Gym clothes are an essential part of any workout routine. They are designed to handle sweat, stretch, and rigorous activity, providing the comfort and support needed during exercise. However, maintaining their functionality and appearance requires proper care. 

Improper washing can lead to lingering odors, fabric damage, and loss of elasticity, making your gym clothes less effective and less comfortable over time. This comprehensive guide aims to provide detailed instructions on how to wash gym clothes correctly, ensuring they stay fresh, clean, and in top condition for longer.

At Rexing Sports, we understand the importance of quality gym clothes. Our products are designed with durability and comfort in mind, ensuring you get the most out of your workouts. Be sure to check out our gym clothes collection, crafted to withstand even the toughest workouts.

How to Wash Athletic Clothes: Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Sort Your Gym Clothes: Separate your gym clothes from regular laundry. Group similar fabrics and colors together to prevent color bleeding and fabric damage. This step is crucial as it prevents delicate fabrics from being damaged by rougher materials and reduces the risk of color transfer.
  • Pre-Treat Stains: Before washing, inspect your gym clothes for stains and apply a pre-treatment solution or a small amount of detergent directly to the affected areas. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow the detergent to penetrate and break down the stain. For tougher stains, consider using a stain remover specifically designed for activewear.
  • Choose the Right Detergent: Use a detergent specifically designed for athletic wear. These detergents are formulated to break down sweat and body oils more effectively than regular detergents, helping to eliminate odors and preserve the fabric's elasticity. Look for detergents that are free of dyes and perfumes, which can be harsh on sensitive skin and fabric.
  • Select the Appropriate Water Temperature: Wash gym clothes in cold water to prevent shrinkage, fading, and damage to the fabric's elasticity. Hot water can break down the fibers of synthetic fabrics, reducing their lifespan and effectiveness.
  • Use a Gentle Cycle: Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle to minimize wear and tear on the fabrics. Aggressive washing cycles can stretch and damage the material, especially for items with elastic components.
  • Avoid Fabric Softeners: Fabric softeners can leave a residue that affects the moisture-wicking properties of gym clothes. Instead, add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to soften clothes and remove odors without damaging the fabric.
  • Air Dry: Air drying is the best method to maintain the shape and elasticity of your gym clothes. Lay them flat on a drying rack or hang them up to dry. If you must use a dryer, set it to a low heat setting to prevent shrinking and fabric damage.
  • Tips for Optimal Care

    • Turn Clothes Inside Out: Turning your gym clothes inside out before washing helps protect the outer fabric and keeps colors vibrant. This also helps to remove sweat and oils more effectively.
    • Use a Mesh Laundry Bag: Place delicate items like sports bras and leggings in a mesh laundry bag to prevent snagging and stretching. This is especially useful for items with straps or delicate details.

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    How to Wash Workout Clothes: Best Practices

    Hand Washing

    Hand washing is the gentlest method for cleaning workout clothes. Fill a basin with cold water and add a small amount of detergent. Submerge the clothes, gently agitate them with your hands, and let them soak for about 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and air dry. Hand washing is particularly recommended for items with delicate fabrics or intricate details that could be damaged in a washing machine. Check out the best fabric for activewear.

    Machine Washing

    When machine washing, always follow the garment's care label instructions. Use a gentle detergent and cold water. Avoid overloading the machine, as this can cause excessive friction and wear. For items that require extra care, consider using a mesh laundry bag to protect them during the wash cycle.

    Fabric Care and Maintenance

    • Avoid Chlorine Bleach: Chlorine bleach can weaken the fibers and cause discoloration. Instead, use oxygen-based bleach if needed to brighten whites and remove stains without damaging the fabric.
    • Rinse Immediately After Use: If you can't wash your gym clothes right away, rinse them in cold water to remove sweat and prevent odors from setting in. This simple step can help prolong the life of your workout gear.

    How to Wash Activewear: Step-by-Step Instructions

    • Check Care Labels: Always read the care labels on your activewear to ensure you follow the manufacturer's washing recommendations. These labels provide important information on water temperature, washing methods, and drying instructions.
    • Use Mild Detergents: Opt for mild, enzyme-free detergents to preserve the integrity of the fabric. Enzymes in some detergents can break down synthetic fibers, reducing the lifespan of your activewear.
    • Avoid Overwashing: Overwashing can wear out the fibers of your activewear. Wash only when necessary, and consider spot cleaning for minor stains. This helps preserve the fabric's elasticity and shape.

    Water Temperature and Drying

    • Cold Water Wash: Always use cold water to preserve the elasticity and color of your activewear. Cold water is gentle on fabrics and helps prevent shrinkage and fading.
    • Air Dry: Lay your activewear flat to dry or hang them. Avoid using hangers that can stretch out the fabric. If you need to use a dryer, opt for a low-heat setting to avoid damaging the fibers.

    Cleaning Gym Clothes: Best Methods for Stain and Odor Removal

    • Pre-Treat Stains: Apply a mixture of water and baking soda to stains and let it sit for 15-30 minutes before washing. This helps to lift stains and deodorize the fabric.
    • Use Vinegar: Add half a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to neutralize odors and soften the fabric. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer that helps remove any remaining detergent residue.
    • Baking Soda: For stubborn odors, add half a cup of baking soda to the wash cycle along with your detergent. Baking soda helps to absorb odors and freshen up your gym clothes.

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    Clean Workout Clothes: Tips for Removing Stains and Odors

    • Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix hydrogen peroxide with water in a 1:1 ratio and apply it to stains for a powerful stain-removing solution. Hydrogen peroxide is effective for removing protein-based stains like sweat and blood.
    • Lemon Juice: To remove natural odors, soak clothes in a mixture of water and lemon juice before washing. Lemon juice has natural bleaching and deodorizing properties.

    Best Way to Wash Workout Clothes: Tips for Detailed Washing

  • Sort and Pre-Treat: Separate gym clothes from other laundry and pre-treat any stains. Sorting helps to protect delicate fabrics and prevent color transfer.
  • Choose the Right Detergent: Use a detergent formulated for activewear. These detergents are designed to effectively remove sweat and odors without damaging the fabric.
  • Cold Water Wash: Set your washing machine to use cold water. Cold water is gentle on fabrics and helps to preserve their elasticity and color.
  • Gentle Cycle: Use the gentle or delicate cycle to minimize fabric stress. This setting reduces the risk of stretching and damaging your gym clothes.
  • Air Dry: Always air dry your workout clothes to maintain their shape and elasticity. Air drying helps to preserve the fabric's integrity and prevents shrinkage.
  • Best Detergent for Athletic Clothes: What to Look For

    Choose the Right Detergent

    • Enzyme-Free: Avoid detergents with enzymes that can degrade synthetic fibers. Look for enzyme-free options that are gentle on athletic fabrics.
    • Moisture-Wicking Compatible: Look for detergents designed to maintain the moisture-wicking properties of athletic fabrics. These detergents help keep your gym clothes performing at their best.
    • Fragrance-Free: Fragrance-free detergents are less likely to irritate sensitive skin. Choose detergents that are free of dyes and perfumes for a gentle clean.

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    Recommended Detergents

    • Sport Suds: Specifically formulated for activewear, Sport Suds effectively removes odors and stains without leaving residue. This detergent is gentle on fabrics and helps to preserve their elasticity.
    • Tide Plus Sport: Known for its powerful cleaning, Tide Plus Sport is designed to tackle tough gym clothes. This detergent effectively removes sweat and body oils, keeping your gym clothes fresh and clean.

    FAQs About Washing Gym Clothes

    1. How should you wash athletic clothes?

    Follow the care label instructions, use a gentle detergent, wash in cold water, and air dry. These steps help to maintain the quality and performance of your athletic clothes.

    2. Should I wash athletic clothes separately?

    Yes, to prevent damage and maintain the fabric’s integrity, wash athletic clothes separately from regular laundry. This helps to protect delicate fabrics and prevent color transfer.

    3. How to whiten athletic clothes?

    Use a mixture of baking soda and water to pre-treat stains. Avoid chlorine bleach, as it can damage synthetic fibers. Instead, opt for oxygen-based bleach for a gentle whitening effect.

    4. Is it better to wash gym clothes in hot or cold water?

    Cold water is recommended to prevent shrinking, fading, and loss of elasticity. It is gentle on fabrics and helps preserve their shape and color.

    5. What is the best way to wash workout clothes?

    Sort pre-treat stains, use a gentle detergent, wash in cold water on a gentle cycle, and air dry. These steps help to maintain the quality and performance of your workout clothes.

    6. Can you put gym clothes in the washing machine?

    Yes, but use a gentle cycle, cold water, and avoid fabric softeners. Machine washing is convenient, but it's important to use the right settings to protect your gym clothes.

    7. How do I keep my gym clothes from smelling after washing?

    Use a sport-specific detergent, avoid fabric softeners, and air dry promptly. Adding vinegar or baking soda to the wash cycle can also help to eliminate odors.

    8. How often should I wash my gym clothes?

    Wash after each use to prevent odors and bacteria build-up. Regular washing helps to maintain hygiene and prolong the life of your gym clothes.


    Properly washing your gym clothes is essential for maintaining their performance, longevity, and hygiene. By following the tips and guidelines provided in this comprehensive guide, you can ensure your athletic wear remains fresh, clean, and ready for your next workout. Taking the time to care for your gym clothes properly will enhance your workout experience and help you get the most out of your investment.

    At Rexing Sports, we offer a range of high-quality gym clothes designed to withstand the rigors of your active lifestyle. Explore our gym clothes collection and other athletic wear to find the perfect gear for your fitness journey. Whether you’re hitting the gym, running outdoors, or practicing yoga, our products are designed to provide the comfort and durability you need.

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    July 08, 2024 — Allen Lynn

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