Cleaning Workout Clothes and Equipment

Exercise is good for you. You feel energized and refreshed - except, wait a minute - what is that smell? You look around the gym wondering if others can smell it – is it you? No, it’s your workout clothes. So technically, yeah – it’s you. What is it exactly that smells? This part is really gross – so steel yourself – the odor is from your sweat mixed with dead skin cells on the inside of the fabric. The good news is that you can eliminate this if you follow a specific routine for cleaning your workout clothes.

To start with, focus on the odor by soaking your clothes in enough liquid to cover them. The liquid should include at least 1 cup of white vinegar mixed with cold water. Soak them for 15-30 minutes, then put them in the wash.

For the best results, turn your clothes inside out. Remember, the smelly stuff is on the inside of the clothing. Turning your clothes inside out allows more exposure to the detergent and provides for a better rinse. Make sure that your washing machine is clean to start with. Washers can also build up bacteria, which can lead to a smelly washer. This will transfer to your clothes. This is especially true for front-load washers.

When you are ready to dry, air drying is the best approach. If you must use the dryer, do not use dryer sheets. They impart a coating that builds up and traps odors even more. Definitely don’t wash your workout clothes with another type of laundry such as jeans, shirts, socks, or towels. The odor can easily transfer.

What about exercise equipment? In general, odor-causing bacteria will build up on anything, especially if it is a porous material. The material becomes a breeding ground for infectious bacteria – including staph and even the flu virus.

For metal items, wipe them down with an anti-bacterial wipe. For other articles, such as mats, pads, glove, etc., follow the same approach as with your workout clothes. Soak them for 15-20 minutes in a white vinegar/cold water mix. Then add a gentle detergent and wash with a brush or cloth. Be sure to check the cleaning/washing instructions for the item so as not to damage it. Hang or prop to dry.

And don’t forget your gym bag. It absorbs the “smelly” bacteria from the items placed inside it. In this case, you can launder as described above or spray with an anti-bacterial sports spray.

After all this effort staying fit and keeping your workout clothes and equipment clean, who has the time or the energy left for house or apartment cleaning? Are you looking for a green cleaning service? Let The Cleaning Authority help. Get your free estimate today.