Workout Clothes: How to Not Ruin Them
Are you taking care of your workout clothes?
Workout clothes are not normal clothes. We stopped working out in just cotton and wool decades ago and we should be treating our sci-fi workout clothes - and bank account - with some respect.
The elastic and synthetic fibers are easily broken down by extreme temperatures and also tend to adhere to smells more than typical cottons and wools. It’s only appropriate that we take some time to make sure they are going to last and keep delivering what we demand of them.
Here are some good tips to keep your clothes a long-lasting swolemate to all the mad gains you are making:
Wash inside out: This help retain the color of the clothes. I do this to all of my jeans just to preserve them longer. Turning them inside out also helps the machine breakdown dirt, sweat, oils for thicker fabrics (think fleece lined zip ups that get that sweat/deodorant crust right in the cross seam of the armpit *shivers*)
For extra stinky clothes: soak for 15 minutes in warm water with half a cup or a cup of vinegar. Apple or white vinegar will work just fine.
Wash in cold or warm water: Don’t blast those clothes with hot water. The heat can breakdown the delicate, synthetic fibers - and a lot of the special properties - of sport fabric. Heat and workout clothes are a one way ticket to a workout clothes budget doubling in size, because all of your pants are now peep shows in a deep squat. AVOID. Wash in cold or warm water.
Hang dry: pretty much every singe content hang dries their clothes except america. This is not the reason you should do it but just to alert you to unnecessary whining about it. HANG DRY YOUR WORKOUT CLOTHES. I also do this for denim, silks, polys, wools and t-shirts that I care about. Yes, I basically only put towels in the dryer because my boyfriend like them fluffy. Hang-drying your clothes improves the longevity of you clothes them fold. And your t-shirts won’t be shaped like boxes in 6 months.
Wash pants sparingly: That’s right. If you can, get two to four uses out of your pants before you wash them. If they stink, wash them. If they get EXTREMELY sweaty, wash them. But keep in mind, wash them AS NEEDED - not just because they touched you skin! We all know that not all workouts are the same. Some are extremely vigorous and seats, while some are 1 RM testing days and you wait 6 minutes between sets of .. one. The point is, the more you wash, the more you wear them down. Make your clothes earn a wash.
Hang up workout clothes after use: If you want to avoid stink, DON’T put clothes in the laundry immediately after use! That stink and smell comes from bacteria, and bacteria loves wet, warm places. Hang you clothes in the bathroom or laundry room until they are dry. this is also a useful tip if you want to get an extra wear out of you pants or sports bra.
Use vinegar to get out smell: If clothes are extra stinky, use some vinegar in the wash as well. another good hack (and literally the cleanest my clothes have ever been) was to use half natural soap (Dr. Bronners Sal Suds All Purpose Soap) and half baking soda to the wash. I like this for extra grimy clothes. I know that salt is a natural corrosive so I don’t use it every time, but I love how clean my clothes feel after use. I try to use something a but gentler for workout clothes that get washed more frequently.
Don’t use softeners: If you hang dry your clothes, you won’t even need a softener. Also, why are you washing your clothes of smell and oil, only to put fragrance and oil back into them? Fabric softener is plain BAD for workout clothes. Avoid it.