One is spoilt for choice for the range of gym wear that is available these days. A visit to the nearby gym gives you a glimpse into the latest trends, colours, fabrics etc.
People make a fashion statement by donning the latest that is available and it is a fact that for some folks, wearing a bright new gym t-shirt can make their exercise routine more exciting.
However, you may have come across occasions where you have had to wrinkle up your nose or have had that queasy feeling when you catch a whiff of something rather unpleasant while working out.
More often than not, it is emanating from the very gym wear worn by the person who has just crossed over to use the machine next to you.
You have this very compelling need to stop whatever gym equipment you are using and run off to a faraway corner of the room, as far away as possible from this person.
And, imagine if the person causing this distress is you. People may not tell you off directly but soon enough, you will to get subtle hints and tell-tale signs from others and Ouch! That could get very embarrassing and it is not really a situation you would ever want to get into.
Hence, let’s talk about how you could properly wash and care for your gym wear.
Table of Contents
12 tips to keep your gym wear clean
Smell good, stay clean and enjoy your workouts without any worries with these simple tips!
#1 Wash them every day
Though many of the clothes available today mention their anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-odour properties, it will be wise to wash your clothes every day to fight the bacteria and odour.
#2 Turn your clothes inside out
The odour creating bacteria is created in the armpit region and accumulates on the inside of the clothes. Hence, turning the clothes inside out before tossing them in the washing machine is recommended.
#3 Check the tag for washing instructions
Some of the clothes come specifically with hand washing instructions, especially if you have custom t-shirts. If that is the case, ensure you wash them in the sink or a tub with some detergent and air dry it.
#4 Wash them as soon as possible
Try not to let your gym wear remain in the gym bag or in the dryer for too long. Most often the gym clothes these days are made from synthetic fabrics that lock in the sweat that creates a stench. The longer they sit, the greater the stench!
#5 Wash them in cold water
Most often people think hot water kills bacteria. That may be the case, however, they tend to shrink the fabric especially in shapewear or waist trainers which uses synthetic spandex type materials. So, use the cold-water option in your machine when you wash your gym wear.
#6 Do not overload the washing machine
Do not load too many clothes into the washing machine as they harm the fabrics adversely.
#7 Use only fragrance-free detergents
It is a myth that fragrant filled detergents help to take out the odour in the clothes. On the contrary, the fragrances block the fabrics of the workout clothing, which will retain the odour instead.
#8 Excess detergent is harmful
Adding too much detergent can do more harm than good. The excess does not get washed off. It builds upon the clothing and traps the dead skin. This creates an ideal breeding ground for fungus and mildew as they feed on soap and dead skin.
#9 Say no to fabric softeners
Very often clothes come out of the wash and still smell unpleasant. Fabric softeners are often the culprit. They not only damage the stretch type gym clothing but also lock in the smell, which gets very difficult to get rid of.
#10 Take special care of sports bras, waist trainers & shapewear
“Laundry detergent with chlorine and high heat from the dryer will break down the spandex fibres in your sports bra quickly”, explains LaJean Lawson, Ph.D., adjunct professor of exercise and sports science at Oregon State University and Champion’s go-to for sports bra research.
Hence, avoid using any detergent with chlorine in it.
#11 Air dry the leggings
The intensity of heat in the dryer ruins the elasticity and shorten the lifespan of your leggings and any shapewear. The best option to retain its shape is to skip the dryer and dry the items flat.
#12 Care for the trainers
Remove the shoelaces, remove the dirt and toss the trainers into the washing machine wrapped inside a pillowcase.
Wash them along with towels or bed sheets to avoid them bouncing about while being washed. Wash them in cold water and allow them to air dry.
#13 Wash caps in the dishwasher
It may seem crazy, but a dishwasher comes in great use for washing delicate items!
The dishwasher won’t subject your cap to the rough treatment that a washing machine might, but it still gives it a better clean than you can achieve by hand. This means your cap will retain its shape while still getting a professional cleaning treatment.
Beware of the temperature of your standard cycle, as colours could risk running when using this method. Also make sure you don’t add any dirty dishes to the same cycle.
Founder of calisthenics-101.co.uk. Training calisthenics since 2012.
Currently working on: 30 second one-arm handstand, muscle-up 360, straddle planche.