How to Make Your Gym Bag Smell Good
There’s no denying that exercise is great for the body. Clothes and gym bags on the other hand? That’s another story.
Gym bags are the perfect environment for harboring unwanted odor. After every workout, they seal in smells from sweaty clothes and equipment, locking in odor and creating that undeniable gym bag smell.
There could be any number of odor sources. Whether your gym clothes just aren’t getting clean enough with each wash or your gym bag’s fabric is clinging to stowaway bacteria, it’s almost as important to develop healthy gym bag habits as keeping to a vigorous workout routine.
Of course you’ll need a powerful odor eliminator to make your gym bag smell good, but not everyone wants their workout gear to smell like the fake fragrances found in many common household sprays. That’s why it’s important to begin deodorizing your gym bag with a robust cleaning and follow up with an ongoing odor elimination plan.
1. Remove Everything From Your Bag
Gym bag odors result from a lack of breathability and access to fresh air. When your closed bag sits at the bottom of your closet, in your car, or under your desk all day there’s no circulation to flush out the odorous air from your previous night’s workout. Next time you notice a strong gym bag odor, remove all your workout gear and thoroughly air out your bag.
Unzip pockets, open shoe compartments, and take out the removable plastic base at the bottom of the bag to clean underneath. The key to fighting odors is to start clean, removing anything and everything that could cause your gym bag to smell.
2. Deodorize the Interior and Exterior of Your Gym Bag
Once everything has been removed from your gym bag, the most effective way to make your gym bag smells good is to wipe down any debris collecting along seams and deep inside pockets. Make sure to research the material that makes up the bag’s shell and lining to determine the best cleaner. Some natural fabrics like leather and cotton require special care versus synthetic fabrics like nylon or polyester.
To make your gym bag smell good, gently wipe down the bag’s shell with a cloth soaked with warm to tepid water. For extra odor eliminating power, wipe down with Fresh Wave Laundry Booster, which will neutralize any odor molecules contributing to your gym bag smell.
After the outside of your bag has dried, turn inside out to expose its interior seams. Soak a soft cloth in a solution of warm to tepid water, 1 tbsp of vinegar, and 1 tbsp of baking soda and wipe along seams. White vinegar is an acid with properties that kill bacteria and fungi that cause gym bag odor. Clean seams will also keep clean gym clothes from smelling when stored in your bag. Finish your wipe-down with another once over with Laundry Booster to eliminate any lingering, set-in odor molecules.
Looking to eliminate gym bag odor in a pinch? Skip the full wipe-down and opt for a quicker solution by spraying your bag, both the inside and outside, with Fresh Wave Odor Eliminating Spray to absorb and destroy odor molecules in the fabric.
3. Send Your Gear Through the Wash
While you work on deodorizing your gym bag, wash the removed clothing and gear. Believe it or not, there are best practices when it comes to washing gym clothes. Cotton, polyester, nylon, and spandex all absorb odors differently and require a special washing technique to optimize freshness.
While cotton has a low rate of retaining odor, it holds on to the most moisture or -- in workout terms -- sweat, leaving the inside of your bag damp and mildewy after an intense day at the gym.
Nylon, on the other hand, is a moisture-wicking master. But its synthetic fibers offer a friendly environment for bacteria and fungi to cling, creating odor. Your favorite leggings might not feel damp at the end of a heavy lifting day, but those synthetic fibers trap odors that build up in your enclosed gym bag.
While all of these fabrics carry odor uniquely, universal best practices will keep them fresh.
How to Wash and Deodorize Workout Gear
For one, make sure you aren’t using too much detergent. People often assume that the dirtier the clothes, the more detergent they should add to their washing machine, but this isn’t the case.
Washing machines are built to process limited amounts of soap at a time. If you add too much, this causes excess soap to build up in fabric fibers which causes a mildew smell (eventually contributing to gym bag odor).
You’ll also want to avoid fabric softener, which has a tendency to create a coating on synthetic materials that seals in odors. Instead, supplement detergent with a natural laundry booster, which gives added odor-fighting power, without the extra soap or coatings. Only 2 or 3 capfuls of Fresh Wave Laundry Booster per load should do the trick.
4. Keep Smells Away With 24/7 Odor Protection
Once you’ve washed your gym clothes and sufficiently wiped down your gym bag, spritz the pockets and shoe compartments with Fresh Wave Odor Eliminating Spray. The fine mist neutralizes hidden odor molecules burrowed deep in seams and stitching, knocking out gym bag smell caused by microscopic sweat and bacteria build up.
After you deodorize your gym bag, keep offensive odors from returning by stashing one or two Fresh Wave Odor Removing Packs in the compartments of your bag that hold the smelliest workout gear (like socks and shoes). Replace once a month for continuous odor removal.
Each pack is comprised of natural odor-fighting plant oils to provide you with a safer odor eliminating solution, easy on fabrics and clothes. Choose from the original blend or Lavender Packs to keep your gym bag smelling good no matter how hard your workout.
More Ways to Stay Fresh
Check out our other odor elimination tips: