If you’re an active person, you know that your workout clothes can take a beating. They get sweaty, they get dirty, and they often end up smelling less than fresh. One of the most challenging aspects of working out can be maintaining your workout clothes. But what’s the best way to wash them? Here are a few tips on how to clean high-performance activewear.
Always Read the Care Label Before Washing
Care labels for exercise clothes should be taken seriously. The last thing you want to do is ruin your expensive new workout attire by washing it incorrectly! Read the care instructions first and make sure to follow them exactly. Some fabrics can shrink, others may bleed color, and some simply need a delicate touch when washed, requiring
them to be hand washed or dry cleaned.
Wash Your Clothes Immediately After Using Them
When possible, it’s best to wash your workout clothes immediately after wearing them to help prevent stains. If you can’t wash them right away, soaking your clothes in cold water overnight will help remove sweat and bacteria build-up before washing them the next day with your regular laundry detergent.
Use a Mild Detergent Designed for Activewear
Another tip is to use a washing detergent specifically designed for athletic wear. Many standard laundry detergents leave behind residues on clothing that can attract moisture and increase the chance of developing mold or mildew. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as these can damage the fabric.
Turn Your Clothes Inside Out
Turning your workout clothes inside out before you wash them is a great way to extend the life of your clothes and keep them looking their best. By doing this, you reduce the amount of abrasive friction that occurs between the fibers in the fabric and prevent pilling and wear over time.
Try a Stain Remover
If you find that despite your best efforts, stains still develop on your workout clothes, try using a stain remover spray before tossing them into the washer. This can help pre-treat the clothing and remove any tough stains.
Wash in Cool Water on a Gentle Cycle
It’s important to wash your exercise clothes in cold water for a few reasons. First, cold water is less likely to damage the fabric of your clothes. Hot water can break down the fabrics of your activewear and cause shrinkage. Second, it can help prevent sweat and body odor from setting into the fabric. Third, it can extend the life of your workout gear. And, finally, washing your clothes in cold water can save you money on your utility bills.
Avoid Using Fabric Softener or Bleach
One of the most important things to remember when washing your workout clothes is to avoid using fabric softener or bleach. Both can damage and weaken the fibers in your clothes, leaving them looking old and dingy much sooner than they should be. Fabric softeners also leave behind a coating that holds in moisture.
Hang or Lay Flat to Dry
Do not put your athletic clothes in the dryer. Instead, hang them out to dry, as high heat from a dryer can lead to shrinkage, which is another way that you could end up damaging your clothing prematurely.