10 Best Tips for washing sports clothing

It doesn't matter if you are a gym addict, social runner, yoga lover or are a keen multisport triathlete, we all know that sport clothing sometimes needs a little more care or attention when it comes to washing that hard earned sweat away.


We all know over time sports clothing made from sweat wicking or stretchy fabrics like elastane, spandex, lycra, polyester, nylon or more trendy bamboo fibre can become a bit smelly in the next exercise class or those long rides in the sunshine.



1. Don't leave your smelly sports clothing for the end of week laundry


This only helps the bacteria and smells set in. Why not TRI.... to add the laundry cycle.... to your exercise routine (sorry) even if it is just airing the clothing so it isn't kept damp.


2. No body likes stinky equipment or a smelly helmet


It's easy to forgot about your other wearables or equipment once you have finished your training session. To help prevent a smelly helmet on you next ride wash the cushion pads inside with a couple of drops of anti bac hand soap and cool water, I like to use a anti bac surface spray too. Some may say the sweet lavender makes for a calmer ride but for me it just smells great on the next big climbs.


Cleaning down the other fixed equipment after use helps maintain it and prevent rust or damage from sweat, stains and odours. If you are in the gym its always been best practice is to clean down for the next users.



3. Avoid leaving your exercise gear damp in the bottom of your laundry pile


Defiantly don't leave your sports clothing wet in the laundry basket, no one in your household will appreciate sharing your blood, sweat or tears on their clothes but more importantly bacteria will love the warm and damp conditions.


4. Help smell bust by pre soaking in white vinegar


The team at Fairview Cleaners we have started to use more of the natural and ECO friendly laundry practices. We know Miniml's White Vinegar goes a long way if you have foul smelling gym clothes or sports gear. Just add half a cup of White Vinegar into a bowl of cold water to help pre soak the clothing for up to 30mins. This will help start to breakdown the sweat stains and unpleasant odours.


White vinegar is great value and an effective alternative to branded de-odourisers. Don't be put of with the initial smell it disappears in the wash.


5. Wash sport clothing or exercise gear inside out


You probably knew this already, washing clothing inside out helps prevent colour fade, but more importantly its helps provide a deeper clean to the material. Its the inside of the fabric that often has the most marks, like under the arm from deodorant, bacteria and sweat lines. By washing inside out the washing process is targeted more directly on stain or smell source.


6. Wash on cool temperatures or cold water hand wash clothing or accessories


Hot water can damage the fibres making up you sports clothing. Which tests highlighted it is more energy efficient to use cooler water temperatures like 30° , its still effective and the main benefit is it also prolongs the life of your training gear. Hot water start can break down the elasticity of the flexible fibres and can cause misshaping or shrinkage. Hand wash sport accessories with a couple of drops of anti bac soap in cool water and air dry them, nobody likes the smells in the next training session when things start to heat up if not cleaned or want a bacterial infection from close fitting accessories.

Its really important to get out all the soap from the cleaning process as this can harbour the bacteria or microbes that make the clothes smell quickly afterwards.


Prolonging the life and reusing your sport gear saves you money, recycling and reduces landfill waste.


7. Use a simple laundry soap, eco laundry liquid or tech wash


There are many technical sport washes and big brands available proving laundry solutions. Nikwax have launched base wash due to the popularity of the lock down sport take up.


Here at Fairview Cleaners we use two main cleaning products a full ECO laundry non bio liquid from Miniml or liquid soap from Dri-Pak for more sensitive materials. Where the technical clothing has a Durable Water Repellency (DWR) we wash the items in tech wash from Nikwax or liquid soap.


Liquid soap is a vegan, palm free natural product derived from sunflower seeds and coconut oil, it is fantastic as on woollens, silk lace, underwear, 'tech' gear, if you have with sensitive skin, eczema or psoriasis. It's so natural it can use used on laundry, shower gel, shampoo and hand soap.



8. Avoid over using extra detergent


If you are tempted to add more detergent to the sport gear wash don't. Washing your sport gym clothes or exercise clothing with too many bubbles or detergent could make it difficult for your washer to rinse away all the soap. Any residual soap left can harbour bacteria, microbes or smelly fungi


9. Stay away from using laundry conditioners or fabric softeners


Synthetic fibres do not need fabric softeners like natural fabrics do. Bacteria can linger and build up on some clothes when they have fabric conditioners on. Elastane material is a prime one to smell soon after training starts and can also look a a bit dull.


Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets for sports wear to prevent smells.

10. Add a laundry cleanser

Bacteria and microbes are normally the cause of the musty and ammonia like odours in gym clothes. If you are looking for a simple solution then white vinegar is a great all round natural odour remover just add half a cup of white vinegar to the final rinse / conditioner compartment in your washer.


Fairview Cleaners also use a ideal laundry cleanser from our UK based partner. Where we can't undertake hygienic washes above 60° we'll use a sanitiser to ensure the sportwear or duvet gets an effective anti bacterial clean. Some laundry cleansers have a built in anti odour booster like ideal's cool floral breeze.


You can buy both white vinegar and the anti bacterial cleanser in our refil me laundry hub or supermarkets have branded versions which work out more expensive and can't be refilled. Offering refills to our customers is an important part of helping suitability in our local community.


10. Air dry where possible avoiding heat or tumble dryers


Just like hot water can reduce the user life of gym clothes or sport wear so can hot dryer hot temperatures. sports and technical clothes tend to be lightweight and dry fairly quickly. At Fairview Cleaners we use specific air racks for technical and sport wear drying. Its so much better for the materials, reduce energy waste and help avoids damage to the fabrics. Where a dryer cycle is needed use the lowest heat setting possible.


The team at Fairview Cleaners are here to help. We are Chorley's leading dry cleaner and laundry business, our experts are here to answer any questions you have. Most of the products we used in our expert cleaning processes are available to buy in our refil me laundry hub.


Pop in and see the team and we are just a click away with our affordable Door2Door service.




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