Wearing the right workout gear can improve your performance and recovery time, according to research. It’s recommended that you wear a fresh set of sports gear for every workout that you do. When you factor in the cost of workout shoes, too, you’ll spend a lot of money. This is why it’s important that you keep your workout gear in top condition as it will make it last longer.
Let your clothes breathe
During a one-hour workout, you’ll sweat between 0.8 liters and 1.4 liters of sweat. A lot of this sweat will be absorbed by your workout clothes. You may think that the best thing you can do is shove your clothes straight in your washer when you’ve finished your workout. But there’s something even better you can do: give them time to breathe. Hanging your clothes up (preferably outside) will shift some of the odor that’s on the clothes and ensure they’re as fresh as possible after they’ve been washed.
Wash it straight after you’ve worn it
You should wash your workout gear after every workout as this will remove sweat and bacteria. When you’ve pushed yourself hard at the gym and your clothes are extra smelly, soak them in vinegar before washing them.
Your clothes will then be ready to go into your washing machine on a cold cycle. Avoid hot water and fabric softener as they can damage the fibers in workout clothes. Don’t forget to clean your workout sneakers in the washing machine, too. A delicate, cold-water cycle should be used. Always remove the laces and insoles first. It’s also worth washing your shoes with some old towels as this will stop them from banging around in the machine and getting damaged.
Do a solo wash
A recent YouGov poll found that 41% of Americans don’t separate their clothing before washing it. Gym gear often states on the label that it should be washed separately. This is because it is made from delicate fibers.
If you throw in your workout gear with other clothing, it will come into contact and rub up against other materials, including zippers and buttons. These materials could damage your workout clothes, meaning you have to replace them sooner than you’d like. If it’s not possible to wash your workout gear on its own, pop it into mesh bags before putting it into the machine as this will provide some protection.
Hold back on the detergent
Smelly, sweaty clothes need extra detergent to make them fresh again, right? Wrong. Using too much detergent can cause more problems as it will create a build-up of soap suds. These suds will leave marks and stains on your clothes that will require another wash to get out. Excess detergent can even overwhelm your workout clothes and make them smell strange.
Less is more when using detergent, so make sure you follow the instructions on the packaging. You may even want to use a laundry detergent made just for sportswear.
Turn your workout gear inside out
Most people wash their clothes in whatever way they take them off. When you think about it, the dirtiest part of gym gear is on the inside. This is where your skin has sat and sweated. The inside of your clothes has then soaked up the majority of this sweat and bacteria. Make the effort to turn all your sports clothing inside out before washing it. When the clothes get into the wash, it will be easier for the water and soap to clean away the sweat, bacteria, and odors.
Air-dry rather than machine dry
It’s tempting to throw wet clothes into a dryer to get them to dry quickly, but this isn’t a good idea with sports gear. Clothes dryers typically get up to 135°F. This temperature is hot enough to damage your sports gear and shrink it. The best thing you can do is air dry it instead. However, try to dry it so that it’s not in direct sunlight as this can cause discoloration of the fabrics and make your activewear look old.
Hang your workout clothes up
Now that your workout clothes are nice and dry, you’re probably wondering what to do with them next. It’s important not to iron them as the heat will damage and shrink the material. It’s much better to wear slightly wrinkled workout gear than clothes that have been ruined. To keep your gym clothes in the best condition possible you should hang them up in your closet rather than fold them up. Hanging prevents wrinkles and can extend the life of clothing – but only if you use quality hangers.
Rotate your gym gear
Everyone has got a favorite pair of workout leggings and a preferred workout top. The problem is that if you keep wearing the same workout gear over and over again, it will wear out quickly. Frequent washing will also thin your clothes. Have a few sets of gym clothes that you can rotate, so you don’t repeatedly wear the same stuff. This will help them all wear at the same pace and last for longer.
Your workout gear can last for years when you care for it in the right way. By washing it regularly, utilizing your washing line, and hanging it up, you’ll get to spend more time exercising and less time shopping for new clothes.