How do you wash your sports clothes?

Being a Fit Girl is of course, super cool and a lot of fun, but on the downside, your laundry basket is never empty! Ringing a bell? The price we pay for our commitment to going hard multiple times a week, is that there is always an endless mountain of smelly gym clothes lying around. It’s really about time that someone figured out how we can wash these sports clothes so that our closet smells just as good as we look and feel.

A Fit Girl can never have too much sports clothes!  But there is some mystery to washing all of them. Maybe you can get away with not washing your jeans or you bra every time you wear them, but your gym clothes are a whole other story. So, the question is: how do you wash sports clothes? These 4 tips will show you how to wash your clothes in the right way!

1. Laundry detergent and dead skin

When it comes to sports clothes, I tend to just put in as much laundry detergent as possible and putting it at the highest temperature. You would think that washing at a high temperature plus all that soap would ensure that all the bacteria is killed. WRONG. Your washing machine is made to handle a certain amount of detergent. So if you decide to add just a bit more to it, your clothes may not be cleaned properly and all those dead skin cells can stay on the material. This gives the bacteria the perfect chance to grow. If you have the idea that your clothes still smells after it’s been washed,  then maybe you’re smelling the fungus that feeds on the soap that isn’t rinsed out properly. Yikes. So in this case, the less laundry detergent, the better!

2. Crazy odors and fabric softeners

If you’re used to always using fabric softener in your laundry, then it’s pretty logical that you also do it when you wash your sports clothes. It’s probably the smelliest piece of clothing in your closet, so of course you’d like to switch that and walk into the gym smelling like flowers. But believe me, it’s actually the opposite that happens. The fabric softener keeps odors trapped in the materials. In other words, that lovely smell you produce during your killer workout never actually leaves your clothes! Who would have thought? And that’s not the only thing, fabric softener also harms all the elastic in the material, so it does way more harm than good.

3. Do I wash my yoga pants as much as I wash my running shorts?

According to dermatologist Diedre Hooper, the answer is yes. You should wash them every time you use them. Maybe you think that after an easy Hatha yoga class, you don’t need to wash it, but this couldn’t be more wrong. The tight fit of the pants allows bacteria to become settled in your body and in your clothes, whether or not you sweat. She says that you can find most of the bacteria on your clothes the next day – maybe even at a higher number if they have multiplied, and they do this even when your clothes are dry. If you put these pants back on another time, you became exposed to yeast or bacteria and you run the risk of getting an infection.

4. So, how do I fight the odor without ruining my clothes?

No worries, you’re not doomed to always have smelly gym clothes. Switch up your normal washing routine and you can ensure that your sports clothes stay smelling fresh and in good shape.

  • Turn your sports clothes inside out to protect the color. The inside of your clothes also need that deep cleaning since that’s where your sweet and dead skin cells rub against!
  • If you have time, soak your clothing 15 to 20 minutes in a mix of cold water and a half cup of vinegar before you throw them into the washing machine. This cleans that deep dirt that got to build up during your workout.
  • Use a small amount of laundry detergent, even less than the recommended amount.
  • Wash your sports clothes in cold water since hot water can harm the material and even lead to it shrinking! Do the same for drying. Use the lowest temperature so that your clothes don’t shrink, or even better, be eco-friendly and let it air dry!

Alright, so now you know how you should wash your sports clothes, but let’s keep this just between us. That way, you always have an excuse to buy new sports clothes since you never have enough clean ones! We won’t tell! 😉

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