You don’t have to be a gym rat to know that today’s workout clothes are different than your grandpa’s sweats and tees.
Lightweight and cut from stretchy, space-age materials with laser-cut ventilation - the fabric is often engineered to draw the sweat away from our bodies. But therein lies the trouble with these impressive technical garments → they're often too advanced for our old fashioned laundry techniques. If you're noticing that your workout gear isn't coming out of the wash smelling fresh, then you might need to make some adjustments on laundry day. Here are five tried-and-true methods to keep your athletic clothes looking (and smelling) their best.
Wash Everything Inside Out
Your sweat and deodorant build up on the inside of the clothing (trapping bacteria that will eventually start to stink). Flip them inside out to ensure the dirtiest parts of the clothes will get the most rigorous washing.
You might think that hot water will get rid of bacteria. But extreme heat can break down the elasticity of stretchy textiles or shrink them. The heat can also amplify bad odors. Stick to washing in cold water, with a low-heat dryer setting.
Add an Odor-Eliminator to Your Load of Laundry
A simple solution that you likely have readily available is white vinegar. Pour a quarter cup of vinegar into the bottom of your washer alongside regular detergent before tossing in your clothes. It’ll kill off any odor-causing bacteria. And while nearly all of the vinegar smell washes away, if you're not into it, try something like Zero Odor.
Use a Dedicated Sports Detergent
If you've got serious locker room smells coming from your athletic gear, then you may need a detergent made especially for performance fabrics. These laundry soaps are formulated to specifically kill bacteria and remove built-up deodorant and body oils that cling to synthetic fabrics. One that we like is Win Sports Detergent.
Skip the Fabric Softener
Fabric softener is kind of like conditioner for clothing, and it doesn't work well with performance fabrics. It leaves behind a coating that can interfere with the sweat-wicking properties of the material and makes it harder for water and detergent to fully penetrate the fibers, trapping odor-causing bacteria.
FYI: If you can’t wash your sweaty gym gear right away, it’s best to let them dry out before tossing them into the bottom of your hamper.