Are you a fitness enthusiast who loves to hit the gym? If so, you know it’s important to wear clothes that can handle a vigorous workout. Gym clothes can take a beating, but they must also be washed properly to keep them at their best.
We’ll cover everything from how to launder different fabrics and custom sportswear to how you can get stubborn smells off your clothes. Let’s get started!
What materials are gym clothes typically made of?
The most popular materials used in gym clothing are polyester and nylon. Other materials include spandex, Lycra, and cotton. Let’s go into more detail about each type of fabric.
Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is durable and quick-drying. It is often used in sportswear because it wicks moisture away from the body, making it ideal for workouts.
The disadvantage of polyester is that it is not as breathable as natural fabrics like cotton. It can also retain odors more easily than other materials, so you may want to wash your polyester clothes more often if you sweat a lot.
Like polyester, nylon is a synthetic fabric that is strong and quick-drying. It is also moisture-wicking, making it a good choice for workout clothing.
Nylon is less breathable than polyester, so it may not be as comfortable to wear in hot weather. It is also more prone to pilling or when the fabric starts forming small balls of fuzz on the surface.
Among all the synthetic fabrics, spandex has the highest amount of stretch. It is often used in tight-fitting clothing like leggings and yoga pants.
Spandex is a good choice for workout clothes because it is very comfortable. However, it can also retain odors more easily than other materials, so you may want to wash your spandex clothes more often.
Lycra is a brand name for a type of spandex fabric. It is often used in sportswear because it has a high amount of stretch and recovery, meaning it will spring back into shape after being stretched out.
Like other synthetic fabrics, Lycra is not as breathable as natural fabrics and can retain odors more easily.
CoolDry Fibre is a type of polyester fabric that is treated with a moisture-wicking finish. It is often used in sportswear because it wicks moisture away from the body, making it ideal for workouts.
CoolDry Fibre is less breathable than untreated polyester, so it may not be as comfortable to wear in hot weather. But it will keep you cooler and drier than untreated polyester in moderate or cool weather.
Most gym clothes are a blend of two or more fabrics. For example, polyester and spandex are often used to make stretchy, moisture-wicking fabric. Now that we’ve gone over the most popular types of fabric used in gym clothes, let’s talk about how to wash them.
Printed Gym Clothes
Printed gym clothes like custom printed sportswear are usually made of polyester or nylon. They can often be machine-washed, but it’s best to check the care label first.
If the care label says to wash or dry clean only, you should follow those instructions. To machine wash printed gym clothes, start by turning them inside out to preserve the print.
Then, put them in a mesh laundry bag to protect them from getting snagged or damaged in the wash. Wash on a delicate cycle with cool water and mild detergent. Hang or lay flat to dry. Do not put printed gym clothes in the dryer.
How to wash gym clothes: Polyester and Polyester Blends
You’ll be glad to know that polyester and polyester blends are easy to care for. They can be machine-washed in warm water on a gentle cycle.
Polyester is also safe to machine-dry on low heat or air dry. That being said, you should avoid ironing polyester as it can melt at high temperatures. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wash polyester and polyester blends:
1. Sort your laundry into lights and darks.
Polyester is available in many colors, so it’s important to sort your clothes before washing to avoid colors bleeding onto each other. If you just bought a new item of clothing, wash it separately the first time to be safe.
You can mix polyester with other synthetic fabrics like nylon or spandex. But avoid washing polyester with natural fibers like cotton or wool as they have different care requirements.
2. Add detergent to your machine.
You can use any laundry detergent when washing polyester. But avoid using fabric softener as it coats the fabric and makes it less breathable.
If you’re hand-washing polyester, mix a small amount of mild detergent with cool water in a sink or basin. Swish the clothing to loosen any dirt or sweat before rinsing it in clean water.
3. Wash polyester and polyester blends separately from other fabrics to avoid pilling.
As we’ve mentioned, polyester is prone to pilling. So it’s best to wash it separately from other fabrics to avoid the fabric getting tangled and forming small balls of fuzz.
If you’re washing polyester with other synthetic fabrics, put them in a mesh laundry bag to prevent them from getting tangled.
Wash polyester on a gentle cycle in warm water. Polyester is safe to machine-dry on low heat or air dry.
How to wash gym clothes: Nylon and Nylon Blends
Nylon is a synthetic fabric that is often used to make sportswear. It is lightweight, durable, and has a high amount of stretch. Like polyester, nylon is easy to care for and can be machine-washed in warm water on a gentle cycle.
Washing nylon, spandex, and lycra are pretty much the same, so we’ll just go over the main points here:
- Sort your laundry into lights and darks.
- Add detergent to your machine.
- Wash them on a gentle cycle in warm water.
- Use mesh laundry bags
- Nylon is safe to machine-dry on low heat or air dry. Just avoid ironing nylon as it can melt at high temperatures.
How do you get the sweat smell out of clothes?
If you wear gym clothes often, you might notice that they start to smell even after washing them. This is because sweat contains bacteria that can get trapped in synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon.
To prevent your gym clothes from smelling, wash them as soon as possible after working out. If you can’t wash them right away, put them in a mesh laundry bag and store them in the freezer until you can wash them.
But if you’ve already washed them, but they still smell, here are a few things you can do:
Soak them in vinegar:
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can kill the bacteria causing the smell. Just add a cup of vinegar to your washing machine before you start the cycle. After the cycle is done, wash your clothes with detergent to eliminate the vinegar smell.
Use baking soda:
Baking soda is another natural odor-buster. Just add a cup of baking soda to your washing machine before you start the cycle. Like with vinegar, you’ll need to wash your clothes with detergent afterward.
Use a commercial odor eliminator:
If vinegar and baking soda don’t work, you can try using a commercial odor eliminator like Febreze or OdoBan. These products are designed to eliminate tough odors. Just follow the instructions on the package.
Wash them on hot:
Bacteria thrive in warm environments, so washing your clothes hot will kill them. Just read the care label first, as some fabrics can shrink in hot water.
How often should I wash my gym clothes?
Gym clothes typically need to be washed after every wear. If you only wear them for a short workout, you can probably get away with washing them every few days. But if you’re sweating or wearing them for long periods, you’ll need to wash them more often.
To prevent your gym clothes from smelling, wash them as soon as possible after working out.
Working out is great for your health, but it can take a toll on your clothes. The good news is that you can keep your gym clothes looking and smelling fresh with a little care!