Top 3 Laundry Hacks to Make Your Workout Clothes Not Stink


This post is sponsored by OdorKlenz, an athletic odor eliminator and athletic cleaning products brand. Some of their statement products for active lifestyle include sport laundry enhancer, which works the most effectively when used in conjunction with a non-scented detergent, gym bag deodorizer and shoe deodorizer.

Are you a puddle of sweat when you leave the tennis court? Does the odor coming from your gym clothes and gear bring tears to your eyes? You must be familiar with the smell that can be so bad that you can’t even leave your clothes in your laundry basket for long periods of time because it will stink up your whole closet! Gross, but it is the harsh reality of intense workout.

Tough sweat odors can sometimes be impenetrable for regular everyday detergent, making the job of cleaning your clothes a little more challenging, so you may need to change your go-to game plan in your laundry process. Learning quick and easy tricks to cleaning your sweaty athletic apparel can make your laundry work be a little less stinky!

Why Do Sweaty Synthetic Clothes Stink Worse?

The fabric of workout clothes can have a direct impact on the amount of odor that permeates from each piece of clothes. You may have experienced or heard about the strong smell that can come with certain synthetic fabrics. Well, many workout clothes material is made using synthetic fabrics such as spandex, polyester, and nylon. Which means that your gym clothes can maybe smell a little ripe after the gym.

You may be wondering, why do synthetic clothes stink worse than other materials? Well, a study conducted by Ghent University, found that polyester shirts were indeed more musty, sour and ammonia scented than other fabrics such as cotton. Synthetic clothes create the perfect environment for bacteria to mix with your sweat to produce that funky smell we all despise. Scientist have found that synthetic fabrics tend to confine odors at a higher rate than natural fabrics, which is both a good and bad thing. Good that it soaks up our sweatiness, but bad that it dries so fast, mixing with the bacteria we produce to elicit this horrible, hard-to-remove scent from gym clothes. As well as the inability for this synthetic wicking fabric to get perfectly clean in the laundry because they are designed to repel water.

Things That Make Your Gym Clothes REEK!

Did you know that the sweat our body produces has no odor to it at all? Well, it’s true. Sweat is completely odor free, but when it comes into contact with the bacteria on our skin it can make that sour smell that we associate with sweat. The smell then gets transferred to your athletic apparel making your gym clothes REEK! Well, not to worry because there are helpful hacks and products to alleviate your airways from this smelly scent in your gym clothes.

Toss Your Fabric Softener

Fabrics softeners are a thing of the past, and unfortunately, many of us are still stuck performing our past routines. It is common to take up the same practices that your parents used, especially when it comes to products used in the laundry room. However, today if you read many of the cleaning directions on clothes, they typically advise against using fabric softeners when cleaning your fabrics.

Not only can the chemicals in fabric softeners be potentially harmful, but fabric softeners also can have negative effects on your clothes, especially sports apparel that contains wicking material. Workout clothes are supposed to be firm and stretchy for optimal use when exercising, and fabric softeners, if used on these clothes, will take away these key functions of our gym apparel. Fabric softeners also have an inverse effect on wicking technology in gym clothes. The wicking material is designed to absorb sweat from your skin and keep you cool when you are doing physical activity, but when you use fabric softeners on this material it will leave it with a coating that will prevent the material from doing what it is designed to do.

Don’t Leave Gym Gear in a Hamper Until Laundry Day

Moisture is a very inviting spot for mold to grow, and your gym clothes provide the perfect amount of moisture to lure the unwanted mold in your home. After a workout, many times people will leave their soiled workout clothes on the floor of their bathroom or bedroom or throw the icky clothes into their laundry hamper. Researchers have found that your dirty clothes hamper is the perfect location for mold to grow because of the bountiful supply of moisture from sweaty clothes like your unwashed gym clothes. The worst culprit of moisture build up in your laundry hamper is from sweat-wicking polyester gym clothes. Although this material is perfect for drying up your sweat and keeping you cool, it can be quite pungent after a workout. This pungent odor stems from an odor-causing bacteria called micrococci that seems to thrive on polyester material specifically. Cleaning your clothes after you workout is a great way to eliminate the moisture build-up in your laundry hamper.

Don’t Cook Your Gym Gear

Heat is known for killing germs and bacteria on your clothing, that’s why we always want to turn our dryer to the highest temperature when drying our gym gear, to cook the germs! However, heat can have a negative impact on your workout clothes. When heat is applied to your clothes it can cause your workout clothes to lose some of its elasticity, but even worse, it can trap odors in your gym gear. So after you wash your clothes either dry them in the machine at a low- or no heat setting or better yet let them air dry.

Why Do My Gym Clothes Smell Even After Washing?

There is nothing worse than picking up a pair of workout pants that you just cleaned, and smelling the foul scent of sweat still lingering on the fabric. Have you ever wondered why this happens, why do your gym clothes smell even after you’ve washed them? There can be multiple reasons of why the odor hasn’t been expelled from your gym clothes such as using fabric softeners, throwing soiled sweaty clothes in your laundry hamper and drying your workout gear in high heat temperatures. The greatest challenge we have, however, is cleaning our wicked material gym gear. The material used for most athletic apparel is spandex and lycra, which tend to repel water, making it hard for detergent to latch on and do its job of cleaning your clothes. The residual body oils, detergent and fabric softeners from all the rigorous washing attempts create this putrid smell on your clothes, making it nearly impossible to wash out without the right cleaning formula. To help rid your clothes of this odor it is best to clean your fabrics with an earth mineral product, that digs deep into the fabric to rid it of the lingering odor.

Do Sports Laundry Detergents Make a Difference?

The key goal we wish to accomplish when doing our laundry is to remove odors from our fabrics and rid our clothing of bacteria and germs we collect throughout the time we wear them. The laundry detergent you choose to use to clean your clothes is very important because there is a multitude of different products to choose from. Depending on what you are washing, you may need a specific laundry product to complete the intended job of removing odors. Specifically, when it comes to washing your gym clothes that are filled with strong sweat odors soaked into the fabric, you may want to use a specially designed sports detergent to do the job. Sports detergents are made to work on common gym clothes fabrics, like synthetic fabrics that normal detergents won’t be able to rid the odor from. To complete the task of ridding your gym gear of sweat odors it is helpful to use an odor removing sports laundry additive, to ensure you never have to worry about smelly gym clothes before your workout.

Cleaning your gym clothes can sometimes be even harder than the workout you did to cause the sweaty odors on your clothes, but by applying these essential laundry hacks to your laundry routine you can save the sweating for the gym rather than in your laundry room!


  1. Informative tips! This are really useful for all of us doing gym. Bad odour from clothing is really a great issue many of us tolerate everyday. This will definitely help us to get rid of this gym clothing smell.


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