12 Ways to Prolong the Life of Your Workout Clothes
There’s no question that your workout clothes are bound to become dirty and smelly after exercising. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can work to prolong the life of your workout clothes, even after you beat them half to death during your workout. Here are a few ways you can make the most of your workout clothes.
#1. Don’t Overuse Detergent
Although it might make sense in your head to use more good-smelling detergent to get the bad smell out of your clothes, using too much detergent can make it stick to your workout clothes, ruining them.
Instead, you should only use three-quarters of how much you usually use. You only need a small amount to get the dirt and grime off your workout gear. Overdoing it with detergent can cause your workout clothing material to break down and become unwearable as well. You should also plan to use dye and fragrance-free detergent to cause less damage to your gear.
#2. Dry Them Out
The last thing you want to do is let your workout clothes sit around in sweat. Not only can it cause mildew and mold to spout on your clothes, but it can also make them smell unpleasant, which can deteriorate the fabric of your clothes.
This is why it’s important to air out your clothes immediately following a workout. So, the next time you get home from the gym, make sure you leave your clothes to dry.
#3. Soak Them in Vinegar
Do your clothes still seem to be stinky after airing them out? After you’ve dried out your clothes, it’s time to soak them in vinegar. You should soak them in a bucket of four parts water and one part vinegar for at least 20 minutes. This process will help eliminate bacteria from your clothes and prolong the life of your workout gear.
#4. Turn Your Clothes Inside Out
No one likes faded clothes, and in order to prevent this from happening, you should turn your clothes inside out. Don’t just toss them in your washing machine as they are. Not only will this prevent your clothing colors from fading, but it will also help your workout clothes keep their fresh, vibrant colors.
#5. Wash Your Clothes Gentle
When you wash your workout clothes, you should choose a gentle cycle. Doing so will ensure your workout clothes maintain their form and keep their colors bright and vibrant. If you don’t, you could risk your clothes shrinking or tearing in the wash.
#6. Wash Your Workout Gear in Color Loads
Just like your everyday clothes, you must separate your workout clothing. To prevent your clothes from bleeding and make the colors last as long as possible, you should wash your workout gear in color loads. This means only washing whites with whites and pinks with pinks. You don’t want to mix and match colors, especially with whites.
#7. Wash Synthetic Clothes Separately
Always be sure to wash your synthetic clothes separately from your other workout clothes and everyday clothes. Synthetic clothes include your wicking clothing, too. Since synthetic clothes can be easily damaged by rough fabrics and zippers, it’s crucial that you avoid washing it with, for example, your jeans.
#8. Don’t Wash Them with Your Towels
Since towel fabric can easily stick to nylon fabric, you should never wash the two together. Cotton latches too well to nylon fibers and makes it incredibly challenging to remove.
Also, the rough texture of towels can wear down your workout gear, reducing their ability to suit your fitness life. Especially since workout gear is so expensive, the last thing you need is wearing down on the fabric because you accidentally washed a hand towel with it.
#9. Wash Them in Cold Water
Now that you know to separate your clothes to prevent them from wearing down, an extra step you can take to prevent your workout gear from becoming damaged is to wash them in cold water. The cold water will prevent your gear from shrinking and further prevent the synthetic material from getting roughed up.
You should also heed our warning of washing workout clothes with zippers or rough materials, including cotton, it can severely damage your workout clothing material, so be sure to wash everything separately.
#10. Don’t Use Fabric Softener or Bleach
Fabric softener can often break down elasticity properties of spandex and nylon. Also, it can create barriers in the pores of your workout gear, preventing your clothes from being able to wick away moisture and traps odors as a result.
Bleach, on the other hand, doesn’t work well with synthetic fabrics, which is why most brands say to avoid it altogether. Although these two are often great for use with normal clothes, you really should avoid using them with your workout gear.
#11. Dry Them Naturally
It’s for the best that you avoid tossing your workout gear in the dryer. Especially, if your workout clothes consist of fabrics that work to insulate heat and wick away sweat. Instead, you should air dry in direct sunlight to prevent them from shrinking or losing color. Use a drying rack to do so.
#12. You Can Use the Dryer
Don’t be afraid to use your dryer, though. If you have to rush to a sporting event or your weekend yoga class and don’t have time to let your workout clothes dry naturally, it’s perfectly fine to use your dryer. However, you should just make sure you don’t do this every time you want to dry your clothes, or else they can shrink up to two percent or more.
The Bottom Line
It’s always a hassle to clean workout gear, and you never know what’s going to make it shrink, lost color, etc. However, there are plenty of things you can do to prolong the life of your workout clothes, whether it be avoiding bleach and fabric softener, washing your clothes inside out, avoid washing them with other loads, and more.
Even though it may seem impossible to keep your workout gear in perfect condition, with the help of this guide, you should be more than capable of making them last for years to come.