You work hard to stay in shape so it's important that your workout clothes do the same. A lot of activewear today is made of technical fabrics that wick moisture away from the body so you can stay cool up to the last rep. These diligent yet delicate materials require special care to get them clean and ensure they last for many more workouts.
Air Out Your Gym Clothes
Here's how to care for your gymwear so that it's ready for your next workout session.
After your workout, air dry your gym clothes by hanging them outside. Never let your sweaty tank top stay crumpled in the depths of your gym bag. Not only is this one smelly mistake, but keeping a sweaty garment trapped in a bag or laundry basket for a long period of time can breed mold and mildew.
Care and clean
Most synthetic workout fabrics like polyester, Lycra and spandex are machine washable in cold water, but extra care must be taken to preserve the shape, elasticity and technical capabilities of each garment.
Separate and wash like with like
Wash in cold water
You've likely mastered the art of separating lights and darks, so let's take it one step further by separating your workout gear so that you're washing like fabrics together. Mixing and washing synthetics and cottons together can cause abrasion, resulting in greater wear and tear on your workout clothes. Also, refrain from throwing in your dirty gym towel with your gym gear as the cotton fluff from the towel can cling to nylon and spandex. Same goes for anything with zippers or velcro, which can cause friction against delicate workout fabrics.
Use less laundry detergent
Hot water can cause shrinkage and decrease the performance of technical fabrics so it's ideal to wash your gear in cold water.
Keep the fabric softener away
It may be tempting to put in more detergent to get the sweat smell out, but it's better to use three-quarters of what you'd use for a normal load as extra detergent can cling to your workout clothes.
While we love the fresh scent of fabric softener, workout clothes and fabric softener are an unfortunate pair. Fabric softener breaks down the elasticity in stretchy fabrics like nylon and spandex. It also creates a barrier on the garment, which traps in odors and clogs the pores of technical fabrics, decreasing their moisture-wicking capabilities.
Dry and repeat
While your workout gear works as hard as you do, it does require delicate care and attention to keep clean and prolong its life. These tips will help you make sure your gym clothes stay tough enough to handle whatever fitness regimen you put them through.
After washing, it's important to hang your workout gear and let it air dry because the heat can damage technical fabrics and cause your clothes to change in shape. If you're in a hurry to get to spin class, you can put your workout gear in the dryer but only at the lowest heat setting.
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