Working out, either in the gym or outdoors, or performing yoga or any other physical exercise for that matter is highly appreciated. The feeling of satisfaction that you get after completing a workout session will keep you going all day long. If you exercise quite often, then you might already know how difficult it is to maintain your workout clothes. After a grueling workout session, all your workout clothes like leggings, shorts, socks, tanks, sports bras, t-shirts, etc. will start to stink. The process of getting the stains and smell out of your clothes is going to be a challenging job without a doubt. We are going to discuss some of the best ways to keep your workout clothes smelling fresh.
It does not matter whether you use exclusive gym clothes or some sweatpants for your workouts, all of these clothes require your undivided cleaning attention. The odor left behind after a workout session will start to stink real soon, so your first step should be to wash them as soon as possible. You can remove the odor from your body after a shower but you simply can’t do the same for your clothes. Some of you might have the luxury of buying multiple workout clothes whereas some might have just a couple of workout clothes to use on alternate days, and for such people, cleaning them on time and maintaining these clothes in their best state is very important.
Importance of Washing Workout Clothes
There is a huge difference in the way you wash your everyday clothes and workout clothes. Be sure to follow the tips we give later in this article for washing these clothes properly. There are two main reasons why you should wash your gym clothes regularly and properly:
- Stay infection-free - Infection is something out of control and anybody can get infected at any given time. It doesn’t really matter if you are an extremely hygienic person, it might get hold of you very easily. When you start sweating, all the good bacteria and fungi on your body and your clothes are exposed to a favorable reproductive environment, which is not ideal. If you do not maintain your workout clothes properly, then you expose yourself to skin irritation and other dermatologic issues.
- Avoid stain damage - Workout clothes are prone to wear and tear just like most of your other clothing. Discoloration, rust, dirt and sweat cause serious damage to your workout clothes. Discoloration is prone to occur predominantly under your armpits, which therefore need utmost care and attention.
One common doubt that most people have is how often should they wash their workout clothes. Gym clothes should be considered equivalent to your underwear, hence regular cleaning after every single use is mandatory. Washing after every use eliminates odor and bacteria that have accumulated in your clothes.
- Let them dry - The first thing you must do after finishing your workout session before hitting the shower is to let your clothes dry out first. At this stage, most people commit the mistake of simply piling up the gym clothes on the floor or in the laundry basket. Take the time to hang your clothes for drying. What this does is, it eliminates the clothes from getting infected more from the time it sits with your sweat on the pile.
- Turn the clothes inside out - As soon as you come home, make sure to remove your gym clothes and turn them inside out. The microfibers on the inside of the clothes are exposed to sweat, bacteria and fungi, hence they need to be washed inside out. By washing them inside out, you get to clear most of the bacteria from your clothes and make them smell fresh.
- Soak them in vinegar - Before you put your clothes for a wash, it is a good option to pre-soak them in a vinegar solution. This solution should contain vinegar to water in a ratio of 1:4 and this will help get rid of all the accumulated germs from your clothes. Vinegar helps remove body soil, which is a mixture of sweat, oil and dead skin cells.
- Immediate wash - After you let them dry out and pre-soak them in vinegar solution, wash the clothes immediately. Quick action will avoid stain damage.
- Cold water is the best - It does not make a huge difference when you clean your workout clothes using warm water; therefore, cold water is highly recommended. Workout clothes are generally manufactured using synthetic fabrics, which tend to remain at their best state when washed using cold water. Hot water treatment does affect these gentle microfibers, which over time start to shrink.
- Cotton clothes need hot water - If your workout clothes are made of cotton, then you should use hot water. Cotton T’s, socks, towels, etc. need hot water treatment. Hot water works efficiently in removing dirt, dust, odor and bacteria from your clothes.
- Go easy on detergent - One common misconception is people tend to use a lot of detergent while washing their workout clothes, which actually is not the right approach. Most of the modern activewears are made of water-resistant microfibers. If you are washing a full load of clothes, then use a maximum of 2 teaspoons of liquid detergent. If you use excess detergent, then the dirt from cleaning the clothes might stick on to the microfibers, causing a nastier odor.
- Deodorant is good - You can even eliminate the strong odor by using vinegar or any other fragrant deodorant of your choice. Many leading fragrance brands have come up with washing deodorants, which can also be used to get rid of bad smell.
- Stay no to fabric softener - Most of you might have come across fabric softeners in your local supermarket and most of you might already have one at home. Avoid using them for washing your workout clothes ever. Softeners are suitable for other clothes but not your workout clothes because they tend to affect the elasticity of your gym clothes. The way a softener works is, it coats the microfibers in order to make them soft and by doing so, it actually traps in the bacteria and fungi in your workout clothes, which is not you want.
- Air dry - Never go for machine drying in the case of workout clothes, because activewears are delicate and machine drying tends to cause cloth shrinkage. If you are not able to get them air dried for some reason, machine dry the clothes at the lowest heat setting.
Follow these simple tips to keep your workout clothes smelling fresh and germ free. Your workout clothes require as much care and attention as your body, so never take it for granted. Your favorite workout clothes will last fresher and longer, enabling you to save the money you would otherwise spend on new ones.