For someone who has been playing sports and getting sweaty for most of her life it really took forever to learn how to wash gym clothes the RIGHT away. The fact is, most of us don’t realize that we are making mistakes when it comes to washing our gym clothes. Poor washing technique leaves our lulus smelly and needing to replaced more often, which is not ideal because goodness knows that stuff is expensive. It’s just a matter of having the facts. And…here they are.
Tip 1: Read the tag.
Not all clothes follow the same rules for laundry time. Some clothes need to be hand-washed, some may need to be hung to dry, and some might go in the washer and dryer without a care in the world. Don’t just guess; read the label. Also, don’t let your husband do laundry ever again because he will RUIN EVERYTHING. (moving on.)
Tip 2: Wash the odors away.
Workout odors can be nose-scrunchingly tough to deal with. That’s why you should add something to your wash. Febreze in-wash Odor Eliminator has worked for me – and so has white vinegar and baking soda.
- Baking soda: Add 1 cup of baking soda to the wash cycle (note that vinegar does better in the rinse cycle, while baking soda is best used right up front in the wash cycle)
- Vinegar: Add 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle OR presoak clothes in 1 cup vinegar and cool water for 30 minutes before washing
- Febreze Odor Eliminator: Add 1/2 cup directly to wash cycle with your liquid or powder detergent
These will wash away the stinky odors so the only memories of hot yoga you’ll have are the sore glutes.
Tip 3: Dealing with dry-fit and moisture-wicking clothing.
Here’s the deal, fabrics like Spandex and Lycra repel water. This is a HUGE plus when you’re drenched at spin class, but it’s the opposite of great when the entire point is for water to penetrate – and clean – the stinky stuff. Also – DO NOT wash your gym stuff with fabric softner. Washing things like towels, workout clothes, microfiber fabrics or flame-retardant children’s clothing with fabric softner actually ruining the fabrics. Seriously. Wicking fabric, microfiber and fluffy towels are coated by softeners and lose their ability to absorb or wick moisture. And PSA for the moms out there… if you use fabric softener on children’s sleepwear it will actually make them more flammable instead of flame retardant!
Tip 4: Separating Fabric and Colors
Mixing the wrong colors is not the only thing you need to worry about in the wash. Mixing fabric types can be just as damaging to clothing as reds mixed with whites. Rough fabrics like denim or corduroy should not be washed with soft fabrics like cotton or jersey knits. Mixing fabric types can cause pilling and premature wear. Just say no.
Tip 5: Drying Dry Fit Clothes
Letting clothes go through a spin cycle in the wash can ruin their shape. If you are washing garments that contain stretchy or delicate fabrics, skip the spin cycle and do not wring them out over a sink. Instead, get a clean towel that won’t bleed color or accept color from your garment, lay the garment flat on the towel and then roll the garment into the towel to gently remove excess moisture. Then lay flat to dry.
Just a few tweaks to your everyday routine can save you quite a bit of money in the long run. The last thing we want is the distraction of smelly gym gear during “me” time. Wearing them to brunch with friends before a class when they haven’t been washed properly is not an option. Don’t be the stinky barre to bar friend…
Note: I’ve included a couple of my FAVORITE anti-stink workout clothes below. I swear by these brands/fits/whatevs. Let me know if I’m missing any great ones!