After every session at the gym, yoga studio or running track, your kit will need to be cleaned. But how do you keep it in good shape, wash after wash? Learn how to clean your gym gear, remove smells and maintain the qualities of the fabric, with these expert tips.
Pre- wash pointers
Before you even put your active wear near a washing machine, give it some air. Gym clothes can become smelly and damp if they’re screwed up at the bottom of a gym bag. Spread them out at the top if possible and if they’re particularly dirty, turn them inside out. When you get home, pop them on a clothes airer for at least an hour before washing to let them breathe.
Keep it cool
You’re not the only one in need of a cold shower after a heavy workout: hot water can stop ‘stretchy’ textiles (Lycra, spandex, polyester, etc.) performing as they should – and can even shrink them in the wash. Use cool or cold water to preserve the elasticity of gym essentials including yoga leggings, running vests and gym shorts.
Ditch the fabric softener
Fabric softener smells good, but it can clog fabrics with elastic fibres, blocking the sweat-resistant function and trapping unpleasant odours. It can also make it harder to soak stretchy materials in the next wash, meaning those bad smells stick around. Stick to washing powder, with a squeeze of fresh lemon for added freshness, or buy special rinse aids to replace the softener.
Active-wear is designed to moisture-wick (moving sweat away from skin, to the fabric’s surface, and then drying quickly). This means it has a tendency to capture odours. Product buildup adds to the problem: detergent and fabric softener collects around the fibres that trap the sweat, keeping it there. If your kit is really stinky, soak it for an hour in a capful of white vinegar, diluted in cold water. The vinegar helps to break down buildup and should neutralise the odor-causing bacteria. To keep those bad smells at bay, you can add a little vinegar to the wash every time you clean your kit.
Most gym friendly fabrics do not like excessive heat – it can lead to a shorter lifespan, so keep your gym clothes clear of radiators and tumble driers. Line dry instead, or use a clotheshorse in a light and airy spot inside.
Get back to it
If you’re a gym regular, or would like to be but are strapped for time, let Zipjet help take a load off your hands. We collect, clean and deliver your laundry and dry cleaning to your door, giving you time to squeeze in another workout session (or give yourself a well-deserved break!).
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