How to Get That Smell Out of Your Workout Clothes

December 16, 2016

From the desk of Jill Spradlin, a Health + Fitness Instructor at Community Care College.

It sometimes feel like even before you go through your work out your clothes already smell like you have done 10 workouts. Workout clothes were specifically made with stretchy materials like Lycra or Spandex. These clothes are made to repel water/sweat and that’s what you want them to do when you’re working out, but NOT when you’re trying to wash them.  

Washing your gym clothes is going to be different than washing your regular clothes. It might take a little more time, but it will be worth it to you and your work out partner. Here are some easy tips on getting the smell of sweat out of your workout clothes.

  1. Avoid fabric softeners at all costs. Fabric Softeners creates a barrier that locks stinky smells into your clothes. Fabric softener also breaks down stretchy materials that workout clothes are made of.
  2. Limit your use of detergent. It builds up on clothing just like fabric softeners and can create a barrier, leading to more smells and lots of bacteria. Only use half the amount, or use detergent made for workout clothes.
  3. Never leave your gym clothes in a pile on the floor or in gym bag. The Bacteria grows and the smell lingers and gets worse. If you have no time to wash them, at least hang them up or lay them on a drying rack.
  4. Wash them immediately when they’re really sweaty.  
  5. Stick them in the freezer. I personally have never tried this one but…..the icy cold air will destroy odors. This should never take the place of washing, but it can be something done every now and then.
  6. Soak in a white vinegar solution before washing. White vinegar is a miracle ingredient when getting rid of odors. Soak your clothes in a sink with one cup of white vinegar and some cold water. Leave them for about 15 -30 minutes, then clean in the washing machine.
  7. Add baking soda to the wash. Baking soda can get rid of unpleasant odors. Put one cup in your washing machine.
  8. Lemon Juice. Squeeze one large lemon and add the juice to the washing machine. The citric acid breaks down the oils in the materials, killing the bacteria and it will be scent free.
  9. Harness the sun. When it comes to drying your workout clothes that can’t go into the dryer, the sun’s rays are a natural bacteria deterrent.
  10. Turn garments inside out. That’s where most of the absorption takes place.

 

5 thoughts on “How to Get That Smell Out of Your Workout Clothes”

  1. Amazing, interesting and very usefull post! Very interesting advices. I’ll try all of those in order to avoid the, so terrible, “stinky effect” ! 😉
    Thanks a lot.

  2. Use warm water on a regular cycle then, during the rinse cycle, add 2oz of white vinegar. Vinegar is great for killing bacteria. Tumble dry at a low temperature. If you can still smell sweat, repeat the process a few times until the garments and bags smell funk-free.