How to: Clean Your Smelly Workout Clothes

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Whether you’re a gym regular or an NYE-resolution newbie, your needs are the same:
Once you’re done sweating up a storm in the pursuit that svelte summer look – how do you properly wash your smelly, disgusting gym gear?

Well, we’ve got all the answers you’ll need, so keep reading for the best tips and tricks.

While we can’t promise your gym crush won’t run away when you coincidentally end up on the treadmill next to theirs, it will be highly less likely.

1. Set a washing schedule


When you’re done with your workout, the last thing you want to do is deal with laundry – we get that. But if you leave your gear sitting around, you’ll run the risk of smelling up your bedroom or laundry room.

Not to mention the sweat and dirt will set into your fabric, only making it harder to remove later.

For both hygienic and practical reasons, it’s best to set a schedule. Therefore, you’ll ensure your workout gear will be cleaned on a regular basis.

With a schedule, you’ll always be ready for your next visit to the gym, eliminating easy excuses like ‘Since my workout clothing is dirty, guess I can’t go today!’

2. Wash your gear inside out


When you sweat, your workout gear serves as a barrier between you and the outside world. By soaking everything up, it ensures you don’t just drip sweat all over the place – shout-out to spandex.

So it makes sense that when washing your workout clothes, you’ll want the sweatiest parts to get the most attention.

Therefore, when you wash your gear, it’s best to turn everything inside out. This way, the water and detergent can more easily rid your clothing of the germs, bacteria and dead skins cells clinging to your fabric.

3. Avoid washing with heat

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, washing your workout gear in hot water only magnifies the odours you leave behind. It also damages the elastic found in most workout gear, meaning your clothing won’t stay nice for very long.

In order to preserve the quality and increase the longevity of your clothing, always use cold water. When it comes to drying, air drying is the best approach. But if you need your gear sooner rather than later, make sure to use low heat, or ideally no heat, setting on your dryer.

4. Wash with similar fabrics


Tempting as it may be to throw all your dirty laundry in one load and hope for the best, it’s always better to separate out your clothing by colour and fabric type.

Cleaning your delicate exercise apparel with tougher fabrics, like jeans and towels, can result in pilling and lead to unnecessary damage. Instead, wash only with similar fabrics, and you’ll preserve the character of the clothing for as long as possible.

5. Add vinegar

Have you ever put on your freshly washed gym gear – feeling good and looking better – only to realise 5 minutes into your workout that you already reak of sweat?

This happens when there’s a build-up of bacteria in your clothing, encased within detergent that’s stuck to your fabric.

The trick to combat this embarrassing situation?

Next time you wash your workout gear, use half your normal amount of detergent and, when it’s time for the rinse cycle, add 1 cup of vinegar to the water. This will help neutralise those noxious fumes and get rid of excess detergent & bacteria.

At the end of the day, you should be proud that you have smelly gym clothes to worry about! It means you’re taking care of your body and well-being – which is something to feel good about, stinky workout gear aside.

So keep on hitting the gym! Just remember to keep our tips in mind, and you’ll see a world of difference in your workout gear.


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