Workout gear can be super expensive. You want to look good and feel good, so the extra cash on new yoga pants, running shorts, athletic tops, and fresh kicks is definitely worth it, but only worth it if you can keep everything looking like you just pulled the tags off. How you might ask? Simple. Keep your workout clothes looking brand new while you get your sweat on with these 8 tips and tricks.
1. Your Clothes Need to Breathe!
If you're like me, you immediately take off your sweaty clothes and ball them up in your gym bag or laundry basket. This is a big no. Think of all of the sweat that's trapped in the fabric that wicks sweat away from your bod. Putting these items where they can't air out will only cause the bacteria to multiply. If you can't wash your clothes right away, try draping them over a chair for a couple of hours.
2. Turn Your Clothes inside out before Throwing Them in the Wash
Think of everything that your gear is touching (ew) and that's enough to get grossed out. If you want your duds extra clean, take a sec to flip your gear inside out.
3. Stop Using Too Much Soap
Using more soap does not make clothes cleaner. Soap builds up, which can cause bacteria to multiply like crazy. Those cute little detergent packs are so easy to just pop in, but they aren't what you should be using. Instead, use a liquid detergent specially formulated for workout clothes. If your clothes still have an odor, add a cup of white vinegar to your wash.
4. Every Item Does Not Need to Be Washed after One Use
Before you say no way, hear me out. Some items that aren't heavily soiled can be rinsed with water and left to dry. Your sports bra can be worn a couple times before it needs to be washed. Rinse it in the shower and air dry.
5. Stop Using Fabric Softeners!
Liquid softeners and dryer sheets can build up a layer, which can ruin the wicking technology almost entirely. It won't make a difference in softness, wrinkles, or static, so stay away from softeners.
6. Avoid High Heat Dryer Settings
This won't kill bacteria, but will seal in the odors. Put your clothes on a low setting or air dry instead.
7. Stay Organized!
This will save you sooo much time, especially if you work out in the morning and quickly need to find your gear before you run out of the house. Keep shorts, leggings, and tops together. Go all out and sort by color and roll items up in outfits for maximum efficiency.
8. Throw out Your Old Gear
Be honest--do your pants sag or go sheer when you bend over? Do your bras no longer give support? Get rid of 'em. Workout clothes are different than regular clothing, so just because there aren't stains, holes, or pilling doesn't mean it's time to throw them out.
I'm sure you're thinking that you wish that you'd known these tips sooner, but it's not too late to start. Washing, drying, and storing your gear will make a huge difference to keep your workout gear looking and smelling great. Post your tips in the comments!