Caring for your activewear is a special kind of laundry challenge. At first, it might seem easy to care for T-shirts, shorts, leggings, and the like, but when things go wrong, it can get really frustrating really fast. With this post, we’d like to point you in the right direction, so you can get years of reliable, odor-free performance from your favorite activewear pieces.
Here’s everything you need to know about the activewear wash cycle to keep your clothes in great shape!
Some Rules to Live By
To get started, let’s discuss some basic rules for washing activewear items:
- Don’t let them linger. One of the best things you can do to keep your activewear in good condition is simply to wash the pieces promptly after a workout or other sweaty activity. If you pile up your t-shirts and shorts in the corner of your room and only wash them a few days later, it will be much harder to get them clean and smelling fresh again. Even if you don’t want to actually wash your clothes right away, just running some water over them in a sink and laying them out to dry will help. If you’re not going home right after your workout, read our blog for helpful tips on how to store your sweaty workout clothes at work.
- No high temperatures. Simply put, high temperatures are bad for activewear. The synthetic fibers that make up your activewear garments will break down more quickly if you regularly use high heat to wash and dry. Set your washing machine on a cool or warm setting, and keep the temperature on your dryer down, as well. Sure, it may take your clothes a little longer to dry on a lower setting, but that’s better than damaging your favorite items.
- No bleach. Using bleach on your activewear is another mistake that can break down the materials and shorten the useful life of each item. If you use the right detergent, there should be no need for bleach—which brings us to our next point…
- Use a dedicated activewear detergent. Did you know that most regular detergents are designed to treat cotton? That means that most detergents will do little to clean or remove odor from activewear pieces, which are mostly made from synthetic materials. To get these garments clean, use a detergent that is designed specifically for synthetic materials, such as WIN Sports Detergent.
Quick Washing Guides
For more help, check out our guides to washing the most common materials found in activewear:
- How to Wash Nylon
- How to Wash Polyester
- How to Wash Spandex / Lycra
- How to Wash Moisture Wicking Clothes
Consider Washing Inside Out
One easy activewear wash cycle trick you can use to help protect your items is to flip them inside out. You may find that your clothes come out smelling better, since the side that was up against your body will get the most exposure in the wash. Also, whatever is printed on the outside of your pieces will be facing inward and protected, which should help them to last longer. At first, this can seem like just another time-consuming step, but once you get into the habit, it will become just another part of your normal laundry routine.
Put Away the Iron
If you find that your workout clothes are a little wrinkly when you pull them out of your dresser, don’t be tempted to reach for your iron. As mentioned earlier, hot temperatures do not agree with these kinds of fabrics. If you need to get a few wrinkles out, you can toss the items in the dryer on a low setting for a few minutes. Or better yet, just wear them wrinkled—you’ll be sweating soon enough anyway!
Respect the Directions
When was the last time you read the care instructions on your clothing tags? If you are like most people, it’s been a while. But here’s the thing: no one knows more about your items of clothing than the manufacturers. While you might not need to follow their instructions to the letter every time, it’s a good idea to read all of your tags to make sure you aren’t making any big mistakes.
Let Them Breathe
For many people, your workout is built into a schedule that is already packed with other obligations such as work, parenting duties, etc. If you squeeze in your workouts between other activities, you might end up tossing your sweaty clothes into a bag that you then zip or tie shut. This may prevent you from having to smell the clothes in the short term, but it can lead to problems down the line. By keeping the clothes contained, they are going to stay wet—which is an environment where odor-producing bacteria thrive. So, be sure to take your sweaty clothes out of your gym bag as soon as you can to let them dry out.
Use the Right Detergent
The right detergent is essential when washing activewear. Unlike most detergents, which are made to treat cotton, you need a detergent that can remove the oils and stink from synthetic materials. Choose WIN Sports Detergent. Our special formula will wipe out that nasty gym odor and leave your clothes smelling fresh every time. Order your first bottle today, and smell the difference for yourself!