It's hot. You're sweaty. I'm sweaty. We are all sweaty.
And while there have been a lot of advances in the fabrics that make up our workout gear, it still gets stinky. Here are some tips for washing all of that fancy gear:
- Don't use fabric softener - Fabric softener can coat the types of fibers that make up workout gear and prevent them from being able to absorb the water when being washed, thus keeping your clothes from getting fully clean.
- Don't use too much detergent - Just like fabric softener, the viscosity of detergent can keep the water in the wash cycle from penetraing fabrics. Use slightly less than on a normal load to help keep this from happening.
- Use sport-specific detergent - There are quite a few special detergents our there for workout clothes... if you feel like yours are particularly stinky, try one...
- Don't let your clothes sit around - Mold and mildew... yuck! Be sure to get your gear in the wash, or at least out of your gym bag to prevent this from happening!
- Soak extra stinky items - By soaking them in sport-specific detergent and cold water for about a half hour you can eliminate almost any lingering odor.
- Use cold water - Technical fibers are typically on the delicate side. Using cold water will help maintain those special performance qualities you may have paid a little extra for... (ehem... Lulu...)
- Hang dry - Ugh... I know.. ain't nobody got time for that... but it does help to prevent drying out spandex, lycra and other similar fibers.
- Don't soak your shoes - Putting yoru kicks in the washing machine can degrade the cushioning and make them less protective when it comes to running on pavement especially. Instead, remove the insoles and spray with a sports odor neutralizer.