How to Remove Sweat Smells from Workout Clothes
Anyone who has ever worked out knows that awful smell that your athletic clothes can have afterward, particularly if you don’t wash them immediately. It lingers, it’s horrible and it’s particularly hard to get rid of. So what causes that uniquely horrible odor, and how do you remove it? This blog post will help you with all of that, so read on to find out more.
What Makes Athletic Clothes Smell So Bad?
The particular odor of dirty athletic clothes is caused by a combination of things, the primary one being that athletic clothes are usually made from synthetic fibers. The synthetic fibers in athletic clothes are designed to move sweat away from your skin, and they do that very well. Unfortunately, they then trap some of the moisture along with body oils and bacteria from your skin. In this damp, warm environment, the bacteria rapidly start to breed, causing the offensive odors you may be familiar with.
But why does the smell then linger even after washing? Well, the answer to this lies in the fact that most detergents are designed to clean natural fibers such as linen and cotton and they don’t work as well on synthetics. As a result, the oils and bacteria continue to build up and the smell doesn’t go away. Fragranced detergents and conditioners might cover it up for a while, but they don’t do much to remove the cause of the odor.
How to Get Rid of Sweaty Athletic Smell From Clothes
So what is the answer to this particularly stinky problem? Well, there are a few techniques for you to use and using one or more of these should keep the odors under control.
Don’t Put Athletic Clothes in the Laundry Hamper
Once you’ve finished your workout, remove your athletic clothes as soon as you can — but don’t put them in the laundry hamper. The odor-creating bacteria love darkness and moisture, and the hamper will keep the clothes damp and dark. As the bacteria and oils are concentrated mostly inside your clothes, turn them inside out and either put them somewhere to air or wash them straight away. If lack of space means you need to put them away somewhere, choose a hamper that lets light and air through and don’t allow the pile of clothes to build too much. After all, you don’t want that smell to get into your other clothes!
Presoak in Vinegar
As always, we come back to the gift to household cleaning and odor control that is vinegar. Vinegar contains a mild acid, acetic acid, that will break down the oils and bacteria stinking up your athletic clothes. To use it to remove musty smells from clothes, obtain a bucket or tub large enough to soak your athletic clothes in and put in your clothes with a solution of vinegar and water. Soak them for about thirty minutes and place in the washing machine immediately. The detergent in your regular wash should remove the vinegar smell by the time you get them out of the machine.
Choose Your Detergent Carefully
As mentioned above, many standard detergents aren’t formulated with synthetic fibers in mind, so you might want to check your regular brand. If it’s not suitable, there are plenty on the market designed with athletic clothes in mind. When using your detergent, you should also remember that more is not necessarily better — too much detergent in your wash can end up sticking to the fibers, giving the bacteria more to feed on and increasing the bad odors.
Use an Odor Eliminating Laundry Booster
Even if you have a good detergent, you can still help things along by using a laundry booster. Fresh Wave has a laundry booster designed specifically for removing odors. Like all Fresh Wave products, it’s made from all-natural products in our factory here in the USA. It’s specially formulated for removing tough odors from all kinds of laundry, whether it’s pet bedding, diapers, blankets, linens or well-used athletic gear. Simply add to your regular laundry — just a few capfuls, depending on the strength of the odors — and wash as usual. And it also doubles up as an all-purpose odor remover for surfaces, appliances, drains, floors and toilets.
Don’t Put Your Athletic Clothes in the Dryer
Automatic dryers are fantastic for getting your laundry dry quickly and easily, but they’re not necessarily the best place to dry your athletic clothes. To begin with, many synthetic fibers are not suitable for this kind of drying; the label on your clothes should inform you of this as the dryer can wear your clothing out more quickly. Secondly, any lingering odors can be brought out by the heat. Then, once you take your clothes out, they often sit in a warm pile, possibly with some residual dampness, causing the odor-making bacteria to start reproducing again.
If possible, dry your athletic clothes in the fresh air, allowing the breeze to pass through the fibers, freshening them up and carrying away any lingering smells. If you have no choice but to use a dyer, use a low-heat setting and find somewhere in your home to air them out before wearing them again.
Keep Smelling Fresh and Clean at the Gym
With all of these tips for cleaning and drying your athletic clothes, there’s no need to be anxious next time you visit the gym that there might be lingering musty smells on your clothes. By avoiding the laundry hamper and the dryer and pre-soaking them, you can wear your fresh athletic clothes with confidence. And, if you are still struggling to get rid of lingering musty smells, there’s always Fresh Wave’s Odor Eliminating products, designed with athletes in mind and made from all-natural ingredients to keep you smelling fresh and clean no matter what you do to keep fit.