Do your workout clothes smell funky no matter how many times you wash them? Well, you are not the only one with this problem. Figuring out how to get the musty smell out of gym clothes is quite a workout on its own and a problem that most people who regularly exercise face.
At this point, you can breathe a fresh sigh of relief because smelly workout clothes usually have nothing to do neither with your personal hygiene nor your normal body odour.
There is a plausible reason gym clothes have a musty smell and we will look at that before we get to the best ways to get strong odours out of clothes.
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WHY DO EXERCISE CLOTHES SMELL MUSTY?
As it turns out, researchers at the University of Ghent, including Prof Nico Boon, carried out a study where they collected t-shirts that had been worn by individuals during an exercise session. The t-shirts were made from two different fabrics, cotton and polyester.
After 28 hours the workout clothes were analysed and the scientists discovered that the stinky bacteria, Micrococci, thrived on synthetic fibres but not so much on the cotton fabrics.
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This brings us to why exercise clothes smell bad.
Most workout clothes are made of polyester because of the fabric’s ability to wick away moisture and that is a good thing when you are exercising and don’t want to be drenched in sweat.
The downside of moisture-wicking fabrics is that they don’t absorb water and this becomes a problem when they need washing.
No matter how much you wash performance apparel, if you don’t follow the proper instructions to get the smell out of gym clothes, these fabrics will always repel the water because that is how they are created.
5 WAYS TO GET THE MUSTY SMELL OUT OF GYM CLOTHES
Now that we understand that stinky gym clothes have very little to do with our body odour, let us look at the easy tips that actually work to get the stink out of your workout clothes.
1. Air Your Dirty Laundry
Don’t keep your dirty clothes in the gym bag or toss it in the laundry basket after a workout.
As soon as you strip out of your gym clothes, leave them out to aerate. Hang them on the washing line for a while. This will allow the air to flow through the fabric fibres and save you from further smells.
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2. Don’t Use Fabric Softeners on Gym Clothes
Fabric softeners leave residue on your gym clothes that block the clothes’ ability to wick away moisture. The coating that fabric softeners leave on clothes makes it easy for the musty smells to be locked into your activewear.
3. Use Baking Soda to Get Strong Odours Out Of Clothes
Baking soda is practically a multipurpose miracle product which can be used for eliminating odours, household cleaning and baking. You have to take note that there is baking soda and baking powder, for cleaning purposes, always use baking soda.
Baking soda is non-toxic and contains particles that easily absorb smells or dissolve dirt without damaging your clothes or household items.
To get rid of strong odours out of clothes using baking soda, simply add a cup of baking soda to the water and let it soak for an hour and then wash the clothes as you normally do.
Alternatively, you can mix baking soda and a bit of water to make a thick paste. Spread the paste on the sweaty areas of your clothes such as armpit, leave for up to 15 minutes then wash, and voila, that stubborn sweaty smell will be gone.
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4. USE WHITE VINEGAR TO GET MUSTY SMELLS OUT OF CLOTHES
Your activewear will always smell fresh once you discover just how great white vinegar is at eliminating perspiration odour. All you have to do is mix water and a quarter to half a cup of white vinegar and let the clothes soak for 20-30 minutes, wring them out and then wash as normal.
You can do this in a bucket or washing machine. Vinegar works like a charm to eliminate odours and it doesn’t leave any residue behind. If you are too lazy or pressed for time to soak the clothes you can add vinegar to your wash along with your regular detergent.
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5. BEST LAUNDRY DETERGENTS FOR ODOUR REMOVAL
You can also use detergents that are specially formulated for athletic wear such as Nathan Sport-Wash, Win Sports Detergent or Tide Plus Febreze Freshness Sport.
These tips will get the stink out clothes in no time. Always remember to wash your workout clothes inside out and never put them in the dryer.
21 thoughts on “How To Get The Musty Smell Out Of Gym Clothes”
These are some great tips – it is amazing all the different things you can do with baking soda I have to admit I hadn’t thought of using it on clothing though, great idea!
I would suggest having a couple of different gym bags so one can be washed and air out while using the other one. These are all great tips for keeping that smell away.
I really enjoyed reading this post. These are wonderful tips. I like using baking soda and vinegar as well.
I’m going to try these tips. I jog daily and I live in Texas, so the clothes I jog in REEK. You can still smell the sweat even after washing, which is gross. So thank you for this post!
Vinegar is my best solution and airing out towels always works. Great suggestions
I had no idea fabric softer keeps the smell in it. I definitely will stop washing with fabric softener. I hope that this will help with the smell I have in my kiddos clothes.
Baking soda rocks. That is all.
No, really, that is a miracle product, isn’t it!
I never thought to use baking soda in laundry. I will usually throw in some Borax.
I actually prefer cotton clothes, even though they get sweaty. I wash a lot of stuff in very hot water in my utility sink with dawn dish soap before putting in the wash. It’s good to know some other things to use like baking soda and vinegar.
It’s interesting to know how baking soda helps to get rid of the smell in gym clothes. I think even on those regular everyday clothes that are made of polyester, this can help.
My daughters used to play soccer and they always forgot to take their practice clothes out of their gym bags. Those socks and shin guards smell were awful if only I had this post back then,
Those are some great tips. I didn’t know you can use vinegar that way.
This is so helpful. my oldest has the worst smelling gym clothes and THEN i just get them back smelling flowery because lets face it nothing else works. i’ll try your tips!
Oh! I’ve had this problem when leaving stuff inside my gym bag for too long. Especially towels. Good info to know!
Definitely skip the fabric softener and go with the best hacks, like using baking soda or vinegar. Love the tips that you mentioned because they work 100%!
Loved your post! My son’s clothes always have this musty smell! Can’t wait to use your tips!
I love these fantastic tips! They’re exactly what I learned from my grandmother. These musty smells seem to affect us more during the warm-weather months.
Wow! This ideas are definitely a great help! Never know about the other hacks and I am glad I came over this post. Thanks for this! Time to say bye to that musty smells.