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Best Way to Remove Bad Odor on Gym Clothes

Posted on February 03, 2021 by Johan Godoy

After your workout, do you sit around with your gym clothes? There’s no doubt your gym clothes are comfortable to wear for errands or to grab a coffee before going home or to your workplace– but that’s not a good idea. Wearing your gym wear that’s soaked with sweat harbors bacteria,  and you are making it more sweaty, which leaves you from being at risk for infection or sickness.

The fabric your gym clothes are made of absorbs your body oils and fluids. It seeps your sweat giving it a foul odor. Thus, it is best to change to clean gym clothes. Bring extra workout clothes. Play by the rules to get rid of the smell of a sweat from your workout clothes.

Here are some of the best ways to remove foul odor on gym clothes:

  1. Wash your gym clothes immediately.

Gym clothes are usually soaked with sweat after doing sports or your gym session. If you hit the gym before work, you can either wash them in your self-timer washer or drop them off at the laundry service near your office.

Immediately washing your gym clothes that are soaked with sweat help remove foul odor, rather than dry and wash them later.

2. Do not pile your gym clothes with your regular clothes.

Work after your workout and a busy schedule is a bad combination for your sweaty gym clothes. 

After your post-workout shower, do not forget to hang your sweaty gym clothes on a drying rack. Do not pile or place them in a hamper with your regular clothes. It will develop molds and worse, your traditional clothes will become smelly too. 

Do not let it linger with other clothes.

3. Soak with distilled white vinegar before washing clothes.

If you want to experience the magic, use distilled white vinegar to remove the smelly, sweaty odor. Before you wash your workout clothes, submerge the clothes in one cup of white vinegar and cold water. Leave it for 30 minutes before washing them in the machine.  

Adding white vinegar to the wash load is a possible option if you think your other clothes need it. It does not only eliminate odors; adding vinegar to your regular laundry detergent will revive the color discoloration of your clothes.

4. Add baking soda to the laundry load or lemon juice.

Have you heard about the power of baking soda? Baking soda has several purposes. It’s almost the trick for most problems. Get the baking soda in your kitchen cupboard and start getting rid of the unpleasant odor of your gym clothes.

The alkaline component of baking soda breaks down the acidic odor from the sweat. It also absorbs the oil from your sweat. You only have to add a cup of baking soda to the load.  If you have stubborn stains from your workout, it will remove the odor and remove the stains. 

Do you know lemon juice is also an effective natural ingredient in removing body odor on gym clothes? Lemons are common in the kitchen. Get one, and let’s start slicing it.

Slice the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice. There are two ways to do it, add it directly to the wash load or gently tap the lemon juice into the stained area before having it washed. The citric acid of the lemon juice eliminates the bacteria and gives out a funky scent. 

Moreover, lemon juice has the same effect with the baking soda. It does not only remove the foul odor on the laundry, but it can also help with getting rid of stains.

5. Only use enough amount of laundry detergent.

Some use more laundry detergent to make their gym clothes smell better, but this is a misconception. Too much laundry detergent blocks the fabrics. It does not go well with spandex and lycra materials. These types of fabrics trap bacterias easily, and if you put too much detergent, it will build upon the clothing, trapping more bacteria leading to foul odor.

Thus, if you are about to wash your gym clothes, only place half of the recommended amount when washing casual clothes; or you can safely use detergents for workout clothes.

6. Avoid fabric softeners.

Fabric softeners and gym clothes are mortal enemies. They do not work together. The softener creates a barrier around the fabric that traps the foul odor. If you use fabric softeners on your gym clothes, you are trapping grime and bacteria instead of cleaning them.

As mentioned how fabric softeners block grimes. It also disables the wicking power of your gym clothes. It cannot evaporate the sweat making the clothes more smelly.

7. Hang dry your clothes.

The best way to dry your gym clothes, even your casual clothes, is through air drying. Fresh air and sun is the natural way to eliminate odors. Hang them dry outside and let nature do the magic. Hanging them instead of putting them in the dryer reduces the chance of wrinkling the clothes.

Ensure that you turn your clothes inside-out to ensure they will not fade. Overexposure to the sun can damage the fabric’s color. Moreover, if you do not have time to wash them immediately, hang them in the meantime. 

Should I store my used gym clothes in the freezer?

Definitely, no! Some suggest placing your workout clothes in a plastic bag and store them inside the freezer to eliminate not only the foul odor but the bacterias causing it. However, if you think of it, it is an unhygienic practice.

The plastic bag is not a guarantee in preventing the bacteria from spreading inside the freezer. Moreover, you cannot prove whether it is eliminated or the bacteria will come back when it defrosts.

Thus, it’s better to do the other ways that are safe and effective.

Moreover, if you cannot do all these methods because of your busy schedule, you can drop off your gym clothes at your nearby laundry service or have your laundry picked up and delivered.


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