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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.