How to De-stink Active Wear
Your activewear is subjected to absorbing large amounts of sweat on your daily workout routine. After such heavy use, most people just wrap them up and neglect them in a drawer until its laundry time. Your active wear supports you in the gym, on the trails, in the field playing golf and in other rigorous activities. During these long hours spent so close to your skin, they are tasked with keeping you fresh, dry and motivated. Therefore, your regular activewear doesn’t just absorb sweat but also retains your body odour.
Most people have observed that the benefits of activewear seem to come with tolerating a consistent smelly odour. Regardless of how many times you wash and scrub, your gym clothes will smell the same when you put them on. Ideally, there is a logical explanation for that frustrating and gross smell from your freshly laundered sportswear. Most working out clothes are made of either Spandex or Lycra. These materials are designed to repel sweat and moisture while you work out. Unfortunately, this also means washing them may be difficult as water is unable to penetrate the fabric for effective cleaning.
So, how do you get rid of the horrible smells from each day’s work out? Here are some tips and methods on how you can de-stink your activewear for a fresh start each day.
Wash them inside out
The sweat, dirt and odour build up on the inside of your activewear. To wash them effectively, always flip the clothes inside out to allow water and detergent penetrate those parts and eliminate the body soils present.
Wash them immediately or air them out
One of the best ways to de-stink active wear is to wash them immediately. Tackle the thin layer of body soil and bacteria present as soon as possible to avoid accumulation of the dirt and odour. If washing your gym clothes immediately isn’t an option for you then hang them out to dry before tossing them in the hamper.
Avoid using fabric softeners
Some people may believe a fabric softener should help make activewear more penetrable for washing. Unfortunately, this is not the case and it does quite the opposite. A fabric softener will coat your gym clothes with an extra layer that locks in the bacteria present.
It protects them from the effects of washing and aids the accumulation of dirt. This means that regardless of your efforts, your workout clothes will stink even more.
Soak with vinegar
Body soil is your enemy here. It is sticky, oily and smelly which is why bacteria are so attracted to it. The key to de-stinking your active wear is to break the bond between the fabric and layers of body soil. The usual detergent and laundry machine routine may not be so effective. Soak the clothes in cold water and add one cup of white vinegar to it.
Leave the clothes to soak for 30 minutes then clean them in the washing machine. If laundry day is still a few days away, hang the clothes out to dry after soaking, then toss them in the hamper.
Wash at the right temperature
Some washers feature warm or hot settings for effective cleaning. Hot water is helpful for washing dirt layered clothes but for active wear, it will be a bad idea. Set your washer on warm for a deep clean. Hot temperatures can damage the material and also amplify odours.
When you dry use low or no-heat settings. You can also hang them out in the sun for a while.
Use a small amount of laundry detergent
Contrary to what you may think, loading the washer with all the detergent won’t eliminate those gross smells. Too much detergent in the washer will lead to a build-up on active wear. The materials Lycra and Spandex repel water or moisture but have no problem holding on to petroleum-based detergent. Use 2 teaspoons of liquid detergent per load. If your activewear already has marks or yellow coloured underarms, scrub with a damp brush to loosen the layer before placing in the washer.
Use baking soda
Baking soda can be used in the place of white vinegar. After loading the clothes in the washer, add one cup of baking soda before starting the wash cycle. Baking soda is an invaluable material in cleaning just like white vinegar. It can penetrate surfaces, kill germs and bacteria, prevent discolouration and eliminate rancid smells.
Use sports specific detergent
Specific detergents have been manufactured to make cleaning activewear easier. Smelly activewear is an issue that affects almost everyone who uses it, so to provide a solution, companies created sports specific detergent. The products are designed to tackle smells and body soils on the fabric.
Using these specific detergents does not mean adding larger amounts to the washer will enhance its effectiveness. Follow the instructions given on the product and avoid adding any more.
Freeze the stink out
You might recoil at the thought of placing your smelly workout clothes in the refrigerator but it is an effective method you can use every now and then. Freezing activewear will remove the stink and give you that fresh feel. This doesn’t replace washing or laundry day. It is only a quick fix for days you need an urgent intervention.
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