Crankalicious Soapy Kit Wash is a Lycra-friendly liquid that cleans really well and leaves a pleasant, gentle fragrance. It's arguably way more effective than its own pun, but comes at a steep price.
- Pros: Excellent low-temperature cleaning, gentle fragrance
- Cons: Expensive, small bottles
The instructions call for approximately 50ml per wash, which even my maths can figure means 10 washes from this 500ml bottle (or just two from the 100ml). There's no larger size, meaning you're stuck at a lowest cost of £1 per wash.
However, Crankalicious also says to use 'one capful' each time, and that's more like 35ml. So you can actually squeeze almost 15 loads from it, depending on how generous your pouring hand is.
I found 30-35ml plenty with summer road gear (despite regularly adding normal clothes to fill the machine), though you will need more for filthy winter off-road gear. Soapy Kit Wash can also be used as a handwash, and is safe for use on trainers.
It works very well at the recommended 30°C, removing nasty odours even from the most smell-prone fabrics, and washing away yellowing armpit stains from an old white baselayer. The fragrance is pleasant in a neutral and subtle way – it's much less stringently 'chemical' than many mainstream sports washes, and less overpowering. I certainly suffered no skin irritation from it either, but then I'm not prone to allergy; this wash does contain trace amounts of chemicals that can be allergenic.
It's best to use a separate cup when doling it out, as despite telling you to use the cap for measuring, Crankalicious hasn't specced a suitable one. Use it and you instantly end up with a gloopy, sticky bottle after screwing it back on. And according to the warnings, you seriously don't want to accidentally rub it in your eyes after handling it.
It definitely pays to use a dedicated sports wash for your cycling kit, and Crankalicious Soapy Kit Wash is a strong option, easily deleting smells and leaving Lycra feeling clean and gently fragrant. At £20 per litre (66p-£1 per wash) it's not cheap, though – Halo Sports Laundry Liquid is around £6 per litre/25p a wash (£4/litre if you shop around), for instance. It's also non-bio and very effective, if a little heavy on the perfume.
Meanwhile, Ecozone Pro-Active Sports Wash Bio Detergent is £8 per 750ml (50p per wash), uses plant-based and eco-friendly ingredients, and claims to coat clothing in an 'odour resistant barrier' to increase the time between washes. Both these products also have caps designed to work as measures without dripping all down the bottle, and come in larger sizes.
An effective and pleasant-smelling sports wash that leaves kit feeling fresh, but far more expensive than some
road.cc test report
Make and model: Crankalicious Soapy Kit Wash
Size tested: 500ml
Tell us what the product is for
Crankalicious says this is a "Deep-cleaning, odour-removing kit wash formulated specifically for sports garments."
It's also badged as "Lycra-friendly".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Crankalicious lists: "Non-ionic surfactants 0-5%, Allergenic fragrances: 0-5%." This may be of concern to the allergy-sensitive biochemists among you.
The cap isn't designed to work as a measure – if you use it (as instructed), it instantly covers the bottle in goo.
Removes smells and even stains very well at 30 degrees.
Works very well, but the price is high and there's no 1L option to mitigate that, so value isn't great.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It works extremely well on Lycra and other road gear.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Effective and leaves a very gentle, pleasant fragrance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Expensive, and 100ml/500ml bottles don't help.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if I had some very expensive 'best' Lycra.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, with a caveat on price.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a pleasingly effective product, but would need to be twice the size and half the price to score 8 or 9.
About the tester
I usually ride: GT GTR Series 3 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mountain biking