Stephen Steinberg | Updated April 1, 2022
For washing instructions and care tips for specific brands, please see below--
- How to wash Under Armour
- How to wash Nike Dri-Fit
- How to wash Lululemon
- How to wash Vibram FiveFingers
- How to wash Adidas
- How to wash Reebok
- How to wash GymShark Clothes
- How To Wash Jerseys
- How To Wash Yoga Pants
If you’re an active person, activewear probably makes up a significant portion of your wardrobe. There’s no doubt that these performance fabrics significantly enhance the athletic experience.
Unfortunately, if you own clothes made from these performance fabrics, you also know that after a while, they typically start to develop a lingering odor that just won’t go away, they start to feel rough and uncomfortable, and they start to lose their wicking properties. Most people conclude that this is just the natural life-cycle of performance fabrics, but it doesn’t have to be like this!
Why do gym clothes develop a lingering odor & rough texture?
When activewear isn't washed and cared for in a very specific way, which is typically much different than everyday laundry, they eventually develop a nasty odor and an uncomfortable texture. You should check to see what your specific brand’s care instructions are, but here are some general guidelines--
Always wash in cold water. You might need to use warm or hot water to clean really smelly cotton clothes, but that’s usually not the case with performance fabrics. Most performance apparel brands recommend using a cold wash, so be sure to use a detergent that’s meant for a cold wash. Using a cold-wash cycle is also eco-friendly as it uses less energy!
Skip the dryer, air dry instead. Sports apparel brands also usually recommend air drying sports apparel instead of tossing them in the dryer. Dryers ruin the fabric, and dryer sheets will leave a nasty residue on your clothing that will trap dirt and sweat in the pores of the fabric, causing lingering odors and undesirable textures.
Use powder laundry detergents instead of liquid. Most brands, especially Nike Dri-Fit, recommend using a powder detergent. Powder detergents pack more cleaning power than liquid detergents, without leaving behind any residue that can clog the pores of your gym clothes.
Avoid fabric softeners, optical brighteners and fragrances. Most athletic garments specifically recommend to avoid using detergents with fabric softeners, optical brighteners and fragrances because they leave a residue on the fabric that clogs the pores of the material, causing lingering odors and a rough texture. Avoid these three ingredients at all costs by choosing a hypoallergenic laundry detergent to wash your sports apparel.
Never wash together with clothing that contain zippers. Zippers can rub against your performance fabrics during the wash cycle and cause fraying, ripping, and pilling, which all reduce the life of your sports apparel. Keep your clothes as good as new by avoiding washing them with other pieces of clothing with zippers. Additionally, never overfill your washing machine.
Never wash together with towels and denims. Rougher fabrics can rub against your performance apparel in the wash in a very abrasive manner, also causing fraying, ripping and pilling of your performance fabrics. Avoid this and extend the life of your sports apparel by washing them separately from towels and denims.
You need to use Vapor Fresh Laundry Detergent For Active Lifestyles
Vapor Fresh® High-Performance Free & Clear Laundry Detergent is performance-driven with a focus on body oils and sport-specific stains, specifically-formulated to meet the care instructions of your sports apparel. For those situations where you don’t have the time to separate your sports laundry, this is the best part-- Vapor Fresh® Laundry Detergent is perfectly fine for everyday clothing as well. But if you have even one piece of sports apparel in a load of laundry, don’t ruin it. Instead, make sure you’re using an appropriate laundry detergent such as Vapor Fresh® Laundry Detergent.
If being specifically-formulated for sports apparel isn’t enough, Vapor Fresh® Laundry Detergent also has some other great features--
Free and clear of dyes and fragrances. If you are using a detergent with fragrances, how do you know your clothes are truly clean and not just having their odors covered up? And if you’re using a detergent with optical brighteners, how do you know those stains are actually gone and not just being artificially brightened? Vapor Fresh® Sports Laundry Detergent is completely free and clear of all fragrances and brighteners, so when your laundry comes out smelling and looking clean, you know it’s actually, truly clean.
Free of NPEs and Dioxanes. NPEs are chemicals known to disrupt the endocrine system and mimic estrogen. 1,4-Dioxane is a chemical contaminant that has been linked to breast cancer. Because 1,4-Dioxane is a contaminant, it’s never listed on labels, but it is commonly found in laundry detergents and personal care goods. We are proud to say we are completely free of NPEs and 1,4-Dioxane.
Environmentally-Friendly: formulated with biodegradable surfactants and phosphate-free. If you’re taking good care of your sports clothing and taking good care of your body, mine as well take good care of the environment too! Vapor Fresh® Laundry Detergent is formulated with biodegradable surfactants, and is free of phosphates so it won’t produce harmful runoff water that pollutes our rivers and lakes.
Play Hard. Finish Fresh.