How to wash sports clothes

Whether you’re working out or playing in a big game, it’s important to stay fresh.

Nobody wants to smell like a wet dog only half an hour into their workout, and by following a few simple guidelines, you won’t ever have to! Find out how to get sweat stains out of your sports clothes and fight the smell of mildew and body odour at the same time. What you’ll find in this article:

How are sports clothes fabrics different from regular clothes?

Most sports clothes are made of breathable synthetic fabrics like elastane (also known as Lycra or spandex)nylonpolyesterand acrylic, favoured for their great durability, wicking and quick dry properties. In contrast to fabrics such as cotton, rayon, silk and wool, which love to hold onto water, synthetic fabrics are hydrophobic and thus are virtually non-absorbent. This is a rather useful feature when it comes to high-impact cardiovascular exercises.

Their main disadvantage is that they’re very prone to retaining odours, even when they’ve been through the wash. They also don’t fare too well in hot water washes, as the high temperature inside your washing machine can damage the elasticity of the fabrics, leading to shrinkage and a shorter lifespan.

How to wash sports clothes

In case you find yourself with smelly gym clothes, full of sweat and armpit stains, just follow the steps below to achieve an outstanding clean and fresh-smelling clothes!

  • 1

    Dry your clothes.

    Let your sweat-soaked clothes dry before you put them into the hamper or laundry bag. If it’s a sunny day, move equipment outside so that it dries faster, even if you’re planning to wash it later.

    Dry your clothes.
  • 2

    Turn your clothes inside out.

    The stink-causing bacteria builds up on the inside of your workout gear, so washing inside out will give it a more thorough clean.

    Turn your clothes inside out.
  • 3

    Wash your sportswear in cold water.

    For the best results, make sure you use a detergent that’s specifically formulated to handle tough sweat marks and malodour, like Ariel Active All-in-1 PODS + Odour Defence.

    Wash your sportswear in cold water.
  • 4

    Add scent boosters.

    For an even greater scent experience, use Lenor Unstoppables Active In-Wash scent booster, which helps you get rid of stubborn smells and gives high endurance freshness for your clothes.

    Add scent boosters.
  • 5

    Stay away from fabric softeners.

    The stretchy and moisture-wick nature of your sports clothes don’t match well with the coating left behind the fabric softener, which makes it harder for water and detergent to fully penetrate the fibres, leading to the build-up of odour-causing bacteria.

    Stay away from fabric softeners.
  • 6

    Avoid machine drying your sportswear.

    Agitation and extreme heat will not only damage the fibres of your clothing, but will also amplify odours. Instead, just let your gym clothes air dry.

    Avoid machine drying your sportswear.
  • 7

    Refresh your gym bag with dryer sheets.

    Your gym bag can start to retain the odours of the workout gear inside it. Place a couple of dryer sheets in your bag for a quick and easy fix that will keep it smelling fresh.

    Refresh your gym bag with dryer sheets.

How to wash trainers

While shoes made from animal-based fabrics like leather or suede and delicate materials such as satin or silk are best not to machine wash, trainers are typically made from synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester, which are suitable to wash inside the machine. Here’s how to wash trainers in a washing machine!

  • 1

    Clean your shoes.

    Remove the laces, and carefully – but thoroughly – brush off any surface dirt from your shoe.

    Clean your shoes.
  • 2

    Put your trainers in a mesh laundry bag.

    This way, you can prevent them from getting trapped in the drum.

    Put your trainers in a mesh laundry bag.
  • 3

    Load your washing machine.

    Place the mesh bag inside the washing machine and throw in a few towels to provide cushioning and reduce the noise from the trainers banging against the drum.

    Load your washing machine.
  • 4

    Add laundry detergent.

    Pop in an Ariel Active All-in- 1 PODS + Odour Defence washing capsule and run a cold water cycle.

    Add laundry detergent.
  • 5

    Air-dry your trainers.

    Stuff newspaper inside your trainers and let them dry naturally.

    Air-dry your trainers.

Now that you know the secret to spic and span sports clothes, there’s nothing holding you back from giving 110% in the gym, or the playing field!