How to keep your workout clothes nice and fresh
Workout clothing, such as kids sportswear, is different from typical clothes because it is designed to accommodate heavy movements, absorb sweat, provide support or comfort and help boost performance. Because of this, it also requires a different way of cleaning to make it look nice and feel fresh.
Workout clothes have specific functions and are made from high-quality fabrics that withstand pressure. However, poor laundry care can cause the clothes to deteriorate, or you might find yourself struggling with the lingering unpleasant smell even after the washing cycle. Proper care not only cleans but will also prolong the life of your workout clothes.
Here are some ways to keep that sportswear clean and fresh:
Wash as soon as possible
After your sweaty session at the gym, make sure to wash it as soon as possible. Even those clothes that are not sweaty should be washed thoroughly after every use. By doing this, you are preventing bacteria build-up that causes foul odour.
Even though sportswear is durable, it needs extra care for laundering. When you cannot wash it immediately, a quick rinse can help.
Turn the clothes inside out
The dirtiest part of your gym clothing is the inside, where the sweat, oils and bacteria accumulate. Turning it inside out exposes all the dirt to water and detergent, allowing it to be cleaned thoroughly. Moreover, it will keep the clothes looking new and preserve their moisture-wicking ability.
Don’t go heavy on detergent
It is tempting to use plenty of detergent for workout clothes, thinking it will eliminate bad smells and bacteria. However, synthetic fibre is sensitive to detergent. When there is an excess detergent that is not washed out, it will create a build-up that will easily trap dirt, oils and dead skin, which are perfect for bacterial growth.
Avoid fabric conditioner
Synthetic fibre doesn’t go well with fabric conditioners because it can damage the flexible clothes and trap more odour because of the film created by the fabric conditioner. If you use it, your workout clothes will lose their function, and removing unwanted odour will be difficult. White vinegar is an excellent substitute for fabric conditioners because it can soften the fabric while killing odour-causing bacteria. Moreover, vinegar is cheap and organic.
Wash the same fabrics together
Stretchy fabrics, such as athletic clothing, shouldn’t be washed together with fluffy fabric like fleece or towel and heavy fabric like jeans and sweatshirts. This is because the workout clothes will pick up the lint and get destroyed by the heavy fabric. Workout clothes that are made from synthetic fibres require extra laundry care to extend their longevity.
Skip the dryer
Heat will damage the fabric’s stretchability and impair the shape, fit and flexibility. The heat and the friction inside the dryer will damage the sensitive fabric because heat will wear out the elastic fibre, causing tears and holes. The safest way to protect the fabric is to air dry it after washing.
If you want to remove the smell from your gym clothes effectively, pre-soak it with vinegar or baking soda for a while before putting it in the washing machine. Mix half a cup of vinegar with cold water for about an hour before washing to break down all oils, sweat and odour effectively.
Try sports detergent
Suppose you are unsure of the usual detergent. In that case, there is sports detergent available in the market that is specifically made to deep clean sportswear without ruining its moisture-wicking properties and elasticity. These detergents can also eliminate bacteria-causing odour and challenging stains.
Wash after every use
Sportswear fabric is moisture-wicking which means it will absorb sweat and oil on your skin to provide comfort while you are working out. Some people may decide not to wash their workout clothes because it is not sweaty, or they only wear them for a short period, sweat-free. However, it is crucial to wash workout clothes after use because the fabric absorbs even a slight amount of sweat and oil, which will be a breeding ground for bacteria and mould when left unwashed.
Deep clean your sports accessories
When it comes to cleanliness and hygiene, the focus shouldn’t stop on the clothes. Your workout stuff, such as yoga mats and running shoes, is essential because bacteria can quickly transfer from one spot to the other. For example, deep cleaning your yoga mats requires you to soak and scrub using a mild soap.
Workout clothes are high-performance fabrics designed to accommodate intense movements while providing comfort and support. Nonetheless, they require extra care, particularly during laundry, to protect their elasticity, shape and function. The better you take care of the clothes, the longer they last.