You think about being a lot of things when you cross the parking lot and head towards the gym. You imagine your muscles becoming Incredibly Hulkish from your kick butt workouts. Maybe you’ve got your dancing shoes and plan to debut a hot cardio move. One thing you don’t imagine is that the folks at the front desk might identify you by scent without having to ask for ID. It may be time to freshen up your workout wardrobe.

4 Ways  to De-stinkify Your Workout Wardrobe:

Today’s high-tech fabrics wick sweat to keep you looking and feeling cool. But, have you noticed they often stink before they look worn out? In the days of white cotton tees, yellow pit stains were a give-away that it was time to run a 5K to earn a new shirt. Today’s high-tech fabrics often look brand-new after many workouts. But, the nose tells a different tale.

What causes your workout wardrobe to stink? Moisture, mold, bacteria and mildew. By establishing a few simple habits you can workout in a wardrobe that won’t attract flies. We promise we won’t suggest you hand-wash anything, because, well, let’s just be real… that ain’t happening.

So Here are 4 Quick Pro Tips:

1) First, The Bag:

Have you ever left a seafood restaurant to discover your hair smells like flounder? If you stuff clothes in a rank-smelling gym bag, they’ll smell funky. Stick your face in your gym bag and take a whiff. You don’t want to? Well, then, you know it needs attention.

Wad up several sheets of newspaper and stuff the bag. Let it sit overnight. The newspaper will absorb moisture and negate some odor.  If that fails, many bags without cardboard components can be cleaned in the washer on the gentle cycle. Secure loose straps that might catch on the agitator. Wash with mild detergent. Air dry.


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2) Sneakers:

workout wardrobeDetergent and an over-zealous spin cycle can degrade the foam and rubber components of shoes. Instead, use the newspaper trick discussed above. It might feel good to wad up the face of your least favorite politician and stuff ‘em into the dark abyss of your tainted sneaker. If the newspaper gets moist after sitting for a while, replace with fresh paper. Air the shoes outside and let the sun kill the stinkin’ bacteria!

3) Shirts, Shorts, and Pants:

Soak smelly tech fabrics for a half-an-hour in a mix of 1 cup vinegar to 4 cups water. Then, wash in cold water. More detergent rarely means less stink, but can ruin fabric. Instead, add some baking soda. Avoid the dryer. In addition to ruining elasticity, the heat locks in odor. Hang to dry.

4) Socks:

Do like your grandma did.  Use bleach to clean white cotton socks. It restores brightness and kills fungus and junk that cause odor and infection. Toss socks in the dryer.

May your gear be as fresh as your moves!  Go get your fit on, my friend!