Castelli Care Guide

Castelli - washing, drying and specialist care instructions

How you wash dry and care for your Castelli cycling kit has a massive influence on how well it will perform and how long it will last. So to keep that unfair advantage for the longest possible period please make yourself familiar with the following care guidelines.

Castelli cycling kit has been specially developed to meet the needs of professional athletes at the highest level of the sport. Whether pushing through the pain barrier in the cold and sleet of Belgium in March, or sweating it out in the heat of southern France in July, Castelli allows you to perform at your very best.

In creating garments that will maximise your performance in any conditions from hot or cold to wet or even snowy conditions Castelli select the latest materials, fabrics and barrier technologies -- these technologies require sympathetic care so not to damage the wicking, waterproof, or sun protective properties.

We can't guarantee that your Castelli products will last forever, but this guide will maximise every product's performance and lifespan.

If you have any questions about caring for a specific Castelli product, please contact us at info@castellicafe.co.uk. We'll be glad to help, but sorry, we don't provide a Castelli laundry service!

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Where to find Castelli care instructions.

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Always refer to the sewn in care label.

Washing instructions are printed on a white tag inside each piece of clothing. (this is usually found at the hip on shorts and around the kidney in jackets and jerseys. Following these instructions will help ensure the highest performance from your Castelli products and extend their useful life span. Please note care labels are a basic instruction and detergents are different in each market, the care label shows a no bleach logo (Triangle) this means no products with bleach - all UK biological detergents contain bleach so please more than just a glimpse at the tag. For more about detergents scroll to the bottom of this page.

Please be advised some garments come with swing tags with specific instructions for these fabrics so always read your swing tags too. If the swing tag and care label differ always go for the lowest temp. Never artificially dry a garment only ever use a tumble drier to re-activate DWR.

Always read the care label carefully before washing a piece of clothing and bear in mind that some garments may have trims that require special care.

In the event that you have cut off the label please follow the following instructions (specific instructions for Gabba -- Waterproofs and Nano products follow later).

General Castelli washing instructions

If garments are heavily soiled with mud or road salt then rinse until the water is clear. Do this in the shower or the sink before washing (cold or warm water only).

If you've used fabric softener in your machine recently, make sure all traces are gone from the machine drum and detergent tray (put the machine on a rinse cycle before washing your kit) in fact look under the sink or in the laundry room if you find any fabric conditioner throw it out and just wash your cycle clothing by hand this time, allow a few loads to go through your machine before washing anything treated - Any residue of fabric conditioner really will destroy waterproof or water resistant properties.

Close all zips and Velcro fasteners and turn the garments inside out.

Try to wash all your cycling kit together and only wash whites with whites colours with colours.

Failing that - don't wash cycling kit with bulky or dyed items like jeans or towels.

Machine wash on a warm cycle (40°C / 105°F MAX so 40°C Max means no more than 39°C not 45°C ) using a small amount of non-bio liquid detergent -- we use Fairy Non-Bio liquid but any non bio liquid detergent is OK. Choose a cycle with a double rinse and minimise spinning to reduce creasing.

Do not use powder detergents or any products that contain fabric softeners, conditioners, stain removers or bleach as they may affect garment performance -- destroying wicking treatments, elastics, membranes, water-repellent treatments and sun protection treatments as well as washing out colours. Use of any of the above will void your warranty, too. More on this at the bottom of the page.

Remove promptly from the machine following washing and hang dry or dry flat. Do NOT dry on a radiators or tumble dry*.
* When tumble drying is the right thing to do. Castelli Nano Flex, and Gabba products and additionally soft-shell jackets, wind vests and some rain-wear may be tumble dried on low heat for 20 minutes in order to rejuvenate the water repellent finish. However these items should NOT be dried in the tumble drier. Please allow these to air-dry to just damp first. Tumble drying of these products is done to reactivate the water-resistant properties. Not as a part of a normal wash dry cycle and always check the label before putting anything in the drier.

Café Tip

Put a splash of Fairy Non Bio liquid on your socks and then wash them with your kit, they circulate in the machine ensuring even distribution of the detergent and are usually the grimiest piece. We don't use the supplied ball or the washing machine draw for detergent when washing our kit.

How To Care For Your Gabba Jersey

To keep your Castelli Gabba Jersey, Perfetto Jersey and other Castelli soft-shell garments working they need to be clean.

When you Castelli Gabba stops beading rain on the surface (we call this wetting out) don't panic -- getting your jersey back to its best is a simple matter of giving it some TLC. These instructions will also work for any garment with the Wind Stopper badge, but please refer to the special instructions below for gloves and shoecovers. Castelli Gabba jerseys and other soft-shell garments use a DWR water-repellent treatment, which keeps the outer fabric from becoming saturated so that the breathable barrier can do its job. If the outer fabric starts to absorb water, the garment can lose up to 70 per cent of its breath-ability as well as reducing waterproofing. Don't be scared to wash your Gabba or Wind-Stopper winter jacket -- dirty garments lose their water repellent properties and following our general washing instructions may well bring them back to life. However if you need to proof your garment washing with Nikwax Tech Wash is always the best option.

If washing alone doesn't work, the DWR water-repellent treatment may need rejuvenating or replenishing.

Café Tip

Shower in your Gabba. Yep, that's right; if you've been out for a wet ride and need your Gabba the next day, take it in the shower with you to rinse of road grime and sweat (just use water, not your expensive shampoo), then hang up to dry. This stops a build up of dirt on/in the garment, meaning it will work better for longer.

Rejuvenating the DWR treatment

You can rejuvenate the DWR finish by cleaning and drying (till just damp) your garment, then putting it in the tumble dryer at a low heat for about 20 minutes, or by ironing under low heat using a towel between the iron and garment -- being very careful not to melt the synthetic fibres. This will reactivate the water resistant properties of the treatment. This trick will only work once or twice when it stops working you need to consider replenishment. If in doubt about your abilities, don't do this. Any damage caused by heat will void your warranty.

How To Re-proof Your Castelli Gear's Water Repellency

Replenish the water-repellent treatment of your Castelli cycling kit to shrug off showers. The DWR finish on Castelli Gabba Jerseys and other Castelli soft-shell garments (all our winter jackets, wind jerseys and windproof tights (look for the red Wind Stopper octagon) will wear off over time, but you can re-treat your Castelli product by applying a widely available water-repellent spray-on DWR treatment. We recommend Nikwax TX-Direct Spray On finishes for most pieces rather than wash-in finishes to give the best results (a lot of our Windstopper fabric use a fleece lining if you use a wash in you will proof the lining which isnt optimal) You can however be use Nikwax TX-Direct Wash In on the Gabba and Perfetto Range and on eVent and GoreTex Jackets.

For best results, remove all non-washable parts and clean the garment using Nikwax Tech Wash. There's no need to dry items before waterproofing.

Find a well ventilated area, protect any working surface and lay clean, wet garment flat with fastenings done up or hang on a hanger.

Hold Nikwax SoftShell Proof Spray-On bottle 15cm / 6-inches away from garment.

Spray evenly to outside of fabric.

Check carefully to ensure no areas have been missed.

After several minutes check for and remove any surplus product with a damp cloth.

Following this, your Castelli garment should be back to its best, so you'll have no excuse not to get out on your bike in the rain!

Stain removal

To get grease out of a your Gabba (or other soft shell garment), you should in the first instance dampen the stain with warm water and rub in some gentle dish-washing liquid, (not too much - we use fairy here too) You can then wash the jersey in warm water with non bio liquid.

If the stain persists, sponge it delicately (delicate means dab at it with a cotton wool ball, damp with the merest hint of cleaner) with mineral spirits (white spirit) but don't let this soak in. Once the stain has been removed rinse of any excess and wash. We only recommend this approach on colourfast dyed fabric ( single colour soft shell) we do not recommend this on printed jerseys.(team kit)

You will then have to reproof the jersey.

Café Tip

Keeping the DWR treatment topped up not only sheds rain and aids breathability it also helps reduce staining.

How To Care For Castelli Nano Flex Garments

The Castelli Nano Flex fabric repels water through both a DWR water-repellent finish and thanks to millions of tiny nanofilaments that cause water droplets to bead up on the surface of the garment and run off instead of soaking through.

The Nano Flex treatment will last approximately 40 to 50 washes, during which time, it's crucial to wash them correctly as fabric softeners will immediately spoil the treatment. (Check out our Castelli care guide for general washing instructions).

If your Nano Flex kit starts absorbing water, the first thing to do is to follow the washing instructions as grime on the outside of the garments can compromise the treatment's efficacy. If washing doesn't solve the problem, you can try to rejuvenate the treatment by following the Castelli Gabba rejuvenation techniques (tumble dried on low heat for 20 minutes in order to rejuvenate the water repellent finish. These items shouldn't be dried in the tumble drier. Please allow these to air-dry first to just damp. Tumble drying of these products is done to reactivate the water-resistant properties. Not as a part of a normal wash dry cycle and always check the label before putting anything in the drier).

Caring For Castelli Winter Gloves & Shoe Covers With Membrane Technology

Gloves and shoe covers with a wind and / or waterproof membrane may be adversely affected by the usual care process.

We don't recommend washing gloves or shoe covers in the washing machine. You'll find general hand washing instructions below, but it's always a good idea to double-check the care label on your items before cleaning them.

Rinse off any dirt or heavy soiling before washing.

Close the Velcro closures and all zips.

Hand wash warm 40°C / 105°F MAX using a small amount of liquid detergent -- we recommend Fairy Non Bio. Avoid using soap on any leather areas.

Do not use powder detergents or any products that contain fabric softeners, conditioners, stain removers or bleach, as they will affect garment performance.

Rinse twice after washing.

Squeeze water from gloves starting at the finger and moving towards the cuff, do not twist or wring.

Drip-dry with the fingers / toes facing upward. Do not tumble dry.

On DWR-treated garments you can re-proof your garments following our DWR replenishment guide, but do not tumble dry.

Café Tip

Clean zips with an old toothbrush and warm water, then rub a candle on your zipper tracks to maintain free sliding zippers, especially important on shoe covers.

Caring for Neoprene Gloves & Shoe Covers

Neoprene products require their own care regime.

Always rinse neoprene products straight after use with cold water - neoprene will trap sweat inside the glove or shoe cover which will lead to a very smelly product in not a very long time. You can hand wash neoprene in warm water with a very dilute mix of non bio washing liquid or even baby shampoo. Do not machine wash.

Air dry only - NEVER apply heat or tumble dry.

Never leave neoprene in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

Never leave your neoprene shoe covers on your shoes after use - both will slowly rot.

Why do we dislike biological detergents, fabric softeners and even non bio detergent powders?

Liquid or Powder

First the easy one at cool temperatures powder can fail to dissolve its as simple as that, and the same for liquids in gel balls so use a liquid detergent its cheaper and easier it dissolves quickly and washes away in the rinse cycle.

Biological Powders

Here is a list of common ingredients found in biological detergents and fabric conditioners it includes many names for Bleach (Your Castelli Garment care label has the no bleach sign) it also contains alcohols (thinners), enzymes that actively attack wicking and beading treatments and agents that allow photobleaching (goes white in the sun) non of the items listed are good for your cycling clothing so just don't use them.

Alcohol Ethoxylate (AE) Non-ionic surfactant. Removes greasy stains from your garments.

Alkyl (or Alcohol) Ethoxy Sulphate (AES) and Alkyl Sulphate (AS) Anionic surfactant. Two of the most widely used tools for removing stains.

Amine OxideAmphoteric surfactant. Used along with other surfactants to remove stains. Can be anionic, cationic or non-ionic.

Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) A polymer that comes from natural cellulose. Helps stop stains from returning to the garment they've been removed from.

Citric Acid The acid found in lemons and citrus fruits, it's mild and helps to remove bad smells from clothes. Known as a chelating agent.

Cyclodextrin Another chelating agent that removes malodors from garments.

Diethyl Ester Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride (DEEDMAC) An ammonium compound used in fabric conditioner to keep fabrics smooth.

Ethanol A clear, colourless alcohol used as a solvent in detergents.

Ethylene Diamine Disuccinate (SS-EDDS) Developed by P&G as a builder and chelating agent.

Hydrogen Peroxide One of the simplest and most common bleaching agents.

Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate (LAS) The most widely used anionic surfactant in the world. Removes stains from your garments.

Mono Ethanol Amine (MEA), 2-aminoethanol or Ethanolamine An organic amine and primary alcohol used as a solvent and a weak base (maintains the pH balance in your laundry).

Percarbonate Sodium percabonate is a bleaching agent used in detergents.

Polyethylene Glycols (PEG), Polyethylene Oxide (PEO) or Polyoxyethylene (POE) A polyether compound used for many things, including as a lubricant and surfactant.

Polyvinyl Alcohol A water-soluble synthetic polymer, used to make the casing for liquid tabs and Ariel PODS.

Propylene Glycol An organic compound used as a solvent and enzyme.

Sodium Carbonate The salt of carbonic acid is used as a builder in detergents.

Sodium Disilicate Used as a builder in detergents.

Sodium Hypochlorite A chlorine based bleaching agent.

Sodium Triphosphate (STPP) Historically used in detergents as a builder.

Tetra Acetyl Ethylene Diamine (TAED) A bleaching activator and oxidizing agent used in detergents and bleaches.

Titanium and Titanium Dioxide The most commonly used white pigment.

Zinc Phthalocyanine Sulphonate (ZPS) Used as a photo-bleaching agent where line drying is common.

Fabric Conditioners

As well as containing some of the ingredients listed above these are designed to stretch out and coat fibres making them feel softer unfortunately this is disastrous for any membrane, water repellent treatment or wicking treatments. The use of Fabric Conditioners and even washing in a contaminated machine will permanently destroying the ability of garments to hold a DWR treatment. As well as void your Castelli warranty.


With this care guide we want you to enjoy owning your Castelli products and for them to perform consistently in the way Castelli designed and envisaged.


Of course once you own them, if you want your Gabba to smell of Chinese lotus blossom and feel as soft as silk you can use a fabric conditioner, and wash with a biological detergent, just remember by doing so you have voided the warranty and have a garment as water resistant as a tea bag - your choice.


Author Adrian Yate