Working hard at the gym results in sweaty clothes. Workout clothes have different needs from most laundry, both because of how they’re used and because of the fabrics they’re made of. There are some simple tips that can be followed to wash gym clothes and avoid unwanted odours and hassle.

Hang and Air Sweaty Gym Clothes
The first step is to act quickly and, as soon as possible, open out the clothes, turn them inside out and hang them up to air and dry. Above all, do not leave sweaty gym clothes crumpled up in a bag, where they can develop mould and mildew, which is hard to shift, even after thorough washing.

Get your detergent dose right
Using too much detergent is probably the biggest mistake people make when it comes to laundry. Using more detergent won’t leave your clothes cleaner; instead, it leaves a buildup of soap residue that traps odors in clothes after going through the wash.

Wash the Gym Clothes
Next step is to wash the clothes. Check the label on the material before choosing the setting on the machine: cotton fabrics will clean most effectively at high temperatures, whereas the modern tech fabrics are more fragile and can lose their effect when subjected to excess heat. Warm or even cold water is therefore more advisable, and you may prefer to do a hand wash.

Drying the Gym Clothes
Once the wash is finished, the clothes must be dried. Cotton-based fabrics can be tumble-dried, but the tech fabrics should be allowed to air dry. Weather permitting, it is recommended to sun dry all your gym clothes, as the sun’s rays act as a natural bacteria deterrent. If you do choose to tumble dry any clothes, always check the garment label first.

No fabric softener
Fabric softener leaves a coating on clothing that can lead to odor retention, even in clean laundry. That coating, especially when it builds up, makes it harder for water and detergent to fully penetrate the fibers, trapping odor-causing bacteria.

Avoid heat
Elastic clothing doesn’t love being exposed to high heat, and that heat will also amplify odors. Wash workout clothes in cold water, stick with the low- or no-heat dryer setting or, better yet, allow exercise clothes to air dry.