Washing gym clothes can be a little different to washing your other clothes (yes, they do exist). And if you workout on a regular basis, then it’s important to wash your gear properly. After all, workout gear can be pretty pricey, so it makes sense that you’d want to keep them in excellent condition. Not to mention, if not washed properly, your tights, tanks, socks, and sports bras run the risk of smelling like a boys locker room.
First things first, wash everything immediately post-workout. “I recommend washing after each workout as the odor-causing bacteria can clog pores, cause skin breakouts and yeast infections,” explained Chung. This is particularly important if you choose to go commando.
Washing instructions are there for a reason. According to Chung, each activewear item is made with different fabrics, which require different care. Some can be hand washed, while others can go through the washing machine. Just be sure to always keep the water cold. “Hot water can break down textiles and can lead to shrinkage,” she warned.
“Using fabric softeners, optical brighteners or fragrances are a big no-no,” Chung revealed. Why? They can get in between and clog the fibers of the fabrics, which can limit their ability to wick sweat and fight doors. Instead, stick to laundry detergent to eliminate sweat and bacteria buildup. It’s also most important to avoid the dryer as much as possible.
Basic laundry rules apply for active wear. “Whites and bright colors can be washed together, but separately from the dark colors,” explained Chung. Also, if you have gear has zipper details or similar throw them in a lingerie bag. “Zippers can rub against performance fabrics during the wash cycle and cause fraying and pilling,” explained Chung.
If you struggle to get rid of weird odours from your workout clothes, Chung has a pro tip: soak your workout clothes in a mixture of cold water and half a cup of white vinegar for 15 to 30 minutes before putting them in the washing machine.