5 Tips for Washing Workout Clothes
Being active is awesome. Sweating out your frustrations, calories, and stress is a necessity for staying sane but what should you do with all your stinky clothes after you stop sweating? Here are five stink fighting tips to keep your workout clothes smelling like daisies and your piggy bank happy.
Once your workout ends, double time those clothes straight to the washing machine. Use cold water on the gentle cycle for best results. In reality you should use extremely hot water to kill all the germs hiding in the pores of your clothes but proceed with caution. Hot water will shrink anything in an instant if you aren’t careful. Transporting your clothes home in a plastic bag may seem like the most sanitary and logical method, but while you are sparing the other items in your gym bag you are also causing more bacteria to grow. Try using a cloth laundry bag that can be washed along with your clothes or blow drying them before leaving the gym.
Soak if you must
If you don’t have time or access to a washer immediately after your workout or if laundry day isn’t for a few more days, try soaking clothes in Oxi-clean, white vinegar, or baking soda. The faster you can start the cleaning process the longer the clothes will last. If soaking isn’t an option you can always go for a quick hand wash in the sink with a little cold water and detergent until laundry day arrives. Never leave your wet clothes balled up, always lay them out flat to air dry if you aren’t able to wash or soak right away.
Side note: The fabric your clothes are made of have little pores just like your face does. The longer you go without cleaning out the pores, the more clogged they will become. Once they are clogged it will be very difficult to ever fully clean the garment again which will leave it smelling musty and slightly nasty.
To preserve the longevity of your clothing, separate lights from darks, athletic wear from regular clothes, and place delicate items in mesh bags. The best laundry practice is to do a lot of little loads versus one or two “college style” loads. When you throw everything in together you risk wearing down the elasticity and sweat absorbing factors of athletic wear.
Fight the germs
Use only the best in stink fighting detergents. A small investment in the detergent aisle could save you a lot of money by not having to replace your clothes as frequently. There are many odor killing detergents made specifically for sweaty clothes such as Oxi-clean,Penguin’s Sport wash, Tide active fresh, and Sweat x-treme laundry. For anyone who has allergies to specialty detergents, add a little baking soda into your current detergent. On lighter colored clothes that may show sweat stains or have particularly stinky spots, spray a little stain remover.
Whenever possible air dry your clothes to prevent shrinking. If you are in a rush an oscillating fan can speed the process along. If using the dryer is a must, than make sure to put it on delicate or low heat and check often. A drying rack can be very handy to keep everything organized and your laundry room un-cluttered.
Taking a little extra time to plan, prepare, and be patient can make a huge difference in the long term for your workout clothes. Your piggy bank (and potentially your spouse) will thank you later for taking good care of your current athletic wear so you won’t have to replace clothes as frequently.