The Ultimate Guide to Washing Activewear: Keep Your Gym Clothes Fresh

The Ultimate Guide to Washing Activewear: Keep Your Gym Clothes Fresh

How to Wash Your Activewear: A Guide by Leafy Sheets


Taking proper care of your activewear ensures they last longer. Simply throwing them in with your regular laundry isn't ideal. Most workout garments require delicate handling, especially in washing machines, as they are designed to wick sweat, stretch, and provide support.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the best practices for washing and maintaining your activewear.


Understanding Your Activewear Fabric


Most workout clothing is crafted from synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, or blends of these fabrics. These materials are chosen for their moisture-wicking properties and flexibility but need different care than typical cotton t-shirts.

Each type of fabric has unique washing and drying requirements. For example, synthetic materials often retain odors more than natural fibers, necessitating a more thorough cleaning. While some activewear fabrics can endure a gentle machine wash, others might require hand washing to maintain their performance and prevent damage.

Knowing the fabric type is crucial for making informed washing and drying choices, ensuring your workout gear stays in top condition. This understanding saves time, energy, and money by avoiding common mistakes that can damage your activewear.


How Often Should You Wash Your Activewear?


Determining how often to wash your activewear can be tricky. Wearing the same gym clothes for multiple workouts might seem convenient, but it can lead to bacterial growth and skin issues, especially with sweat-soaked gear.

Cotton t-shirts absorb a lot of moisture and take longer to dry, making them less suitable for repeated wear without washing. Synthetic materials dry faster but can still trap odors and bacteria. It's advisable to turn them inside out and let them air-dry completely before reusing them.

Some people wash their activewear after each use, while others may stretch it to two uses, depending on the intensity of their workouts. Regular washing keeps your gear fresh and prevents the buildup of odors and bacteria, significantly enhancing the longevity and quality of your workout wardrobe.


Immediate Washing vs. Airing Out


Choosing whether to wash your activewear immediately after a workout or letting it air out depends on a few factors. Odors and bacteria are the primary concerns. After an intense session, washing your clothes as soon as possible helps prevent bacterial growth and odor buildup.

Ensure your clothes are completely dry before placing them in the laundry basket to avoid creating a damp environment where bacteria can thrive.


Pre-Washing Tips 

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Keep your activewear out of direct sunlight when preparing to wash it. Prolonged exposure can fade colors and weaken the fabric over time.

Follow Care Labels

Always check the care labels before washing. Some garments might require special attention or need to be washed separately.

Separate Fabrics

Separate sportswear from rougher fabrics like denim to avoid damaging delicate fabrics through friction. Turning garments inside out can also protect the outer surface and maintain their appearance.

Use Cold Water

Opt for cold water, which is gentler on fabrics and helps preserve their elasticity and color. Heat can degrade the fabric and affect performance.

Add Baking Soda

For a deeper clean, add a cup of baking soda to the wash. It helps eliminate odors without harming the fabric.

Air Dry

Avoid using the dryer for your activewear. High heat can damage the elasticity and fit. Air dry your clothes whenever possible, preferably on a clothes horse in the shade.

Laundry Stripping

Consider laundry stripping occasionally to remove built-up detergent and softener residues. However, use this method sparingly on activewear to prevent potential damage.

Lay Flat to Dry

Dry your activewear flat in a well-ventilated area or hang it up. This method helps maintain the shape and functionality of the fabric and prevents fade lines if dried in the shade.

Choosing the Right Detergent

Selecting the appropriate detergent is crucial for maintaining your activewear. Leafy Sheets Detergent Sheets are an excellent choice. These sheets are designed to clean effectively in cold water without harsh chemicals, making them perfect for activewear. They are gentle on fabrics, ensuring the materials retain their elasticity and moisture-wicking properties. Additionally, Leafy Sheets Detergent Sheets are environmentally friendly. They come in biodegradable packaging and contain no harsh chemicals, protecting both your clothes and the planet. This way, you get clean, fresh-smelling workout clothes while contributing to a healthier environment.

Always Wash in Cold Water

Stick to cold water for washing your sportswear. Hot water can fade colors and damage the fabric, while cold water is gentler and helps preserve the material's integrity. It also saves energy, benefiting both your clothes and the environment.

Skip the Fabric Softener

Fabric softeners can coat fibers and reduce moisture-wicking ability. Avoid using them on activewear, though they can be used for other laundry.

Use Gentle Cycles

Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle. It's less harsh on fabrics, preventing stretching and damage. Gentle cycles clean your activewear effectively and help them last longer.

Always Air Dry

Air-dry your workout gear whenever possible. Use a drying rack and avoid the dryer, even on the lowest heat setting. Drying naturally keeps your clothes in good shape, prolongs their lifespan, and saves energy.

Avoid Ironing

Never iron your activewear. High heat can ruin the stretchiness and damage fibers, especially those with elastane. Hang them up right after washing to avoid wrinkles.

Proper Storage

Ensure your activewear is completely dry before storing it to prevent musty smells. Fold them neatly or hang them up to avoid wrinkles and allow the fabric to breathe.

Treating Stains 

Act quickly when you notice a stain on your activewear. Dab the spot with cold water and a bit of Leafy Sheets Detergent Sheet to remove it. After treating stains, wash the clothes as usual to eliminate any residue

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