How many times have you washed your workout clothes, only to find them still smelling like sweat?

Portrait of a charming woman workout with dumbbells in fitness gym

I’m a pretty clean person, but I’ve noticed a very specific smell surrounding my workout clothes. No matter how many times I washed them, the smell still lingered. At first, I thought it was my detergent. So, I switched detergent. But, nothing! I tried air drying, washing multiple times, washing without other clothes in the machine – but there was still no change.

It was incredibly frustrating because I thought it was just me. It turns out, this is a very common issue.

“Odor in workout clothing is most commonly caused by a buildup of sweat and bacteria from your body,” stated Mary Zeitler, lead consumer scientist at Whirlpool Corporation Institute of Home Science. According to Mary Zeitler, the way you store your gym clothes after a work out can also play a role in the stench. Whoops! I guess throwing my gym clothes in a pile after hot yoga isn’t such a good idea.

According to an article published on Health, there’s a lot you can do to help eliminate the smell in your work out clothes.

Wash your gym clothes ASAP.

Bacteria can make itself at home in your gym clothes much faster than you think. Throwing your wet clothes in a hamper right after a workout won’t eliminate the odor. Instead of letting the stench consume your hamper, wash your workout gear as soon as you take it off. If you have no interest in running your washer and dryer every day (like, me) then at least, let your clothes air dry. Give your sweat some time to dry off before putting it in your dirty clothes bin.

Don’t use too much detergent. 

When it comes to detergent, less is more. Who would’ve thought? The instructions on your detergent tell you the recommended dosage – go with that. Using too much detergent, or stuffing your machine full with clothes, might sound like a good idea (at the time). But, it actually makes “it harder for clothes to rinse clean.”

Wash clothes inside out. 

We all have our favorite gym clothes – there’s nothing wrong with that! However, the more we wear, the more dead skin and sweat build up on those clothes. Ew. Luckily, washing your clothes inside out helps fix that problem. “Since the sweat, oils, and bacteria from your body accumulate on the inside of the clothes” washing them inside out will allow the detergent and water to actually interact with what needs to be cleaned.

Changing the way I washed my workout clothes helped remove the stench. No longer am I a victim to my smelly exercise gear, and you won’t be either!