Nobody wants their gym clothes to be uncomfortable, so it might seem like a good idea to use fabric softener when washing them.
That’s a huge mistake.
Fabric softener will wreak havoc on your beloved gym clothes or any piece of clothing with wicking fabric, which is why you should never use them when washing gym clothes.
What Are Fabric Softeners?
Fabric softeners are chemical additives found in some laundry detergents and dryer sheets. They can also be found as stand alone laundry detergent additives. They are composed of positively charged ions that coat the surface of the clothing and attach to the negative ends of fibers, forcing the fibers to stand up off the garment to provide a softer feel.
How Fabric Softeners Ruin Gym Clothes
By coating the entire surface of your gym clothes and remaining on them after the wash is done, fabric softener can cause some serious problems with your gym clothes and your skin.
First, by coating the entire piece of clothing, remaining on it even after the wash is done and messing with the delicate design of wicking fabrics, fabric softeners can essentially block the wicking power of your gym clothes. Gym clothes are so great because they wick sweat away from your body and help regulate your body temperature, so without that wicking power you end up losing a lot of comfort and performance.
Second, because fabric softener remains on your clothes even after the wash is complete, it ends up coming in direct and prolonged contact with your skin, especially with form-fitting pieces like yoga pants. This can cause skin irritation for people with sensitive skin. If your gym clothes irritate your skin, they become essentially useless.
Third, laundry detergents are made of compounds called surfactants that help wash away dirt and other debris from clothes. They do this by containing both a hydrophobic (water-hating) group and a hydrophilic (water-loving) group in the same molecule. Because fabric softeners are positively charged, they can deactivate some surfactants and cause your laundry detergent to be less effective. Of all your pieces of clothing, the last item you’d want to be inadequately washed are your gym clothes.
Instead, Use Free & Clear Laundry Detergent On Gym Clothes
Avoid all these issues and opt for a high-performance free & clear laundry detergent like Vapor Fresh® Laundry Detergent whenever you’re washing your sports jerseys or gym clothes. By using a free & clear detergent, you’ll also avoid the same issues from artificial fragrances and optical brighteners. After all, shouldn’t your laundry detergent be cleaning your clothes well enough that they don’t need additives to make them smell great and appear to be cleaner?
Get the job done right and extend the life of your gym clothes by using Vapor Fresh® High-Performance Free & Clear Laundry Detergent!