem?

Comment by jess — February 16, 2013 @ 11:52 am

Hey Jess,
Hmmm, this is definitely something we would like to chat with you about. If you can call us at the GEC (1.877.263.9300) then we can get some more details from you and work out a solution to your sweaty gear dilemma. Thanks for reaching out!
~ Somerlea
gec social media team

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — February 16, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

Thanks for posting about washing inside out. I was my wunder unders inside out and haven’t had any problems. Love those pants!

Comment by Am — February 16, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

If my Wunder Unders are reversible, what’s the best way to wash them? As I don’t want the black or bright purple to fade.

Comment by Meghan — February 18, 2013 @ 5:38 am

Hi Meghan,
We recommend washing your Wunder Unders on a cold cycle and air to dry. I tend to switch which side is on the outside during the wash myself. Here’s also a quick link to our product care page:
~ Siya
Social Media Educator

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — February 18, 2013 @ 8:45 am

And no fabric softener right?! That’s how we educate in our store :)

Comment by ellie — February 19, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

Is it safe to bleach my white reversible tank? I accidentally washed it with all my dark clothing, and it isn’t looking as white and bright as it used to!

Comment by Ashley — February 20, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

I am a curvy girl and no matter what my legs rub when I walk/run and my astro,groove and wunder unders all get pilley in between my legs! How do i fix or prevent this from happening?

Comment by Clare — February 21, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

Hi Ashley,
We haven’t tested for bleach on our gear so it’s not something I recommend. I have tried soaking my gear in liquid soap and water before a wash.
~ Siya
Social Media Educator

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — February 21, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

I recently bought my first pair of running pants and I love them! But I’ve wore them once, and they already have snagg fuzz balls on the top thigh.. I don’t know what todo! I love these but I’m alittle upset since I just bought these. Please help

Comment by Jessica — February 22, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

Just like Clare said I also get pilling in the crotch area of my Wunder Unders. I would love to know if there is a way to prevent this becuase other than that they are the best pants I own!

Comment by Ari — February 23, 2013 @ 8:15 am

Hi Jessica,
If you’re near a local store, certainly take in your pants so we can take a look at them. If heading into a store isn’t an option, you can give us a call at the GEC (1.877.263.9300) with more details so we can chat about a solution.
~ Siya
Social Media Educator

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — February 24, 2013 @ 10:49 am

Could you please clarify whether or not we should use fabric softener on these clothes? I always add it to my rinse cycle, but I just saw Ellie’s post above and now I’m not so sure. Thank you in advance.

Comment by Natasha — February 24, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

Hi Natasha,
We do not recommend using fabric softer in your gear as it coats the technical fabric and inhibits its wicking capabilities.
~ Siya
Social Media Educator

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — February 24, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

I’ve had a couple of tanks (105, Back on Track) very badly snagged from the bonded trim on the bonded turbo run shorts and the track time crops. The bonded trim seems to stick to the tops and snag them. What Lululemon fabrics is it safe to wear over the bonded Lululemon shorts/crops?

Comment by Lauren — February 25, 2013 @ 1:22 am

Hi Lauren,
Your running tanks shouldn’t be snagging on the fabrics of your run bottoms. My recommendation is take your gear to your local store so we can chat about our suggestions for running gear. I tend to layer tanks like the Cool Racerback with a medium support bra for my runs and I don’t find they snag on bonded seaming. If you’re not near a local store, be sure to give us a call at the GEC (1.877.263.9300) in regards to this.
~ Siya
Social Media Educator

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — February 25, 2013 @ 6:54 am

Washing in cold & air drying has done it for me! Even my most used Lululemon apparel has lasted me going on 3 years now..let it live on :)

Comment by Kalae — February 25, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

I’ve washed my hot pink Power Y tank a ton. The color is still vibrant as ever but I worked out with my new, white pace setter skirt and the pink bled onto my skirt during my workout! It was literallyne first time I wore the skirt after purchasing it is past weekend. I was able to get most of the stain out with oxyclean and sun but the fact that I can’t wear the two together is really unfortunate, inconvienient, and just plain stupid. I guess I’ll be wearing a different brand top for fear of any of the Lulu colored tops bleeding on to the skirt. :(

Comment by Melinda — May 29, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

Hi Melinda,
Sorry to hear that your new skirt isn’t as good as new after your tried removing the pink from it! Please take the two pieces to your local store so we can work with you on a resolution for them. We want to get you in gear for your sweatiest pursuits!
~ Siya
Social Media Educator

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — May 30, 2013 @ 10:30 am

Thanks but with all day sun the pink is hardly noticeable now. Thank goodness! What’s up with the bleeding? I didnt even realize that Y tank was bleeding until this happened. When I soaked it by itself in the washer the entire tub of water was bright pink!! Geez, so glad I didn’t ruin anything previously. Will the bleeding stop? I mean, the shirt is not new and has been washed frequently. Has LuLu corrected the dye issues? I would take it back or send it back but what good will it do if I’m given another that does the same? I’ve never experienced this with clothing while wearing it.

Comment by Melinda — May 31, 2013 @ 5:42 am

Hey Melinda,
Vibrant colours will often have some excess dye which comes out in the first wash and is fine after that. It is hard to say if this is what happened to your top or not. If you are concerned I would suggest washing it separately or bring it back into us and we would be happy to accept it back and work on a resolution that works for you. In terms of what we have done to correct this, we have brought in a leading fabric and dye expert, have added additional on site testing and each stage of the process and have expanded the range of tests we perform on our garments to see if we can replicate and therefore solve the issue you experience.

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — May 31, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

Just bought a really cute yellow top. It was my first day wearing it. Just as I was on my way out the door, leaned against kitchen counter and got some type of food stain on it. Promptly sprayed the stain with shout spray (my usual go to). Ran the top through the wash. Followed washing instructions on tag. Stain still there:( This was the power y tank. Any suggestions?

Comment by Alex — July 13, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

Hi Alex,
Stains can be tricky to get out. I find that a a bit of baking soda in the wash goes a long way with stains so give that a try. I also find that with more wear and wash, the stain does start to go away as well.
~ Siya

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — July 14, 2013 @ 9:16 am

I do lots of hot yoga and I always pay very careful attention when washing my lululemon gear – cold water, tumble dry without fabric softener or air drying. I find that after a couple of months the clothes begin to smell and I can’t get the odor out. First I thought it was from doing hot yoga but then my fiance’s pace breaker shorts took on the same sweaty smell. Is there anyway to fix this or any tips on preventing this?

Comment by Jen — July 18, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

I washed my daughters tennis skirt and something red got into the wash. So, now it is light pink. How do I get it back to white? I am afraid to use bleach without asking if that is ok first.

Comment by Karin — July 21, 2013 @ 10:19 am

That’s a sticky one Karin! I find that soda water or baking soda are really great at lifting off excess colour or stains. Try washing with that and some washing soap. Let us know how if the stains subside!
~ Siya

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — July 22, 2013 @ 8:07 am

Hey Jen,
There may be a few reasons you’re experiencing this and I can offer up some solutions from my own personal experience. What makes our sweat smell is the bacteria in it. What’s most likely occurring is that the bacteria in your garments are hanging around, even after washing.

Often times when we wear a piece over and over for extremely sweaty sessions, the bacteria from our sweat can grow in our clothes. There are a few ways to avoid this happening. An easy way to solve is to choose Silverescent pieces to sweat in for your hot yoga as they have silver fibres woven right in, which inhibit the growth of odour causing bacteria. This means that they won’t get that lingering smell. Another thing I do is that if I am wearing polyester gear, I toss it in the wash asap. For my nylon pieces, I’m okay not throwing it in the wash until laundry day. Here’s why: nylon fabric is hydrophilic (water loving) and polyester is oil based and hydrophobic (water hating). If you wear nylon product to work out in, you can leave it a bit before washing, and the soap and water molecules will penetrate the fibres and wash away the bacteria easily. If you wear polyester product, and you leave it for a while before washing, the bacteria has a longer chance to grow and get into the oil based fibres. This means you may have a harder time getting the bacteria out when washing as the water molecules won’t be able to penetrate the fibres.

For myself, I find that I only have to be cautious with the gear I sweat extra hard in (like spin class), as the stuff I hike, commute and do yoga in doesn’t get so intensely sweaty.


Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — July 22, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

Hi! I just Returnedreturned from a hike to half dome wearing the white runbeam shirt. Since it was a dirty and super sweaty 13 hour hike, I am left with some sweat stains and dirt stains on the shirt even after washing. How can I get my run beam short to look pearly white and clean again without running the shirt? I do hope to wear it more than one time!


Comment by Cecilia — July 29, 2013 @ 12:44 am

Hi Cecilia,
My recommendation is to use some baking soda in the wash to lift the stains. It’s tough with white since it can show stains a lot easier. Give it a go and let me know what you think
~ Siya
Online Community

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — July 29, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

I own a few pair of leggings and 3 of which have a very strange smell I keep washing them and the smell won’t go away and it blends in with the rest of my clothing..any tips? I don’t wear them anymore because of that :(

Comment by Kelly — July 29, 2013 @ 7:18 pm

Oh dear Kelly,
We would love to get a closer look at the scent situation you are describing. If you can pop into a store that would be the best way for us to get some answers for you. Thanks a bunch!
~ Somerlea

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — July 30, 2013 @ 8:48 am

Both of my tech short sleeve tees are starting to smell after workouts all of the sudden. I haven’t changed my deodorant… Am I missing something with this shirt. None of my other lulu’s smell.

Comment by kmt — August 1, 2013 @ 8:14 am

Hi there,
The silver in our Swiftly Tech Short Sleeves is anti-bacterial. A build up of bacteria is when we begin to pick up a smell, so they may have a sent immediately after training as the silver will not have had proper time to fight the bacteria. If anything persists please run it back in store or ring our GEC and we can chat more about what you are experiencing. 1.877.263.9300

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — August 1, 2013 @ 10:15 am

OH my gosh! I’m about to cry! I just bought some reversible Wunder Unders- wore them once and then used some spray and wash type stuff (as I do on everything) on certain spots )just in case— It wasn’t really stained it just looked dirty on the knees, etc. ? i couldn’t tell if it was the grey peeking through the orange or what? The stain wash stuff left BAD oiley spots all over my new pants. I’m dying! What can I do if anything?? I washed them in cold and hung to dry but they were so expensive, i’m worried they are ruined~~ Any tips?

Comment by Danielle — August 21, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

Hi again!

I had a posting about sweat stains on a white run beam shirt after my journey to Half Dome. I tried the suggested wash with baking soda twice so far, the second time I even did a baking soda pre soak before washing. The stains are still there! What should I do? I love this shirt and am definitely sad it is stained after wearing it only one time.

Comment by Cecilia — August 22, 2013 @ 12:19 am

Hi Cecilia,
Give our GEC a ring and speak with one of our great phone educators. They can help you with the next best steps to making this right. 1.877.263.9300

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — August 22, 2013 @ 8:37 am

Hi Danielle,
We haven’t had experience with this and would just recommend following our washing instructions to see if the stains can come out over time. Sweaty gear needs extra care, so we totally get you wanting to take an extra step in spot cleaning with a spray. However for the future just wash in cold water with other athletic gear and lay flat or hang to dry. Tumble dry low is also okay when you are in a pinch and make sure to keep your garments away from harsher materials like velcro, jeans or towels.

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — August 22, 2013 @ 8:42 am

I have the Good Fortune bag and wondering if you can wash it?


Comment by Amanda — August 23, 2013 @ 12:49 pm

Hi Amanda,
We recommend spot cleaning with all of our bags. Just some good old fashioned soap, water and a rag will do the trick!

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — August 24, 2013 @ 10:27 am

I was doing hot yoga today and I was wearing the lulu hot pink bra that I purchased at the outlet in gilroy ca and during class I noticed it was bleeding onto my yoga towel and all over my new lulu tank top. Luckily when I got out of class I immediately rinsed everything in cold water and it came out. I found it weird though because I have washed that bra numerous times and have never had that problem. When I rinsed the bra the water was bright pink as well. I’m just glad it came out!

Comment by Sbsrfer7 — September 4, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

Ok. What is up with the new lululemon pants? My mom purchased two pairs of my favorite STILL pants a few months ago and gave then to me last week. They both stink like gross, pungent chemicals. I just took the tags off last week and have washed them both five times and they completely smell horrible. I am on one-on-one French training and I thought it was bad that I could smell them but then my French teacher actually asked what smelled so bad. I then wore the second pair today and they smell the exact same. I was embarrassed to be on the bus as I could smell them the whole time. This is gross and I cannot believe that the quality seems to have completely changed. At $100 per pair this is ridiculous. I am sad as they are my favorite pants :( What am I supposed to do? Can I exchange them? Or are they all like this now? :( Super disappointed as I have spent thousands of dollars on lululemon and I expect good quality and not to be embarrassed by the smell. I called the store and the guy said that he’s never heard anyone complain before. That is completely impossible as another friend’s smell the exact same :(

Comment by Christine Bronsema — September 11, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

Hi Christine,
There shouldn’t be a smell to your pants and this sounds like something we do want chat further about and work on a solution with you. If you are near a store, please take your pants in. If you are not near a store, give us a call at the guest education centre – 1.877.263.9300 and we’d love to chat solutions with you.
~ Siya
Online Community

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 12, 2013 @ 7:44 am

I was given my black Wunder Under crop pants a year ago as a gift — and I was completely unaware there were special wash instructions. As a result, I’ve violated pretty much all of the rules above and have been left with crops that snag on everything, including my skin. The pants are almost noisy as I walk because the legs are snagging against each other.

Obviously, this is totally not Lululemon’s fault. So my question to an expert is… any way to fix it?

Comment by Samantha — September 15, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

Hey Samantha,
Thanks for taking the time to check in with us and share your experience. We would love to get some more details from you and chat about some options with your gear. If you can give us a ring (1.877.263.9300) we can continue this conversation.
~ Somerlea

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 16, 2013 @ 10:05 am

I was just wondering how to care for a lulu down jacket? Can I machine wash it or should it be dry cleaned?

Comment by Layla — September 17, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

Hey Layla,
Would love to share some insight on washing our down gear. Best way is to cold wash with similar materials and lay flat to dry or toss it in the dryer low heat with a tennis ball to re-fluffify!
~ Somerlea

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 18, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

Just bought a brand new pair of light blue yoga pants. Wore them one time to spinning class to workout and the bike seat stained my pants black! I’m so upset they are BRAND NEW and I’ve cold washed them twice. PLEASE HELP

Comment by Chandler — September 20, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

Hi Chandler,
This is so strange. We haven’t come across this type of stain before. Have you reached out to the facility that owns the bikes?

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 20, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

I have a white run: pace setter skirt and its not as white and new looking as it used to be. It looks like an off white color, any recommendations to make it look newer?

Comment by Brennan — September 29, 2013 @ 11:49 am

Hi Brennan,
I have not had this happen with my lululemon gear, however when I need to get my other whites whiter I just add 1/2 cup baking soda to my wash. It’s a natural method that works pretty well. Though since I have not tried this with my sweat gear I cannot speak to if it’ll work.

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — October 2, 2013 @ 10:11 am

Hi, I just bought the burgundy and black Avenue Pant and I wore them a couple times and my sister noticed balls of fabric on the butt. I literally bought them less than a week ago and then I washed them not knowing the balls of fabric were there and then balls of fabric were worse and I followed the instructions on the tag. What can I do to fix this??!!?

Comment by Jennie — October 20, 2013 @ 11:37 am

Hi Jennie,
Sorry to hear this has happened to your pants, especially if you’ve been following the care instructions. I recommend you reach out to your local store and chat with them about your pants or give us a call at the Guest Education Centre, 1.877.263.9300.

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — October 21, 2013 @ 9:40 am

It amazes me that when someone has an issue about lulu lemon pants stinking even after washing you are required to call them to get an answer. How about posting the answer so the rest of us don’t need to waste our time contacting you about the same issue. Obviously this an issue with your line of clothes. My daughter is very clean and showers daily,these pants stink. Your clothes are over priced crap and I cannot believe how many people buy it just to show off that they have this almighty brand. I hope you are proud of yourselves for your part in helping a new generation buy into the myth that you have to buy brand name rather than quality even if they have to buy on credit. My daughter has two pairs of pants, both stink.the only reason I gave in and bought the overpriced crappy pants was because all her friends had them. Well no more,I will save my money and buy quality over brand name and laugh all the way to the bank. Thank you for nothing lulu lemon. By the way I was ready to give you the benefit of the doubt until I saw that you refused to answer this question where we could all read it. I am sure my post will not see the light of day as heaven forbid you let an honest opinion show on here that does not praise your overpriced brand. I know people who actually go in debt to buy this stuff at the expense of their kids future. As I said I hope you are proud of yourselves.

Comment by Elizabeth — October 22, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

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