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How To Wash Your MTB Knee Pads

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MTB knee pads are an essential piece of equipment for a mountain biker. They protect against scrapes and bruises from falls and other accidents on the trail. You are constantly biking through the dirt, climbing steep hills, and taking on rocky terrain. All of these can get your knee pads dirty and covered in debris. Washing your mountain biking knee pads is important to maximize the lifespan of the product

You can wash mtb knee pads by putting them in a washing machine on the gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent. They can be dried by letting them air dry.

How to Wash MTB Knee Pads in a Washing Machine

The best mountain bike knee pads are made from a special fabric that is both waterproof and breathable. To clean them, use a laundry detergent that is free of harsh additives and phthalates and then wash them with cold water on the gentle cycle. If possible, put them in a laundry bag to help protect them during the wash cycle.

One big thing to note is that if there are hook and loop straps or velcro straps, fasten then like normal so that they will not catch on anything in the washer. Especially if you are washing them along with other biking clothes.

Pairs of mountain bike knee pads most times can be washed just like any other article of clothing. Just make sure to use cold water. This will ensure that the colors do not run and cause any permanent damage. Make sure to always rinse thoroughly afterwards or else they may become sticky or leave behind residue.

Now comes a really important part: drying your mtb knee pads. Don’t use the dryer. Ever. The heat from the dryer will warp and destroy the knee pad material.

The best way to dry your knee pads is to let them air dry on a surface or hang them on a clothes line. Some dryers do have a no-heat option and only with that way can you dry them in a dryer. Remember, no heat.

Here are quick tips to ensure you’re washing your knee pads right:

  • Check the manufacturer tag – You can often clean them like above or hand wash like in the next section, but check the tag on your knee pads that the manufacturers put there to ensure you clean them correctly.
  • Use mild detergent – Use a mild detergent or one specifically made for washing sports gear.
  • Wash in cold water – Always use cold water in the washer or bucket.
  • Gentle cycle – Use the gentle cycle so that you wash the knee pads but not put stress or beat them up in the washer.
  • Air dry – Don’t use the dryer as the heat will damage the materials which could either shrink or warp them.  Just put them out and let them air dry for 10-12 hours.
  • Use laundry bags – Laundry bags are meant to let you wash things that you want to protect.  They work perfectly for knee pads to protect them in the wash.

How To Wash Hand Wash MTB Knee Pads

If you want to wash your knee pads without a washer, then your best option is to hand wash them. You need to get a tub or bucket that is big enough for the knee pads and about 1 gallon of water.

  1. Add soap and a little bit of laundry detergent to the water and stir it up.
  2. Clean off the worst of the dirt from the knee pads using either a microfiber cloth or a soft bristled brush.
  3. Soak the knee pads for a good 10 minutes while agitating the water.
  4. Rinse off all of the soap from the pads.
  5. Let them air dry for 10-12 hours.

How Often Should You Wash Your MTB Knee Pads?

Knee pads are an essential mountain biking accessory. They protect our knees from harm during the ride. But how often should we wash our knee pads?

The truth is that you don’t need to wash them as often as you would your everyday clothes. We recommend washing them after every ride or every few rides, depending on how dirty they are. If you are wearing the knee pads while taking an easy XC ride, then you probably won’t need to clean them after the ride.  If you are out on a downhill run with snow and mud on the ground, you’re going to need to clean them up afterwards. Just make sure to wash your knee pads regularly or as needed.

As long as you wash them gently, they should be able to withstand frequent cleaning and still last years and your mtb knee pads should still fit fine.

Can You Machine Wash Mtb Knee Pads?

Machine washing your knee pads is the best way to get them clean. However, there are some things you should know before washing

  1. Machine wash on gentle with mild detergent.
  2. Use only cold water (though you can add a capful of vinegar to help get sweaty smells out).
  3. Only air dry your knee pads.
  4. If there are velco straps, ensure they are fastened so they won’t catch on anything.

So yes, you can machine wash your mtb knee pads as long as you use the gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent.

Proper Care Of MTB Knee Pads For Long-Term Durability

MTB knee pads are not just a fashion accessory. They are more than that. They offer protection, safety, and peace of mind when on the trails or on the roads.

Knee pads are crucial for MTB riders because they protect your knees from hard surfaces, including rocks and asphalt. One key component to keeping them in good condition is to clean them regularly. You want to make sure that they don’t get too dirty with debris and grime. Your knee pad is made of materials like nylon, neoprene, rubber, and leather which can be easily stained by dirt or mud when you ride in dusty areas like the deserts or dense forests where there’s limited space to ride off-road.

While mtb knee pads are not going to be the most expensive piece of equipment you buy, once you buy the best mtb knee pads and they fit you well, you want to be able to keep using it. Take care of them and they should last for many years.

About the Author

Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed