It’s that time of year again: the Charleston Heatpocalypse is upon us! (You know it’s toasty when you leave a Hot Yoga class and if feels cold outside!) And with that heat comes sweat and even worse…SWEATY GYM CLOTHES!!!
So what should you do with your sodden shorts, shirts and socks? We consulted our favorite resources for tips on how to handle your sweat before it becomes STINKY!
This is our top 5 Tips of what NOT TO DO with your sweaty stuff.
1. DON’T BURY YOUR SWEATY CLOTHES IN A GYM BAG.
Our friends at Health Magazine consulted the cleaning experts at Whirlpool: “‘Odor in workout clothing is most commonly caused by a buildup of sweat and bacteria from your body,’ explains Mary Zeitler, lead consumer scientist at the Whirlpool Corporation Institute of Home Science. ‘How you store your workout clothes can also lead to additional odors—for example, leaving sweaty clothes in a closed up gym bag, locker, or hamper.’”
So instead of cramming your clothes in your bag after you grab a shower at DUFF, try to let your clothes dry out. Now we know that many DUFFNATICS go straight to work after the gym and don’t have time to go home and wash right away. That’s okay! Lay your clothes out flat in your laundry room—or if need be—the back of your car/trunk. While they may get toasty (and they will still probably be pretty funky at the end of the day), keeping them out of the bag will minimize the damage that a tight, swampy wad would do.
2. DON’T BE AFRAID TO PRE-RINSE
And even better, according to Men’s Health, Mike Eaton of Hero Clean (a new line of cleaning products for men) goes the extra mile: “Eaton wears his workout clothes right into the shower and wrings them out afterward. It’s worth the strange looks to immediately flush out much of that sweat and bacteria.”
3. DON’T OVER COMPENSATE WITH MORE DETERGENT.
And once you finally get your goods to the laundry room? Resist the urge to make up for lost time with extra soap. The experts at Shape Magazine point out that putting in too much laundry detergent can actually contribute to a stinky situation: ““Some people add extra detergent to their smelly gym clothes…’ says Jolie Kerr, a cleaning expert and author of the (hilariously instructive) cleaning book My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag….’But more is actually worse.’ Why? Your washing machine has a standard cycle that’s set to handle a certain amount of detergent, Kerr says. Any excess doesn’t get washed out. It just builds up on your clothing, trapping dead skin and creating an ideal environment for fungus, she explains. ‘If you notice a funky smell, that’s probably mildew,” she adds. “It feeds off soap as well as dead skin debris.’ Gross.”
4. DON’t OVERLOAD YOUR MACHINE
While efficiency may dictate your normal laundry routine, be sure to keep your loads smaller when washing sweaty clothes. Men’s Fitness interviewed NYC laundry expert Eduardo Herrara who explains, “In order to wash these garments properly, water has to penetrate the clothing fibers…It is very important to check washing machine capacity and fill it to three quarters of the total for heavily soiled items like gym clothes.” For more tips from Herrera including some great pre-treatment tips click HERE.
5. DON’T USE FABRIC SOFTENER
Women’s Health Magazine interviewed laundry expert Mary Marlowe Leverette, who explains that what makes state-of-the-art workout wear so functional actually contributes to their stinky demise: “Moisture-wicking performance fabrics, which do an amazing job of sending wetness to the surface of the fabric to keep you cool and dry, tend to have extra nooks and crannies that cling to dirt and odors.” Using extras in your wash can help trap that dirt onto your clothes. “Fabric softeners can clog the fibers of performance fabrics, keeping water and detergent from getting into those grooves for a deep clean, and messing with moisture-wicking and odor-fighting properties.” It appears that according to rules 3-5—when cleaning stinky gym clothes—less is more.