How to Care for Your Sun Protective Clothing Hoodie to Maximize Its Lifespan

Rayward Apparel
Sun Protective Hoodie

Sun-protective clothing, specifically hoodies, plays a crucial role in skin protection. The garment's effectiveness is determined by the Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating system.
A higher UPF indicates better shielding against harmful UV rays. However, the longevity of these shirts depends significantly on proper care. Maximizing the lifespan of your sun-protective hoodie not only ensures continuous protection but also promotes sustainable wear practices.
It's crucial to understand that improper care can degrade the fabric and reduce its UPF rating over time.

Understanding UPF vs. SPF in Clothing

UPF clothing is available in a variety of fabrics, each with its own unique benefits. 

UPF, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor, is a rating system used for clothing and fabrics. It indicates how much UV radiation a fabric can block. A higher UPF rating implies greater protection against harmful UV rays.

SPF, on the other hand, is a measure of how long skin covered with sunscreen will take to redden from UVB light compared to unprotected skin.

The main differences between UPF and SPF ratings are:

  • Application: SPF applies to skin products, while UPF applies to fabrics.
  • UV Radiation Type: SPF only measures UVB protection, whereas UPF measures both UVA and UVB protection.

Measuring UPF in fabrics involves testing them under simulated sunlight conditions and then determining the amount of UV radiation that penetrates the fabric. The lower the amount of radiation that passes through, the higher the UPF rating.

Different types of fabrics respond differently to UV radiation:

  • Polyester: Excellent at disrupting UV light due to its tightly woven structure.
  • Cotton: Less effective as it has an open weave, allowing more sunlight through.
  • Silk: Offers better protection than most other natural fibers but less than synthetics.
  • Bamboo: Offers excellent protection due to bamboo fiber’s natural UV resistance.

Hence, understanding these factors can help you care for your sun-protective clothing hoodie effectively and maximize its lifespan.

Washing and Caring for UPF Clothing

UPF clothing requires special care in the laundry. Hand washing is the best option to maintain the integrity of UV clothing. If using a washing machine, opt for cold water and a delicate cycle.

  • Rinse garments immediately after swimming or outdoor activities.
  • Wash with mild detergents free from heavy dyes.
  • Avoid hot water, as it can break down fabric fibers.

Drying Methods

Proper drying methods are crucial to preserving the fabric's UV resistance.

  • Air dry whenever possible.
  • Do not use high heat settings on a dryer.

Role of Detergents

Detergents play a significant role in caring for sun-protective garments.

  • Mild, dye-free detergents preserve UPF ratings.
  • Avoid bleach and harsh chemicals that can degrade fabric protection.

Regular Inspection

Regular inspection of your sun-protective clothing hoodie is necessary to ensure its effectiveness against UVA and UVB rays.

  • Check for signs of wear and tear, such as thinning material or fading colors.
  • Replace worn-out garments promptly to ensure continued protection during work or water-related activities.

Whether you're looking for UPF clothing made from man-made or natural fibers, there's something out there that will suit your needs perfectly. With so many different styles and options available, you can find UPF clothing that not only looks good but offers effective sun protection too.

Extending the Lifespan of a Sun Protective Hoodie

Investing in a sun-protective clothing hoodie is not just about safeguarding your skin from harmful UV rays; it's also about protecting your investment. These versatile garments offer vital sun protection, but to make the most of their benefits, it's essential to understand how to care for them properly and extend their lifespan. 

In this section, we'll explore the best practices and tips for maintaining your sun-protective hoodie so that it continues to shield you effectively and stylishly for seasons to come.

Proper Storage Practices

Proper storage practices can significantly influence the aging process of your sun-protective hoodie. Avoid crumpling or stretching the fabric. Instead, fold it neatly and store it in a cool, dry place.

Heat and Sunlight Exposure

Excessive heat or sunlight exposure during storage can damage your hoodie over time. Keep it away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and weakening of the fabric fibers.

Prompt Repairs

Minor damages like small tears or loose threads might not seem like a lot at first glance, but repairing them promptly can save your hoodie from further deterioration. 

Regular Rotation

To reduce wear, rotate your sun-protective clothing regularly with others in your wardrobe. This gives each piece a break, extending its lifespan by years.

For example:

  • Wear Hoodie A on Day 1
  • Switch to Hoodie B on Day 2
  • Return to Hoodie A on Day 3

This rotation system allows each garment enough rest time before its next use, reducing overall wear and tear over a year or more.

Remember, caring for your sun-protective clothing is as important as caring for your skin when you swim outdoors during the day. With these tips in mind, you can maximize the lifespan of your sun-protective hoodie.

Features and Benefits of Various UPF Clothing

UPF 50 Mens Blue Bamboo Hooded Shirt Back

UPF apparel comes with unique features. For instance, some brands offer ventilation and moisture-wicking capabilities to enhance comfort. These features are not only found in hoodies but also other styles like shirts and pants.

  • Ventilation: Allows air circulation, preventing overheating.
  • Moisture-Wicking: Pulls sweat away from the skin, keeping you dry.

Different UPF clothes have varying benefits. The choice of an item depends on the lifestyle needs of the user.

  • Hoodies: Ideal for outdoor activities due to their full coverage.
  • Shirts: Suitable for casual wear, offering moderate protection.
  • Pants: Perfect for hiking or camping, providing lower body protection.

The role of these features is critical in ensuring UV protection. They minimize UV transmittance by absorbing or reflecting UV radiation. The effectiveness is indicated by a UPF label showing the UPF rating.

Choosing suitable sun-protective clothing involves considering factors such as fabric blend and fit. Some fabrics, like bamboo, have natural UV resistance, while others are treated to enhance UV protection. The fit should be comfortable without compromising on coverage.

Addressing Misconceptions about Sun Protective Wear

Sun protection is a vital tool in our battle against the sun's harmful rays, yet several misconceptions often surround it. In this section, we'll debunk these myths and set the record straight about the importance and effectiveness of sun-protective clothing

Color and UV Protection Level

Contrary to popular belief, the color of sun protection clothing doesn't determine its effectiveness against UV rays. Dark or bright colors may absorb more radiation, but what matters most is the fabric's quality and weave.

Effectiveness Under Cloudy Conditions

Clouds don't eliminate the need for sun protection. Even under a cloudy sky, up to 80% of harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin. Hence, wearing protective clothing remains crucial.

Sun Protection for All Skin Types

All skin types, regardless of complexion or pigmentation levels, require sun protection. Darker skin tones might have more melanin, which provides some natural protection, but it isn't enough to prevent sun damage entirely.

Necessity for Additional Sunscreen with UPF Clothing

Sun protective wear alone cannot provide complete coverage from UV rays. Areas not covered by UPF clothing are still exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore, applying broad-spectrum sunscreen to exposed areas is essential.

Here are a few points on how to care for your sun-protective clothing hoodie:

  • Wash gently: Avoid harsh detergents as they can degrade the fabric's sun-protective properties.
  • Dry carefully: Air-dry if possible; excessive heat from dryers can weaken fibers.
  • Store properly: Keep away from direct sunlight when not in use to avoid degradation of material.

Remember that no single method offers full protection against sun exposure, and skin cancer risk factors include more than just UV light exposure, such as genetic predisposition and age. 

It's always best to combine strategies like seeking shade during peak hours (10 AM - 4 PM), wearing UPF clothing or hats, applying sunscreen generously to exposed skin every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily, and avoiding tanning beds altogether.

Wrapping Up Your Sun Protective Clothing Care

Understanding the difference between UPF and SPF, knowing how to properly wash and care for your UPF clothing, and recognizing the features and benefits of various UPF clothing are all crucial elements in maximizing the lifespan of your sun protective hoodie. Misconceptions about sun protective wear can often lead to misuse or underuse, which can shorten its effectiveness.

By following these guidelines, you ensure that your sun-protective clothing remains effective for a longer period of time, providing you with optimal protection against harmful UV rays.

We invite you to explore Rayward Apparel's range of high-quality UPF hoodies and other sun-protective garments. Our experts are always on hand to answer any questions you may have about our products or how to care for them. Remember, proper care not only extends the longevity of your UPF clothing but also ensures consistent protection from the sun. Shop now!


  • What is the difference between SPF and UPF?

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) measures sunscreen's ability to prevent UVB rays from damaging skin. On the other hand, UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) measures a fabric's effectiveness in blocking both UVA and UVB rays.

  • How should I wash my UPF hoodie?

UPF hoodies should be washed in cold water on a gentle cycle. Avoid using bleach or harsh detergents, as they can degrade the fabric's UV-blocking capabilities.

  • Can I dry my sun-protective hoodie in a dryer?

It is recommended to air-dry your sun-protective hoodie rather than using a dryer, as high heat can deteriorate its UV-blocking properties. If you must tumble-dry, do so on your lowest temperature setting.

  • Does wearing a regular hoodie offer similar protection as a UPF hoodie?

A regular hoodie may not provide as much protection against UV rays as a specially designed UPF hoodie would.

  • How long does a typical UPF garment last?

With proper care, most quality-made UPF garments can maintain their rated level of protection for an average of two years.