Let’s talk about washing your athletic wear! Do you do it right?
If you’re an avid athlete and your gym gear still smells after a wash, there’s a good chance you’re not washing it correctly. Whether you’re trying to remove sweat or get out stubborn stains, here are 6 essential rules on how to properly wash your sportswear for optimal cleanliness, and freshness and lasts longer.
I love my workout clothes: leggings, shorts, tanks, and sweatshirts. They are so comfortable. We don’t just wear them for workouts anymore. We pay so much for our athleisure clothing but, are we taking proper care of them so that they last longer?
Today, I am attempting to answer a reader’s question about how to take care of your technical fabrics. So, here are six rules for washing your athletic wear.
Table of Contents
(Please note that there are affiliate links in this post, meaning if you do purchase something from clicking through these links, I might get a small compensation for the referral, at no cost to you.)
Rule # 1 – Read your labels before washing your athletic wear
Ok, this should be a given, but how often do you read the labels on your clothing? I’m guilty of this. I often throw everything in the washer and dryer!
Rule #2 – DON’T use fabric softeners or dryer sheets
This is at the top because it’s a very important rule. Not only are fabric softeners and dryer sheets bad for the environment and your health, but they also coat the fabric and reduce your technical clothes’ ability to wick moisture away.
If you follow rule #1, they all say “Do Not Use Fabric Softeners”. If you dry your clothes in the dryer, there are alternatives to fabric softeners such as tossing in 3 tennis balls with your clothes or using wool dryer balls. Although I have never tried it myself, swapping vinegar instead of fabric softeners is said to do the trick too.
Rule #3 – Wash in cold water
If you read the labels before washing your workout clothes, I’m sure the little tag will suggest washing your clothes in cold water. This helps with colours from running. Washing in cold water also helps with the electricity bill and the environment to boot!
Rule #4 – Protect the fibres of your technical fabric
If you have pieces of clothing with zippers or velcro, make sure to fasten them. I’ve learned this one the hard way! Alternatively, you can turn your garments inside out. This will help the synthetic fibres such as nylon from snagging in them and ruining your clothes.
Rule # 5 – Hang the sweaty stuff
If you can’t throw your clothes in the wash right away, hang your sweaty, stinky stuff to dry to prevent bacteria growth and odours from getting worse. I often leave my sweaty clothes in my gym bag since I workout at lunch. My bag sits in my hot car all day! If I forget to take my sweaty stuff after work and I open my bag the next day… WATCH OUT!
Rule # 6 – Hang Dry
Depending on the composition of your technical clothes, it might be the best idea to hang dry. I know I love my dryer, but you pay so much for your workout gear, you don’t want to ruin the fabric. Some brands are better fits for the dryer, but beware, some say tumble dry low.
I hope these six rules for washing your athletic wear will help you keep your workout gear looking great for longer! Now it’s your turn. Do you have any tricks to keep your sweaty gym clothes from reeking? If you do, please post your wisdom in the comments below!