How To Clean And Deodorize Your Gym Bag

Posted by Stephen Steinberg on Jun 28, 2017

How To Clean And Deodorize Your Gym Bag

Stephen Steinberg, Founder of Raw Athletics and Vapor Fresh Stephen Steinberg | June 28, 2017

People use gym bags to bring a lot of things to the gym with them: change of clothes, extra shoes, protein shakes and bars, headphones, towels and more. And most likely, the things you store in a gym bag will get sweaty. And they may be stored in the bag for a while.

This is a recipe for odor disaster.

No one wants to be “that smelly person”. Here are some tips to help keep your gym bag fresh, clean and odor-free!

Empty It Out As Soon As You Get Home

The musty odor of a gym bag is caused by excess moisture. Moisture breeds germs. Germs give off odors. The first line of defense is beginning to dry out your gym bag and free any excess moisture as early as possible. The longer you wait, the longer the moisture has to linger and breed germs, and the harder it is to get everything fresh again.

Spray It Down After Use With Quality Sports Cleaning Spray

An option yet very effective way to keep your gym bag smelling great is to spray it down with a cleaning and deodorizing spray specifically meant for sports equipment, such as Vapor Fresh® Sports Cleaning Spray. This spray utilizes all-natural fragrances and strong deodorizing compounds to eliminate odors and leave a pleasant smell behind, all while being free of harsh chemicals.

Air Dry & Use Moisture Absorbing Packs

The next step is to aid in the drying process. The easiest thing to do is simply air dry the bag. Make sure it’s completely empty, open up every zipper and pocket and make sure the openings are all facing up since water vapor rises. To really aid in this process you can toss a moisture-absorbing pack inside the bag, such as Vapor Fresh® Moisture Eliminating Inserts. These inserts are filled with super-absorbent biodegradable materials designed to quickly and effectively absorb excess moisture. The faster your bag dries, the fresher it will remain.

Make Sure Things Inside The Bag Don’t Smell

If the things inside your gym bag smell, then they will make your gym bag smell. If your gym bag smells, it will make everything inside your bag smell. It’s a dangerous cycle. Break the cycle by making sure you keep your gym shoes fresh and clean and that you are using a high-performance laundry detergent to wash your gym clothes to eliminate lingering odors instead of simply covering them up.

If The Bag Is Washable, Wash It Occasionally

Last but not least, if your gym bag is washable, then wash it! While this isn’t convenient to do all the time, it’s certainly a great way to get your gym bag back to a fresh baseline. Follow the directions for washing it -- whether washing it on gentle cycle or simply hand-washing it -- and then letting it air dry would be your best bet.


By occasionally washing your gym bag and following our other simple tips and suggestions, your gym bag and everything inside of it will remain fresh and clean and you will never have to worry about being “the smelly one”.

For other cleaning tips, check out our blog, which is full of other great how-to guides!