How to Wash Gym Clothes: 5 Tips for Clean Athletic Clothes

Female model wearing Lone Wolf Fitness black athletic hoodie and purple leggings

You have the splash stains to prove you’ve learned how to properly use bleach on your separated whites, but maybe you haven’t thought about how to wash gym clothes. 

Is there a proper way to wash gym clothes? 

Of course! Whether it’s the smelly gym socks or the soaked workout tank, our team at Lone Wolf Fitness has six top tips to guarantee a fresh and clean fit for the gym. 

1) Take It off Quickly and Air-Dry 

Don’t be tempted to lounge around in your dirty gym clothes. Save the grocery runs and dishes for later because It’s important to get your dirty athletic clothes washed as fast as possible. 

But, if you’re not planning on washing your gym clothes right away, be sure to lay them out to air-dry. Don’t leave them bundled in your gym bag or soaking in the hamper with all of your other clothes or all that sweat will start seeping and stinking in other places. 

Can You Wash Gym Clothes with Normal Clothes? 

Many people wash their gym clothes with their normal clothes. Some people barely have the energy to separate lights and darks, let alone do a whole separate load for athletic wear. 

But washing gym clothes separately from normal clothes is a best practice! If washed properly (see the rest of the tips below), your gym clothes will be cleaner, fresher, and last longer. 

If you decide to wash your gym clothes with your normal clothes, consider separating them with a delicate laundry bag. 

 Gym clothes in a white washing machine with red and blue light reflecting on the machine

2) Consider a Quick Presoak in Vinegar 

Sweat, dirt, and body oils get trapped in the threads of gym clothes and washing machines often aren’t strong enough to get them all out. Try soaking your clothes in a mixture of one part white distilled vinegar and four parts cold water for about 30 minutes before you put your laundry load in. This will ensure the smell is removed and can also prevent sweat stains.

If those sweaty armpit stains have already made their mark, add hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to your vinegar for a paste that can remove them! 

3) Turn Clothes Inside Out 

Before throwing your gym clothes into the washing machine, turn the clothes inside out! All the yucky bacteria from your body gets more on the inside of your gym clothes than on the outside. By flipping your clothes inside out, the wash can be more effective. This simple trick also keeps the color of your clothes brighter and helps your clothes perform better for longer. 

4) Avoid Extra Detergent and Fabric Softener

Once your clothes are in the washing machine, resist the urge to add more detergent or fabric softener to mask the odor. Doing this can have the reverse effect! 

Using too much washing detergent or fabric softener leads to build-up that traps the very bacteria that produces the bad smells in the first place. Instead, consider using a product that’s specifically created for the task. Why use a fork to eat soup? It’s a utensil but not meant for that type of food. 

Consider a Sports Detergent

Sports detergents are created specifically for the problem at hand. Don’t use a fork or regular detergent—opt for a sports detergent. 

Dirty laundry in a teal basket

5) Cold Water Wash on a Gentle Cycle with the Same Type of Fabrics 

Save the hot water for sheets and towels. Cold water is the most gentle on athletic clothing. When you’re wondering how to wash gym clothes, wash performance fabric with similar fabrics in a gentle cycle with cold water. Leave out the towels, sheets, jeans, and sweatshirts because they’re more prone to lint, pilling, and damage. Washing similar clothes together is the best way to keep all your favorite gym clothes looking their best for longer.

Try Lone Wolf Fitness 

To figure out how to wash gym clothes, you need to start with a quality set of gym clothes. Look good, feel good, and smell good in your favorite workout tanks and sweats. Just don’t forget to use these top tips for washing your gym clothes.

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