3 Hacks to Finally Get the Stank Out of Gym Clothes

3 Hacks to Finally Get the Stank Out of Gym Clothes

There’s nothing better than pulling warm laundry out of the dryer and inhaling the clean, fresh smell. But this simple pleasure is hard to come by since many of us turn to synthetic, moisture-wicking workout clothes. Instead, those heat tech shirts come out of the wash still smelling like the locker room.

But there are a few easy fixes:

Wash your synthetic clothes in cold water

Mary Johnson, a principal scientist for Procter & Gamble, told the Washington Post that our filth is essentially trapped into fabric when we use hot water. This happens because about 70 percent of laundry dirt is caused by our sweat, skin cells, salt and sebum–which is the hardest to remove.

“It is very sticky and as it sets in the fibers it ends up attracting other odor-causing soils that then adhere to the fabrics,” she explained.

Hot water melts the fat, which then sticks to synthetic materials.

“This problem is exacerbated in performance clothes that contain channels or grooves that enhance wicking,” Johnson told the paper. “Body soils can become trapped in these grooves, making them even more difficult to remove. That is why odors are a common problem with performance fabrics.”

Choose the right detergent

If your clothes don’t smell clean, then they’re not, says Johnson. She explains that heavy scents in detergents may initially mask the odor in your laundry, but clothes will soon become stinky once the perfumes fade. “Some laundry detergents do not perform any better than water alone in removing body soils that cause odors,” she said..

Carefully read detergent labels and choose one that’s made for synthetic fabrics and cold water.

Don’t leave clothes in your gym bag overnight

Yes, at the end of the day you’re tired and would rather leave clearing out your gym bag until the morning. Don’t. Keeping clothes balled up in your bag, or even laundry basket, traps odors, says Mary Zeitler, lead consumer scientist at the Whirlpool Corporation Institute of Home Science.

“How you store your workout clothes can also lead to additional odors—for example, leaving sweaty clothes in a closed up gym bag, locker, or hamper,” she told Health Magazine.

She recommends leting your dirty clothes air out before shoving them in your hamper and washing as soon as possible.

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