Working out regularly is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health, but it also means dealing with the hassle of sweaty, smelly gym clothes. It’s easy to assume that washing your gym clothes after every workout is the best way to keep them clean and fresh. However, washing them too often or not often enough can actually damage the fabric and cause bacteria to build up.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how often you should wash your gym clothes and why, as well as some tips on how to properly wash and care for them.
So, if you want to keep your gym clothes in good condition and avoid any unpleasant odors or skin infections, keep reading to learn more!
Why Do Gym Clothes Smell Bad?
First, let’s talk about why gym clothes smell bad in the first place.
Gym clothes can often have a foul smell due to the buildup of bacteria. When you exercise, your body produces sweat which is absorbed by your clothes. This sweat provides a moist and warm environment for bacteria to grow and multiply.
The bacteria on your skin break down the sweat, producing an unpleasant odor. This odor can be more pronounced if you wear synthetic fabrics that trap sweat and bacteria. Over time, the buildup of bacteria can cause your gym clothes to smell even worse, even after washing.
It’s important to properly wash and care for your gym clothes to prevent the buildup of bacteria and keep them smelling fresh.
How Often Should You Wash Your Gym Clothes?
Now, the big question: how often should you wash your gym clothes? The answer depends on various factors, including the type of exercise, the intensity of the workout, and the fabric of the clothes. However, a general rule of thumb is to wash gym clothes after every use.
Washing your gym clothes after every workout ensures that you remove any bacteria, sweat, and oils that can cause odor and skin irritation. It also helps to preserve the fabric and keep your clothes looking new for longer.
But what if you can’t wash your gym clothes after every use? If you exercise several times a week, you may not have enough gym clothes to wear a fresh set every time. In that case, you can hang your clothes to air out after each use, and wash them at least once a week. However, avoid leaving your clothes in a damp, enclosed space like a gym bag, as it can exacerbate the smell.
Tips for washing gym clothes
Now that you know how often to wash your gym clothes, let’s look at some tips to make the process more effective.
Turn your clothes inside out: Turning your clothes inside out before washing them can help to remove bacteria and sweat from the inside. It also helps to protect the fabric from damage caused by the washing machine.
Use the right temperature: Check the label on your gym clothes to determine the appropriate washing temperature. In general, it’s best to wash gym clothes in cold water, as hot water can damage the fabric and cause it to lose elasticity.
Use the right detergent: Use a detergent that’s specifically designed for gym clothes or activewear. These detergents contain enzymes that can break down sweat and bacteria more effectively than regular detergents.
Avoid fabric softeners: Fabric softeners can leave a residue on your gym clothes that can trap bacteria and cause odor. Instead, use a small amount of white vinegar or baking soda in the rinse cycle to freshen up the clothes.
Air dry your clothes: Avoid using the dryer to dry your gym clothes, as the high heat can damage the fabric and cause it to lose its shape. Instead, hang your clothes to air dry in a well-ventilated area.
It’s also a good idea to never mix new clothes with old ones because this can cause stains. The last thing you want is to have to throw out a new pair of trendy gym clothes just because they got stained.
How Bad is it to Sit in Your Sweaty Underwear After Working Out?
It’s not recommended to sit in your sweaty clothes for an extended period of time, as this can cause bacteria to grow and lead to odor and potential skin irritation.
The longer the sweat stays in contact with your skin, the more likely it is for bacteria to build up. This can lead to skin rashes, yeast infections, and other skin conditions. It’s best to change out of your sweaty clothes as soon as possible and shower or at least wash your private areas with soap and water to remove any sweat and bacteria.
How Can You Keep Clothing From Smelling After Sweat?
One effective way to prevent clothing from smelling after a workout is to rinse them out with cold water as soon as possible after exercising. This will help remove the sweat and bacteria before they have a chance to set in and cause an odor.
Additionally, avoid using fabric softeners, as they can trap sweat and bacteria in the fabric, causing a lingering smell. Instead, use a laundry detergent that is designed to target odors, and add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to help neutralize any odors that may be present.
What Should You Do If Your Clothing Gets Stained?
If your workout clothing gets stained, it’s important to treat the stain as soon as possible to prevent it from setting in. Start by rinsing the stained area with cold water to help remove any excess sweat and dirt. Then, apply a stain remover or laundry detergent directly to the stain, rubbing it in gently.
Allow the stain remover to sit on the stain for at least 5-10 minutes before washing the clothing as usual. If the stain is particularly stubborn, you may need to repeat this process or consider taking it to a professional cleaner.
What Type Of Detergent Should You Use On Workout Clothes?
When it comes to washing workout clothes, it’s important to use a detergent that is specifically designed for performance fabrics.
Regular laundry detergents can be harsh on technical fabrics and can cause them to lose their moisture-wicking and odor-fighting properties over time. Look for a detergent that is designed for workout clothes, such as Sport Suds, Nathan Sport-Wash, or Tide Sport. These detergents are formulated to remove sweat, dirt, and odor from synthetic fabrics without damaging them.
How hot your water should be when you wash gym clothes?
You want to use warm water (about 60°C) to wash your gym clothes. Hot water will only cause the dyes in them to run and might even ruin their elasticity. If you want to use bleach, be sure it’s chlorine-free bleach and follow the directions on the label. If the label says not to use it with hot water, then don’t! cold water can also be used because it keeps colors from fading.