Athletic apparel can be super expensive, which is ironic, because they also need to be replaced every so often (depending on how much you work out). Aside from the fact that you sweat a lot in them, performance workout wear is often made out of moisture-wicking material. These fabrics allow you to be comfortable and dry while working out because they remove the sweat from your skin and keep you cool. The trade-off is that the fabric latches on to your body oils, which are the reason behind the bad smell.
If you leave your clothes for long periods of time in dark places, like lockers and gym bags, then that’s just a recipe for disaster. This type of lazy storage allows your germs to proliferate and go crazy. Here are four tips that can help you clean your clothes and extend their shelf life.
Wash in cold water
Hot water traps smells and bacteria, so it’s best if you wash these types of clothes with cool water. “Body soils can become trapped in these grooves, making them even more difficult to remove. That is why odors are a common problem with performance fabrics,” says Mary Johnson, scientist from Procter and Gamble.
Use the right detergent
Did you know that there are detergents for workout clothes? Yup, products like WIN and Soak are specially designed to treat body oils and sweat, unlike traditional detergents that focus on simpler tasks. Aside from using the right detergent, it’s also important to do your laundry regularly, since this will prevent the smells from latching on to the clothes.
Alternate gym clothes
It’s important to let your clothes rest and to alternate them. Using different sports bras and shirts will also increase their shelf life and prevent stretching.
Don’t leave sweaty clothes piled up overnight
Keeping sweaty clothes balled up in a bag, inside a locker or even in your laundry basket for long periods of time will trap odors. It’s important to hang them to dry once you’re done working out, and to rinse them as soon as you get the chance.