Washing Clothes After a Mud Run

A Mudman Pro Tip from Kevin "Mudman" LaPlatney

It’s been said a good obstacle race should leave every inch of you, and what you’re wearing, completely covered in mud. For most, that look is a sign of total badasseryTM and likely ends up being their best Instagram pic for at least that week. However, spouses and roommates alike may not share in the feeling when you bring home that pile of dirty stinkin’ laundry. So, here’s a quick strategy guide on the best way to wash your clothes after a mud run that will help you avoid sleeping in the doghouse, out in the backyard, where it’s also quite dirty… 

Spray wash clothes after a mud run with a water hoseSince a lot of races like to place their most epic mud obstacles toward the finish line, odds are the water that made that area all mucky isn’t too far away. My first advice is to seek out where you plan to clean off right after the race is over, while you are still soaked (but after the selfie shots are secured of course). The obvious destination is the shower or hosing-off station, but sometimes a pond or lake is nearby, where you can make your initial attempt to pre-rinse your mud-caked clothes, shoes, and body. You know you’re not getting everything spic-and-span here, but this step might save your washing machine and bathtub from a lot of mess, and even potential damage, later on at home.  

I always bring a large garbage bag to carry this soaking wet race outfit, and also keepCleaning up after a mud run is the final obstacle it from leaking all over the car on the ride home provided you are now in a clean(er) change of clothes for the drive/flight. If you’re staying a last night in a hotel and don’t have any plans other than a refueling dinner and maybe an adult beverage to celebrate the race, you can always kill an hour or two using their laundry machines and again save your own from getting hit with the residual dirt. But if you are dragging that sopping wet pile of clothes home, it might make sense to give it one last blast with the hose out in the driveway. You’ll be shocked at how much dirty silt is still hiding in your clothes even after that. I usually find that socks, compression sleeves, and even race shorts (with zipper pockets opened) often need a second rinse done inside-out to finally get back to looking like new. A little Febreze after everything’s clean and dry doesn’t hurt either.    

How to Clean Your Shoes After a Mud Run

If there’s anything you ought to give the most care to cleaning, it’s your precious OCR running shoes. Take good care of them, and they’ll return the favor at your next race. I know you may be saying, “but they’ll just get muddy again next week”, but there’s also a certain psychological advantage to toeing the start line the following weekend with shoes that look (and smell) fresh. Trust me. While the hose-down may be good enough for most pairs of sneakers, here’s an instructional video for those that want to go the extra mile (no pun intended) for your #1 racing kicks:

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