If you’re like most Americans, you made a New Year’s resolution to get in shape. This means increased exercise and new workout clothes to help you stay motivated. These new workout goals may be causing laundry loads to grow and require a new kind of attention to get rid of that workout stank and protect against the dangerous medley of germs you’re exposed to at the gym and in fitness classes. Even if you’re using a powerful antibacterial spray for sports equipment at the gym to fight against germs that cause COVID-19, staph/MRSA and the like, it’s equally important to properly wash gym clothes and other workout equipment to protect them.
Here are some tips for how to properly wash gym clothes so that you can eliminate germs that cause infections and odors.
Take it Off
Remove workout clothes as soon as possible. If you can’t shower and change at the gym, take your clothes off as soon as you get home. Immediately spray them with a bleach-free disinfectant like Clear Gear that won’t damage or discolor your outfits. If you stow your clothes in a gym bag, take them out as soon as you get home and spray them—and the gym bag—thoroughly.
When sweaty clothes are left untreated, they harbor bacteria that cause infection and odors. If you can’t do laundry immediately after a workout, don’t just throw your workout clothes into the hamper or laundry bag. Spray them with non-bleach disinfectant like we mention above and then let them dry out before mixing them up with other laundry items. Separate into colors and whites and store them in a mesh laundry hamper that allows air to circulate, preferably a sectional one that allows you to keep workout clothes separate. Avoid storing them with items that have heavy fabric like towels or hardware like zippers that can cause damage. Use mesh laundry bags to store and wash gym clothes and other delicate items like sports bras and underwear.
Pre-Treat and Prepare
Once you’re ready to do laundry, turn your clothes inside out to help colors last longer. This also provides for a deeper clean since sweat lingers on the inside of clothing. Then pre-treat clothing again, both inside and out, with Clear Gear bleach-free disinfectant for best results. Let clothes sit for five minutes before loading them into the washing machine.
Lock and Load
Load the washing machine with workout clothes and add detergent. Don’t overdo the detergent—this is one of the most common mistakes people make. Too much detergent makes it hard to rinse laundry thoroughly, which causes buildup in the fabric and traps the germs we’re trying so hard to eliminate. It can also diminish fabric color and vibrancy. Simply use the recommended amount, and if possible, choose a specialty detergent designed for sports.
Hang drying or laying clothes flat are often the safest routes for drying clothes. If you choose to machine dry, use the lowest heat setting possible to help preserve fabric integrity and elasticity.
The tips above, coupled with antibacterial spray for sports equipment like Clear Gear, will help keep you and your clothes in shape, odor-free and protected against nasty germs.