Few things feel as good as a hard workout. Sure, it might be a struggle in the middle, but there’s nothing quite like that feeling of happy, tired pride—and those endorphins—at the end. Unfortunately, you then have to deal with the chore of cleaning your sweaty clothes. To help you get the job done, here are ten tips for washing your sweaty gym clothes.
#1 – Act Quickly
You probably don’t feel like doing laundry right after getting home from the gym—and you may not be heading straight home, either. Your gym clothes don’t need to land in the washing machine immediately post-workout, but drying them as quickly as possible can go a long way toward preventing odor. If you can’t get them straight into the wash, lay your clothes out so they can air dry. This will help to prevent odor-causing bacteria from building up in your clothes.
Check out our blog post on How to Store Sweaty Gym Clothes for more tips on what to do with your clothes between workouts and laundry time.
#2 – Use the Right Detergent
Your gym clothes are most likely made with synthetic materials. If you’ve tried to get the sweat smell out to no avail, the problem may be your detergent. That’s because most regular detergents are designed to treat cotton rather than synthetic materials common in activewear.
To get body odor out of your workout clothes, you need a detergent that is designed to target and remove oils and bacteria from synthetic materials. Using a dedicated sports detergent like WIN Activewear Detergent with a hot water cycle is the best way to get odor out!
#3 – Pre-Soak
For particularly sweaty garments, especially those made from synthetic materials, a standard trip through the washer and dryer may not be enough. Consider a 30-minute pre-soak with water and a splash of vinegar to work on those nasty odors before moving to the next step.
#4 – Inside-Out
This is an easy one: Before your clothes go into the wash, turn them inside-out. This lets the water and detergent directly access the side of the garment that has absorbed the most sweat.
#5 – The Right Temperature
While hot water can be helpful to remove bacteria and odor, many synthetic materials may be damaged by heat. (Fortunately, if you use a quality sports detergent, you shouldn’t have a problem removing odor from your activewear, no matter the temperature of water.) Check the tag or manufacturer instructions of your garments. If hot water is recommended, then feel free to turn up the heat. But if the instructions recommend against heat, then stick with warm or cold water.
#6 – Fabric Softener is a No-No
While you might use fabric softener on some of your garments, keep it away from your workout clothes. It won’t have the desired effect when used with synthetic materials, and it may even lock in those nasty odors that you are trying to destroy.
#7 – Keep Synthetics Together
You probably have quite a few clothing items made from synthetic materials, even beyond your exercise gear. Keep these pieces together when you do a load of wash, as they have different needs than garments made from natural fibers like cotton. If you separate your clothing based on natural and synthetic materials and adjust your washing habits accordingly (like using appropriate detergent!), you should get better results for both loads.
#8 – An Occasional Hand-Wash
Each trip through the laundry machine is a relatively traumatic experience for your workout clothes. They need to be cleaned each time they get sweaty, of course, but you may be able to extend their useful life by handwashing from time to time instead of running them through the machine. Use a bit of detergent and a sink or bucket of water. Scrub each piece thoroughly, and rinse before setting out to air dry.
#9 – The Freezer?
This is likely the most surprising tip on our list, but it may help you out in a pinch. If you can’t wash your gym clothes quickly after a workout, try tossing them in a plastic bag and storing them in the freezer. Odor-causing bacteria in your clothes will be wiped out by the cold environment. You’ll still need to wash these items eventually, but this handy trick could buy you some time.
#10 – Get Resourceful
You may already have a few household items that can help you wage war against stinky gym clothes: lemons and baking soda. If you have either of these on hand, consider adding a small amount (of one or the other, not both) to your next load of gym clothes. The acid of the lemon juice can help to break down the oils from your sweat so they can be washed away, while the baking soda can absorb those oils and carry them away.
Try WIN Activewear Detergent Today
To make sure your workout clothes smell fresh after each wash, use WIN Activewear Detergent as your detergent of choice. Our product has been formulated to conquer the unique challenge of washing sweaty gym clothes. Order your first bottle today and experience the difference for yourself!