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How to Clean Your Gross Workout Gear

Whether you’re a workout fanatic or a brand new gym-goer, everyone should be aware of the importance of clean gear. After you run 3 miles on the treadmill, you and your clothes are likely a sweaty mess. When you open the dryer,  though, you’re hit with a smell that makes it seem like you didn’t even wash them.

How do you wash out that stink and get ready for your next session? It’s easier than you think.

1. Let It All Air Out

Don’t come home and dump your clothes into your washer right away. Instead, turn them inside out. The inside of your shirts and shorts are where odors and stains can gather. Then, find a place to hang them up. This step will ensure that all traces of moisture are gone, which helps to eliminate any smells. Even if you can’t let them air out completely, a few minutes is better than nothing.

2. Presoak Items in Vinegar

Did you know that vinegar is one of the best ways to get rid of stink? Rinse out a bucket and fill it with cold water, along with a half cup of vinegar. Grab your smelliest pieces and let them soak in the mixture. If you looked at the contents of vinegar, you’d find a small amount of acetic acid, which effectively breaks down the structure of oils and dirt. Let your clothes rest for about 15 minutes before you wash them.

3. Use the Right Water Temperature

Most athletic companies make their gear with spandex, polyester and nylon. That’s because these fabrics can wick away moisture effectively. Because these pieces are synthetic, it’s essential to wash them in cold water. However, you can launder 100% cotton materials, like shirts, towels and socks, separately in hot water. 

4. Don’t Dump in Detergent

Here’s a key tip – too much laundry detergent can cause buildup. Instead, stay on the safe side and use the recommended amount. Even your largest loads should use no more than half a cap of cleaner. You may also want to consider a cleanser that’s specifically made for sports gear. A small quantity of baking soda or vinegar works when added directly into the washer, as well.

5. Avoid Fabric Softener

Fabric softener is a no-go in this situation. This agent coats clothes and locks-in those nasty odors. As such, it becomes more difficult to get rid of the smells. Fabric softener also has the potential to ruin your items. Make sure to stay away from laundry sheets, as well. Stick with detergent and a natural scent booster if needed.

6. Skip the Dryer

After you’ve taken the previous steps, it’s necessary to finish strong. Like hot water, hot air may affect the fabric of your clothes. Heat can also cause those pesky odors to stick around. If your dryer has an airless, tumble-dry option, feel free to go for that. Otherwise, hang your clothes on a rack and let them air dry. This effort will ensure they stay intact.

Give Your Workout Gear Some Love

Use these tricks to clean your clothes properly – they’ll smell terrific and last through any wear and tear.