How to Care for Workout Clothes
CLOTHING CARE TIPS
The clothes that you wear to work out are clothes that have to hold up under some specific conditions that can be very tough on fabrics. While clothes designed for working out are usually designed to hold up under tough conditions, they still need to be cleaned and cared for properly.
Failing to take care of your workout clothes can shorten their lifespan. You also don’t want to show up at the gym in clothes that are stained or smelly. Take a look at some of the things you can do to take better care of your workout gear.
Avoid Overusing Detergent
If you notice that your gym clothes are particularly pungent, you might be tempted to toss in a little extra detergent. That’s an action that seems like it makes sense. After all, if a little soap is good, more is better, right? Well, actually, no, it’s not.
The problem is that your washing machine can only handle a certain amount of detergent. Extra soap doesn’t get washed out properly. Instead, it builds up in the only place it can, the fabric of your clothes. A detergent buildup in your clothes is not only bad for the fabric, but it also gives the bacteria that cause bad smells a place to hang out. Rather than getting rid of the smell, detergent overuse can actually contribute to it.
Many people already use too much detergent in the washing machine. Make sure that you’re following directions carefully and adding only as much as is suggested, or even a little less.
Add Odor-Eating Product to the Wash
If extra laundry detergent won’t get rid of gym odors, what will? White vinegar is a good choice; it has natural odor-eliminating properties. All you need to do is add between a quarter and a half cup of vinegar to the wash when you run a regular cycle.
If you really dislike the smell of vinegar, however, there are other options. Borax is also a good odor eliminating product. If you’re an athlete or keep a rigorous training schedule, you may want to consider switching to a specially formulated sports detergent. That way you don’t need to add a second product to the wash. You should still avoid overdoing the soap, however.
Skip the Fabric Softener
If you want your gym clothes to get really clean, another important tip is to get rid of your fabric softener, or at least skip using it when you are washing gym clothes. Fabric softener may make your clothes feel a little softer, but it also leaves a coating on the clothes that water and detergent can’t easily penetrate.
If the water and detergent can’t penetrate the fibers, they can’t get sweat stains and odors out of the clothes. So if you really want to get your gym clothes pristine and smelling fresh before your next trip to the gym, skip the fabric softener.