How To Wash Your Workout Clothing – And Have It Last Forever

How To Wash Your Workout Clothing - And Have It Last Forever

Learn the best way to wash (& dry!) your workout gear so that it stays in great shape.

When you buy quality workout gear, the last thing you want to do is have it wear out quickly. Here are my favorite, easy ways to make your workout clothing last a long time.

Put sweaty clothes in a breathable bag or hamper.

After a workout, it’s easy to ball up your clothes in a gym bag and forget about them for a few hours in the back of the car. Instead of dealing with that stinky mess later, toss your workout gear in a breathable mesh bag or hamper until you get home. If you wear your clothes home, put them directly into the washer when you get home so you can get the sweat and grime off them as quickly as possible.

Sports bras go into a mesh bag.

You pay a lot for quality workout clothing, so care for it well! Place all your sports bras into a small mesh bag before laundering; you can often find these labeled “lingerie bags” online. Delicates like underwear can also go in the bag; the goal is to keep the items from catching on anything that might snag or tear them. Other items like yoga pants or tank tops can also go into the washing machine with the mesh bag items, and then wash following these instructions.

Use the Delicate cycle on your machine with cold water.

People often think hot water will help kill bacteria; however, hot water can shrink and harm your workout items. You must use a Delicate cycle with cold water if you want to keep your workout clothing in good shape. If your machine doesn’t have a Delicate cycle, look for Gentle or Hand-Wash cycles instead.

Wash using baby detergent, such as Dreft.

I wash all my delicate items including sports bras using gentle cleansers. Baby detergents are the best, and Dreft is what I personally use.

Add a sprinkle of Downy Unstoppables.

These crystals help get the workout stink out of your gym clothes. Before I started using these, my husband would complain that my gym clothes were smelling up his clean laundry. Adding Downy Unstoppables has made all our laundry smell fresh and clean.

Never dry your workout clothing in the dryer.

You should never put any of your workout clothing into the dryer. Even no-heat cycles still expose your clothing to harmful conditions. Your gear will pill and wear out faster. Seriously, please don’t do this even if you are in a rush!

Use a drying rack or plastic hangers for tops.

I love a good DIY, but when it comes to drying workout clothes, you need a drying rack, drying line, or plastic hangers. I love the kind that folds up flat to save space on non-laundry days. Use your rack to lay items out including sports bras, pants, and tops. If you’re out of lay-flat room, use plastic hangers to create vertical drying space. However you hang them, only air dry them; your clothes will thank you!


Note: This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite product recommendations. I may get a small commission from any reader purchases.

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