Sweat stains and odors are common problems for workout clothes. While hard-earned perspiration is one factor, bacteria, skin cells, and salt can also contribute to stubborn stains and offensive odors. Sebum, a sticky, waxy fat that settles into the fibers of your workout clothes, can create stains and odors as well. Removing sweat stains and knowing how to wash and deodorize your clothes is essential.
However, most performance clothing is made from synthetic fibers that require cold water washing, and channels and grooves in moisture-wicking synthetics can trap body soil and compound odor problems. Without proper washing and care, bacteria can grow and cause even more unpleasant odors and potentially mold. It’s crucial to tackle sweat stains and odors early to prevent permanent stains and eliminate unpleasant smells.
Tips for Eliminating Sweat Stains and washing activewear
Sweat stains on light-colored and white workout clothes are infamous for leaving yellow and gray marks that can be both unsightly and odorous. This is because most workout clothes are made of synthetic fibers that require cold water washing, which means you need to remove sweat stains before laundering them to avoid setting them permanently.
To keep your workout clothes looking newer and smelling fresher for longer, it’s important to take a proactive approach to stain removal. Here are the steps you should follow to remove sweat stains from light-colored workout clothes:
- Rinse the clothes in warm water for stain removal
- Wring out the clothing.
- Pre-treat the stain with either a baking soda paste, a mixture of detergent and distilled white vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide.
- Allow the stain remover to sit on the stain for 30 minutes.
- Wash without detergent to your regular workout clothes.
- Before putting them in the dryer, make sure the stain is completely gone as the heat from the dryer can set the stain permanently.
If you’re dealing with dark-colored workout clothes, follow the same steps for removing sweat stains but avoid using hydrogen peroxide. This is because hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that can damage dark colors.
Now that you know how to remove sweat stains, you can keep your workout clothes looking fresh and clean for longer.
Don’t Let Sweat Sit: Wash Your Workout Clothes ASAP
If you’ve had a sweaty workout, it’s best to wash your clothes immediately to get rid of the bacteria that cause odors. Even if you didn’t sweat too much, it’s recommended that you wash your workout clothes after every use to prevent odors from developing.
If you’re unable to wash your clothes right away, hanging them up or placing them on a drying rack can help prevent odor-causing bacteria from growing.
It’s important to note that workout clothes require a different laundering approach than regular clothes to get them fresh and clean. While they may get dirtier and retain more odors, most performance wear is delicate and requires special care to maintain its quality.
Sweat No More: The Benefits of Soaking Your Workout Clothes
When it comes to removing dirt, sweat, and oil from activewear fabrics, white distilled vinegar is the solution. With its low level of acidity, this affordable product can effectively clean and deodorize workout clothes by breaking down body oil and releasing odor-causing bacteria and soil from the fabrics.
To use white distilled vinegar, mix one part vinegar with four parts water in a container, and soak your workout clothes in the solution for 30 minutes before washing. If you can’t wash them right away, rinse your clothes with water and let them drip dry before tossing them in the hamper.
Turn your gym clothes inside-out
Flip your workout clothes inside out to remove grime and odor-causing bacteria for cleaner and fresher clothes. It also helps preserve the fabric quality, keeping moisture-wicking and flexible materials performing their best.
Wash your workout clothes in cold water only
Hot water will lead to shrinkage in your clothes. Choose a load with the delicate cycle for the longevity of your clothes and keep them in shape too.
Fabric Care: Sorting Clothes for Extended Wear
Don’t wash your jeans, towels, and sweatshirts in your washing machine together to avoid damage and pilling. The most effective way to maintain the quality of your clothing is to wash similar items together, whether it’s athletic wear, everyday clothes, or bedding.
Add extra cleaning and odor-eliminating power
Performance wear detergents are designed to clean synthetic workout gear effectively. They dissolve sweat, body oils, and odor-causing bacteria while maintaining the performance and appearance of synthetic fabrics. These detergents utilize organic, plant-based enzymes and other formulas to clean gently. You can add a cup of baking soda to your next load for even more odor-fighting help. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and cleanser that neutralizes odors without harming delicate cotton fabrics. Your workout gear will smell fresher, and it may even retain less odor once you start working up a sweat.
Easy Steps to Freshen Up Your Sweaty Sneakers
Our cross-trainers work hard and accumulate a lot of sweat and dirt, making them one of the stinkiest items we wear during a workout. Machine washing may seem like a quick solution, but it can damage your shoes’ synthetic fibers, glues, foam padding, and stitching, causing a decrease in their performance.
Here are simple steps to keep your sneakers looking good and smelling fresh:
- Remove the shoelaces and wash them separately from your workout fabrics.
- Scrub the soles of your sneakers with an old toothbrush to remove dirt.
- Make a paste with baking soda and detergent and use a toothbrush to clean dirty spots.
- Wipe everything down with a clean, damp sponge and dry with a cloth.
- Sprinkle baking soda inside your clean sneakers and let them air dry.
- Shake out the baking soda and re-lace your sneakers with fresh laces.
Taking proper care of your activewear is essential to keep it fresh and long-lasting. By following these tips, you can ensure that your workout gear remains free of odor, sweat, and bacteria. It’s important to wash your clothes immediately after use, turn them inside-out, wash them with like fabrics, and use the right amount of detergent. Additionally, soaking your clothes in a vinegar solution can help remove dirt and odor, while using a performance wear detergent can maintain the appearance and performance of synthetic fabrics. Don’t forget about your sneakers, too! By following these washing activewear tips, you can keep your workout gear fresh and clean, ensuring that you look and feel your best during every sweat session.