Don’t just sweat and dump – taking some care with your fitness gear will ensure a better workout experience overall. By Esther Au Yong
How to wash activewear properly. (Photo: 123rf.com/Luis Mario Hernandez Aldana)
Don’t you just hate it when your freshly washed workout clothes still smell of yucky sweat? Here are some tips to ensure your fitness wear is really clean, smells fresh and can last the distance (after all, leggings these days don’t come cheap!):
DON’T USE THE DRYER
Hang your workout pieces to dry on the rack and never chuck them in the dryer. Heat and agitation in the drying cycle can change the fit, reduce elasticity overtime and alter the performance of the clothes, say Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd, the founders of luxe London cleaning line The Laundress.
HANG UP/RINSE SWEATY CLOTHES BEFORE WASHING
After a really intense workout that drenches your clothes, rinse your top and leggings in the shower or sink before hanging them to dry. This is to prevent odour setting in and the build-up of bacteria. Wash the clothes properly as soon as you can.
Softeners can damage the expensive, elastic, “breathable” fabric of fitness wear. It leaves behind a coating that can trap smells. Avoid it. Instead, add half a cup of vinegar to your load in the washer. Vinegar softens fabric safely, gets rid of odours and is environmentally friendly. You can also pre-soak your dirty clothes in vinegar.
KNOW YOUR WASHING MACHINE
Read up on your washing machine and use the correct mode to clean your workout clothes. Most washing machines now have a dedicated sportswear function and some even have specialised technology, such as LG’s new TrueSteam technology. The brand’s WD-1410TS and WD-1628RDS machines incorporate TrueSteam technology, which enables, among others, the new Steam Softener feature. By injecting steam into the washer’s drum for 20 minutes, the Steam Softener feature is an alternative to conventional fabric softeners. LG says it results in softer laundry without the use of harsh chemicals. The steam also works to eliminate allergens, mites and residual detergent.