Every day, a new technology comes around that disrupts tradition. Cameras. Cars. The internet. Smartphones. Artificial intelligence. All of these have drastically changed the way we live our lives and—in most cases, anyway—improved them. The same technological advances driving our civilization forward also extend to clothing and textiles. Everyone wears clothing and needs to keep it clean. So, why wouldn’t scientists figure out ways to improve that? Today, there’s a specialty type of clothing (and activewear) that uses an amazing technology known as zinc infusion. In this textile-making procedure, clothes and textiles are infused with zinc ions (zinc oxide). This effectively creates better clothing that requires little maintenance. Today, we’re giving you a short guide to antimicrobial activewear and zinc infusion. Keep reading to learn more.
What Makes Activewear Antimicrobial?
There are a lot of buzzwords and vague concepts floating around the internet these days. Some of them center around activewear and new technology that makes it antimicrobial, easier to clean, and safer. But what makes activewear antimicrobial? The short answer is zinc infusion. This new technology promises to make your activewear last longer and keep you safer from germs. By killing bacteria and making the clothing more durable, safer, and preventing pilling, it can help people stay active, confident, and healthy while using their favorite antimicrobial activewear every day.
What is Zinc and Zinc Infusion?
Zinc is an essential mineral that performs many important functions in your body. It’s pretty important to many of our vital life functions. It heals wounds. It boosts the immune system. It’s integral to prostate health and metabolism. Without the right amounts of zinc, your immune system would struggle to heal wounds, regulate blood sugar levels, and function properly. So, yeah, zinc is pretty important. So how does that translate to clothing? Well, there’s a new technological process that uses this vital mineral to create antimicrobial clothing. By hitting the clothing with zinc and ionizing it, clothing becomes stronger, more durable, safer, and easier to clean than ever before.
How Does It Work?
Although it sounds like something out of Star Trek, many manufacturers use this technology right now to create high-quality clothing. But how does it work? Manufacturers treat fabric and textiles with a chemical solution that lets zinc ions penetrate the clothing’s fibers. After that, the clothing receives an electrostatic charge. This electrostatic charge attracts more zinc ions to the fabric, essentially attaching them to its surface. This effectively renders it impossible for bacteria, fungi, and other nasty stuff, to grow on the clothes. But it isn’t a miracle of science; zinc ionization eliminates food and moisture—two things microbes need to survive. By using this technology, manufacturers can create clothes that are resistant to stains, odors, and wrinkles while also being hypoallergenic.
How to Wash Zinc-Infused Activewear
Now that you know all about zinc infusion, it’s time to learn how to care for your antimicrobial activewear. Taking care of clothes and washing them is just part of our daily lives. But it’s especially crucial to wash your zinc-infused activewear properly. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Zinc-infused activewear doesn’t require frequent washing, but it must receive proper care. When you do wash it, avoided using any abrasive cleaners, bleach, and any detergents containing perfumes. It’s also better to air dry them so they don’t get damaged by heat from your dryer. With a cleaning method that simple, it’s easy to take care of your antimicrobial activewear. It also helps to do your laundry the right way. Instead of throwing your stuff into the machine right away, take care to remove any metal or other objects. Put like items together. Don’t wash towels with underwear or shirts with jeans. Separating your laundry cleans it better and reduces possible damage. For zinc-infused clothing, you’ll want to avoid fabric softeners or any chemicals that might interfere with the zinc coating. Ultimately, doing laundry right is just as critical as keeping your house clean, and can keep your nice clothes ready to use time and time again.
How Long Will Zinc Infused Clothing Remain Effective?
So, how long will the zinc infusion remain active in your activewear? A long time. Even after over 100 washes, high-quality antimicrobial activewear will still retain its function. One study out of the University of Oregon found that high-quality antimicrobial performance wear lost less than 50% of its initial activity after 100 washes. That’s a pretty good track record and means your activewear will last a long time. And at the end of the day, sometimes that’s all that matters when it comes to your favorite clothes.