A Comprehensive Guide to Treating and Washing Your Workout Gear

A Comprehensive Guide to Treating and Washing Your Workout Gear

After a demanding WOD (workout of the day), especially if it involves strenuous CrossFit exercises, your training gear like t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies can get smelly due to heavy sweating. This guide will help you properly treat and wash your workout clothing to extend their life and keep them smelling fresh.

1. Immediate Post-Workout Care

Don't leave your gear in a pile after training hard. The longer sweat stays on fabric, the more likely it is to start smelling. Bacteria love the moist, warm environment that a sweaty t-shirt, sweatshirt, or hoodie provides.
  • After your WOD, if possible, hang your clothes up to dry as soon as you can. This practice discourages bacterial growth that can intensify the odors.
  • Avoid stuffing your sweaty clothing directly into your gym bag. If you must, consider using a separate mesh or breathable bag to store your clothes until you get home.
2. Pre-Treating Your Workout Clothes

Pre-treating clothes can help to break down the sweat and body oils that cause odor.
  • Rinse your workout clothes in cold water as soon as you can. This will help to dilute sweat and prevent odors from setting in.
  • For heavily soiled areas (like the underarms of your t-shirt or sweatshirt), use a sports detergent or a laundry pre-treatment product. Apply it to the area and gently work it in with a soft brush.
  • Let the pre-treatment sit on the clothes for about 15 minutes before washing.
3. Washing Your Workout Clothes
  • Use a sports detergent specifically made for workout clothes. These detergents are designed to break down body oils and sweat that regular detergents might not tackle as effectively.
  • Turn your clothes inside out before washing. This is because the majority of sweat, oils, and dead skin cells accumulate on the inside of your clothes.
  • Wash your workout clothes on the cold setting. Heat can set in odors and damage the elastic fibers in your workout clothes.
  • Avoid using fabric softener, as it can coat the fibers of performance fabrics and reduce their ability to wick moisture away.
  • If possible, do not wash your workout clothes with other heavy items like jeans or towels, which can cause unnecessary friction and wear on your workout gear.
4. Drying Your Workout Clothes
  • Air-drying your workout clothes is the best way to prevent damage to their fibers. Hang them up in a well-ventilated area, or lay flat to dry.
  • If you need to use a dryer, use the lowest heat setting or a no-heat tumble dry setting. High heat can damage the fibers and elasticity of your workout clothes, reducing their lifespan and performance.
5. Regular Maintenance
  • It's a good idea to give your workout clothes a thorough clean every few weeks to ensure all oils and bacteria are removed. Soak your clothes in a mixture of cold water and white vinegar for 15-30 minutes before washing as normal. This helps to eliminate any lingering odors.

Following these steps will help you keep your t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies fresh, even after a tough CrossFit WOD. Your gear will not only last longer, but you'll also feel more comfortable and confident during your workouts.
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