The Best Way to Wash Gym Clothes

Washing any clothes can be a fraught process. You’ll want to balance the washing process with the results. In other words, the cost of washing must justify the need and the result.

Gym clothes are definitely one of those occasions. In general, you’ll only wear these items once or maybe twice before washing because they are very good at absorbing sweat. This sweat feeds the bacteria naturally present on your skin, causing them to multiply. While this isn’t usually harmful to your health, the process does create an odor that encourages you to wash your clothes.

High-qualitysportswear is not cheap. You’ve likely made an investment in these pieces, so you need to take care of it, and that means washing it properly. Here’s how.

Cold or Cool Water

You can wash sportswear in your machine but you need to choose a cool or cold cycle. Hot water is likely to damage the ability of your clothes to absorb moisture. It is also likely to change the shape of your clothes, making them fit poorly or not at all.

The Right Detergent

Use detergent and fabric care solutions that are designed to clean and preserve activewear. It won’t just be kind to your clothes, it will be better for the environment.

The wrong detergent can damage  your clothes and strip the color or ability to absorb moisture, ruining your gym clothes.

Keep It Small

It’s a good idea to keep your washing loads small when doing gym clothes, this allows the detergent to work without the risk of clothes becoming damaged while rubbing against each other.

Of course, you can always wash them by hand as this will ensure the load is small.


When drying your gym clothes its best to opt for the natural choice. Allowing them to air dry will help to ensure they dry in shape and the special properties of your clothes aren’t damaged.

You can also choose to lay them out flat on a towel and turn them over once one side has dried. This will encourage them to maintain their shape and dry quicker. If you do choose to dry them in a machine, do not use fabric softener sheets. Fabric sheets can potentially block moisture-wicking properties and can cause them not to function properly.


If you’re using a machine you may not feel that this stage is necessary but it can be very useful. Simply add a little detergent  to cool water and leave your clothes to soak for 10-15 minutes. This will help to dislodge the bacteria and dirt in your clothing before you wash them.

It’s worth considering washing by hand, especially if you’re already rinsing by hand. All you need to do is to swirl them around in the water after rinsing. You’ll then be able to remove excess water by folding the clothing and squeezing it against the bath, before moving onto the drying stage.

No matter how dedicated you are to wash your gym clothes properly, it’s a good idea to have two or three sets of clothing, this will allow you to wash after every second use without running out of clothing.

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