I’m obsessed with clean gear, especially before a regatta. But getting driwick and spandex clean takes special care to get clean and needs to be washed separately. I learned from the Canadian company, Lululemon that cotton will absorb odors if washed with their clothing, so I wash all spandex separately. Just rinsing out something in the sink makes a big difference. I’ve even washed a uni with shampoo in a hotel sink. But if you really want to get things clean, here’s what I do.
First, use liquid detergent. I like Cold Water Tide because it rinses best, but you can use any brand. Natural detergents don’t rinse out as well for me in the Northeast especially when the water gets really cold in winter. Use what you already have but separate all your spandex and darks from cotton. Use the coldest setting and line dry. When in a dorm, I would look for washers that didn’t have crusty soap dispensers because the washers would keep washing with that soap and never rinse clean. Use plastic hangers on hooks or the shower rod to dry. I had a narrow drying rack and used the clear or black plastic hangers that you get when you buy something in the store with the metal tops that could twist to hang off the sides of the rack or against a closet door or on the molding. Next time you buy something ask to have the clothing kept on the hanger. Most stores will oblige, some like Zara will give you a nice suit bag for your stuff.
Socks are entirely different unless you buy dark noncottons that can be thrown in with the rest of your gear. Rowers really go through socks. At best, most of us have grey bottoms on our socks no matter how we wash them. I use hot water and a laundry boost like Clorox 2, Spray and Wash or a Tide pod if I have it. But haven’t yet found a way to get those white cotton socks really clean.
Anyways, that’s what I do. Let me know about how you deal with the never-ending cycle of laundry.