Grim News — You Probably Haven’t Been Washing Your Workout Clothes Properly

Staying on top of laundry can be difficult enough in a busy home but when it comes to workout clothes, it’s a bit of a different beast altogether.

If you workout outdoors, chances are that you’ve splashed some rainwater or mud onto your clothes and even if you do your exercise at home, there’s no getting away from the stench of our exercise clobber. It’s not usually the kind of laundry that can wait ’til after the next wear, really.


However, according to Martyn Oakey, Head of Fitness at Everlast Gyms, part of Sports Direct, we actually have likely been washing these clothes all wrong this whole time, too.


The correct way to clean workout clothes

Use cooler heat settings

While it may be tempting to opt for higher temperatures to make sure they’re ‘properly’ clean, according to Oakey, this is actually really bad for the clothes. He said: “When it comes to washing, these kinds of synthetic materials don’t do well in high temperature washes as the fibres can be damaged, reducing the lifespan of your garment, so it’s best to keep them on a cool wash.”

Hold off on the fabric softener

Who doesn’t love softer clothes? Especially during sometimes tough workouts? Reaching for the fabric softener when washing your exercise clothes might feel necessary but according to Oakey, it doesn’t quite work the same way with our workout gear as these clothes tend to be moisture wicking.

Oakey said: “Moisture wicking materials don’t absorb fabric softener in the same way as perhaps your regular clothing will, which creates a coating on the surface that can lead to a buildup of bacteria.”


Air dry your exercise clothes wherever possible

Sigh. It turns out that using the tumble dryer may be convenient but it ruins the clothes. Oakey said: “As with washing your clothes, exposing them to high temperatures in the tumble dryer will only damage the fibres and ruin the quality of your garments.”

He added that it’s best to air-dry these clothes to keep them from unnecessary damage but if you do need to tumble dry for whatever reason, make sure the dryer is kept at a low temperature.

Time to review my laundry routine.