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How to Clean Activewear

2022-04-25

Do you want to put on brand new activewear every time you step out the door?

The sweat and the smell left on your yoga clothes after every workout is the best testimony to your workout.

Even if you've done your best to stick with quick-drying, moisture-wicking workout clothes, you can still smell the sweat. You've bought breathable and lightweight yoga leggings, tank tops and sports bras, and you still can't compare to your 2-3 hours of sweaty workouts.

You sometimes feel a flurry of fear when you're done washing your gym clothes because they always smell bad!

To make matters worse, the smell seems to persist even after washing. Maybe a little milder, but still with that faint scent that you sweat at the gym. So, how exactly do you clean your sportswear?

Here, we'll not only discuss how to properly wash your sportswear but also give a lot of advice on how to care for your sportswear.

How to clean and keep activewear?

Follow these steps to get your workout clothes looking new again:

1. Wash your sportswear as soon as possible after exercising

If you've just been sweating badly and your clothes are soaking wet, wash them right away. If you don't sweat a lot, you may want to put your gym gear on again before doing the laundry. But experts say that if you want to prevent odors, you should wash your gym clothes after each use. 

Washing them right away is the best way to get rid of the bacteria that make them smelly. If all your workouts, chores, and other responsibilities keep your gym clothes from washing right away, hanging them or placing them on a drying rack will prevent most odor-causing bacteria from growing.

While your sportswear may be dirtier than regular clothes and generally retain more odor, it's important to know that most sportswear is delicate and requires a different washing method to keep it fresh and clean. 

2. Soak up your sweaty gym clothes

The key to breaking down dirt, sweat and grease in high-performance fabrics is distilled white vinegar. This affordable product is an excellent cleanser and deodorant that is low in acid and penetrates body oils to help release odor-causing soil and bacteria on fabrics.

Mix one part white distilled vinegar with four parts water in a container. Soak your gym clothes in water for 30 minutes before washing. If you're not going to throw them in the washing machine right away, rinse the clothes with water and let them drip dry before throwing them in the basket.

How to Clean Activewear

3. Flip your tracksuit over

Most dirt and odor-causing bacteria will accumulate inside your gym clothes, not the outside. Turning your workout clothes inside out will help remove dirt, sweat, and body oils for cleaner, better-smelling results.

extra benefits? Clothes washed from the inside out look newer for longer and keep moisture-wicking, flexible fabrics doing their job. The inside of the tracksuit removes all the effects of washer agitation, and the clothes come out just as clean. The fabric on the outside of the garment will fade less and look newer.

4. Wash your gym clothes in cold water only

Hot water can break down synthetic fibers and cause shrinkage. Set your load on a delicate cycle with cold water to help your activewear retain its shape, breathability and overall longevity. 


5. Wash together with like fabric for longer wear time

Avoid washing synthetic fabrics with towels and other lint-producing items, as well as heavy clothing such as jeans and sweatshirts. Performance fabrics pick up fuzz when washed, heavy loads can pill and damage delicate fabrics. Washing similar items together is the most effective way to keep all of your sportswear, everyday clothing, bedding, and more in top condition.

How to Clean Activewear

6. No extra detergent and fabric softener

It's easy to add extra detergent when you're washing dirty, smelly workout clothes, but more detergent is actually bad for synthetic fabrics. Your washing machine has different cycles that require a certain amount of detergent. Any excess detergent can create an unwashable buildup on your clothes. This buildup traps dead skin, dirt, and body oils, creating an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi.

Fabric softeners can damage flexible fabrics and leave a film that can absorb more odors. Fabric softeners can reduce performance fabrics and make them increasingly difficult to clean.

You can add half a cup of white vinegar to the wash. Vinegar will safely soften your synthetic fabrics and eliminate odors naturally. And vinegar is cheap and has a little negative impact on the environment.

7. Air-dry your activewear for longer wear and better performance

The heat from the dryer can damage high-performance fabrics and alter shape, flexibility and fit. Exposing activewear to the heat and friction of a dryer can damage delicate fabrics. Heat can weaken elastic fibers, which can lead to tears and holes. For optimal performance and long wear, it is best to air dry any garment with synthetic fibers.

8. Adds extra cleaning and deodorizing power

For even more odor-busting help, you can add a cup of baking soda to your next load; it will give your detergent a boost. Baking soda is a natural deodorant and cleaner that gently neutralizes odors without harming delicate fabrics. It smells fresher when you put on your sports gear, and even after you start sweating, your clothes smell a lot less.


How often do you clean high-performance sportswear?

Exercise gear needs to be washed after every use. Allowing sweat-soaked clothes to dry (such as on the bottom of a gym bag) before putting them on will only build up layers of body dirt and bacteria. If you can't wash these items on the same day, air-dry them before throwing them in the basket to prevent mildew.

Cleaning high-performance gear requires extra care. These are not pure cotton t-shirts and sweatpants that can withstand a hot wash and machine dry. Sportswear needs to be inspected and prepared before and after washing, and be sure to allow enough time for them to air dry.


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