Stink be gone

Have you ever noticed that your workout clothing still has a funky odor even after coming out of the washing machine?  Well I have and it really bums me out that the costly new technical shirt smells like remnants of my last sweaty workout.

There is no question that the technical fabrics engineered today make me more comfortable on my runs.  I love the fact that the synthetic materials used to construct the performance garment has the power to evaporate the sweat away from my skin.  I don’t feel like I am gaining weight while exercising anymore with added water retention trapped into the fabric.   That is why my running wardrobe is entirely made up of tops and bottoms made with this high performance material.

The only downside I can see to wearing technical workout gear is that the fabric retains odor more than natural fibers.  This odor will force you to retire the garment sooner vs. later if you can’t bear the stink. And that can be quite expensive considering that most high tech apparel cost starting around $50.

I have tried a few tricks to keep my workout clothes fresh and have had some success in preserving the life expectancy of the garment.  Hope you find them useful.

1.  If you do not have time to launder your sweaty clothes soon after you workout,  hang them to dry.  Do not throw them in a laundry hamper sopping with sweat.  The sweaty clothes will eventually become a science project and the stink will be the least of your worries.

2.  Try to wash your workout apparel separate from other clothing.  I like to wash my exercise clothes in smaller batches as opposed to stuffing the drum so full that is hard to close the door.

3.  Hot water is your friend and kills any bacteria that may have found a new home. I know, the instruction care labels usually recommends washing with cold or warm water.

4.  If your washing machine has a pre-soak feature, use it.

5.  Buy laundry detergent specifically designed to remove trapped odors. It’s a little more expensive than most supermarket detergent brands but consider the alternative if you have to replace that $100 high-tech top.  My favorite detergent to use to get the stink out is Penguin Sport Wash.  I was reluctant to purchase this small bottle of detergent that cost $10 for 20 ounces but was happy that I did because it really did work.   You can find the Penquin Sport Wash at Dick’s Sporting Goods and most of your local running stores. Tide Febreeze Sport is a more economical option and works fine at removing odors.  However, IMO, I think it is the scent of the Febreeze that is  masking the odor more than it is the detergent removing the odor for good.

6.  I haven’t tried this tip but have read online that adding vinegar or baking soda to your laundry cycle is a great way of keeping your workout clothes fresh.  It is recommended that you run another cycle with just water to wash away the lingering vinegar and baking soda stench.

7.  If you don’t want to spend the time caring for expensive workout apparel and don’t care about name brand, go to your local Marshall’s or TJ Maxx store and buy some cheaper alternatives.  My husband has even scored some top name brand athletic wear for half the price on the racks at these stores.  He doesn’t understand why anyone would pay so much money for clothing used to sweat in.  I do think he has finally come to terms with my obsession with Lululemon. There’s no sense fighting City Hall on that topic.

Do you have any other tips I need to know about to care for my high-tech clothing? Have you ever realized that it was you that was actually stinking your friends away with that smelly old tee-shirt? Share, share your secrets in the comments section.