How to get the smell out of workout clothes


There’s nothing like working up a sweat to know that you’ve had a good session at the gym. However, while all that sweat might be a sign that you were going hard (instead of going home), it’s a nightmare to get it out of your clothes. You may be able to get your body smelling clean and fresh after a quick shower, but your workout attire isn’t quite so easy to make odor-free. If this is something you’re struggling with, here are some tips for getting the sweat out of your clothes.

Wash them

It’s a simple solution, but it’s also the best one. If you want your clothes to keep smelling fresh, time is of the essence. You need to wash that sweaty gear straight away if you want to have the best chance of removing the smell.

Before putting your clothes in the machine, though, fill up your sink with warm water. Add in an ounce of laundry detergent and the juice of a lemon, the acidity of which should remove oils from the clothes. Once that’s done, drop your clothes in and scrub around the areas that were most exposed to sweat, such as the armpits and neckline. When you’re satisfied that these areas have been thoroughly cleaned, put your clothes in the machine and follow your normal washing routine.

How to get the smell out of workout clothes

Use white vinegar

An alternative to the lemon juice solution is to use white vinegar instead. Do one part vinegar to four parts cold water and then allow the sweaty clothes to soak for at least 15 minutes, if not half an hour. Once they’ve been thoroughly soaked, put them in the washer with your other clothes and allow the machine to do its job.

Freeze them

This might take you by surprise, but it’s actually an effective method for removing the odor from your gym clothes. Just put your gear in a plastic bag and leave them in the freezer. The cold temperatures should get rid of the sweaty smell, or at least weaken it. This shouldn’t come as an alternative to washing your clothes, but it’s a good quick-fix solution if you don’t have the time to put a load on after your workout.

Hang them

After you peel off those sweaty clothes in the locker room, you probably just dump them in your gym bag and go have a shower. There’s not really anywhere else to put them, but in doing this we can sometimes forget to take them out again when we get home. That’s where you could be going wrong.

Leaving sweaty clothes in a warm, damp place like this is just asking for bacteria to form and make your clothes smell worse. The minute you get home, make sure to take your clothes out of the bag and hang them up to dry. Again, it’s best to wash your clothes, but we don’t always have the time or patience to do this after a long workout.

How to get the smell out of workout clothes

Avoid fabric softener

If you’re someone that uses fabric softener when doing a wash, stop immediately. This acts as a barrier for the smell in your workout clothes, meaning that every time you wash your gym gear, it’s retaining its sweaty smell. Not only that, but fabric softener has a negative impact on the material that these clothes tend to be made of. The more they’re used, the more your workout clothes will stop fitting you properly.

Going to the gym can you leave you feeling sweaty and gross, but your clothes don’t have to feel the effects of your hard work. Abide by these cleaning tips, and you’ll start out every workout smelling fresh as a daisy.