This is a guest post written by Kacey Mya
Like regular clothing, your workout clothes need the proper TLC to stay fresh, functional and make you feel like warrior on the treadmill. The type, flexibility and longevity of your workout clothing is linked to your workout performance.
It’s time to bust the myths of improper washing methods. There’s a proper way to wash your workout clothes, and don’t worry: It’s easy with a few tips to get you started.
Maintaining Special Work Out Gear
With normal wear and tear, your special work out clothes last for years. Unfortunately, sweat wicking, antimicrobial, compression and ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) performance fabrics are high maintenance. Follow label care instructions.
Are you dripping with sweat? All activewear should be washed immediately, regardless, but this especially goes for specialized workout clothes.
Wash these fabric types in cold water or hand wash. Use non-synthetic, dye free and fragrance free detergent to wash. A little vinegar is a natural softener. After the 50-minute wash mark, antimicrobial finishes begin to wear off in the machine. Tumble dry on the lowest setting, and avoid dryer sheets that clog machines.
Bleach is Not an Omnipotent Cleaner and Preservative
Bleach does get out the toughest of stains, but at what cost? Bleach will wear down on any special, technical features of your activewear, and if you have accidental spills: It’s no fun showing up at the gym with bleach stains. Try natural and green product lines, instead.
Stop Summoning Cyclones and Deep Frying Your Clothes
Are you the wicked witch of washing and drying? Use the delicate cycle to keep brights brilliant, and wash separately from towels to not transfer lint. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of washing.
Separate your brights, whites and darks from the start. Fabrics and special finishes will break down if kept too long in the dirty laundry and mixed improperly.
Your dryer is not a deep fryer to burn the germs out of your clothes. High heat also attacks the fabric and elasticity of your clothing. Preferably, hang dry activewear, or avoid losing shape and shrinking by spin-drying clothing on a low twenty-minute setting.
Quick Un-Dirtying Tips for Each Piece
Care needs differ for every piece of activewear, and these should be adhered to. Follow label instructions to maintain quality workout clothing:
Bras: These have a lifespan of six to twelve months. Rotate three bras in your routine to keep the shape, and wash on delicate. A mesh bag will stop the straps from getting tangled.
Tanks: These tend to live for around six months. Wash on delicate and spin dry these vulnerable textiles. Softeners sometimes trap sweat in the pits. Hang dry in a shaded area or set on a low setting.
Leggings or Pants: Follow the instructions on the label. Heavier fabrics do better in the washer and dryer, but lighter and breathable fabrics need to ran on the delicate cycle. These fabrics, such as leggings, should be hanged to dry.
Socks: These keep for two to three years. A cup of vinegar in the wash keep the whites bright and soft. The acid eliminates the germs, sweat and stains. Hang dry or set on a low setting. Moisture wicking socks will save you hassle in the long run.
Gym Bag: Clean and sweaty clothes are kept in here, and your bag needs a regular wash. Use the machine only if the bag’s machine-washable. Otherwise, a soaped up sponge bath will do, with a teaspoon of detergent. Disinfectant wipes are great to wipe down the bag with per use.
Waterproof jacket: These have a longevity of two years. Do you hang dry? Double check the label: Water-resistant finishes are sometimes reactivated by dryer heat, keeping the rain out better than by hang drying. The water should bead off the surface under normal function conditions.
Don’t Forget: Shoes and Shoelaces
Your workout shoes take you places: hikes, runs and closer to fitness goals! Extend the life of your shoes and shoelaces, and cut out the icky, sweaty feet germs with a good clean. Nine different types of infection-causing bacteria live on your shoes, which is worse than your toilet seat!
Time for a scrub! To clean and increase the longevity of workout shoes, invest in shoe cleaning supplies:
- a show brush with stiff bristles
- a toothbrush for tight spaces
- nonabrasive cloth to wipe
- sponge for scrubbing out gunk with detergent
- spot removers, like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- cleaners, vinegar, baking soda and polishes
Once you’ve given your shoes a good scrub, place them on newspaper to dry. Adding baking soda inside of your shoes keep them smelling fresh!
Workout shoes are expensive, and that also goes for replacing shoelaces. For the laces, take a bowl and add hot water. Swirl it around with an utensil, as an agitator. For white laces, add vinegar as a good disinfectant and softener. If tossing in the washing machine, place in a mesh bag so the laces don’t get entangled.
Prevention and proper cleaning are the best methods to keep your workout clothes in the best form. It doesn’t have to be hard! Don’t forget to regularly replace activewear that has seen better days. Say goodbye to deteriorated, shapeless fabrics and finishes. Once you’ve got your washing and drying routine down, it’ll be easy coming and going to the gym. Stay fresh, fit and clean!
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.