Five Laundry Tips for Athletes December 18, 2014 13:51 3 Comments

  1. Don’t leave a sweaty ball of clothes in the hamper

Leaving a pile of sweaty clothes balled up after a workout is easy.  However, it’s also a breeding ground for bacteria, which is what causes that “locker-room” smell.  Even if you’re not going to wash them right away, hang your workout clothes over the edge of the hamper (or washer) to let them air out.

  1. Ditch the Fragrance

In order to make your clothes smell “clean”, scented detergents have to leave something behind.  These residual fragrances often can cause skin irritations and/or allergies.  Switch to a fragrance- and dye-free alternative to keep your clothes fresh, clean, and working great. Meliora  K.’s Right Hand Laundry Powder is one option to keep your clothes at their peak performance without fragrances.

  1. Don’t use too much detergent

People often use WAY too much detergent.  More is better does not apply to laundry detergent!  Excess detergent lingers in your clothes, reducing wicking material performance and adding unnecessary weight.  In as little as 10 washes you can add 2% extra weight to your clothes – all in excess detergent (via Atsko). Next time you want to add some weight resistance to your workout, cut back on the detergent and add some push-ups.

  1. Replace/remove the fabric softener

Fabric softeners can gum up the wicking material of your favorite yoga pants or running shirts, keeping you sweatier and creating a great setup for bacteria growth.  In order to keep them at their best, eliminate the fabric softener.  If you still want to add something, use ¼ cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle.  This works as a great alternative to the synthetic, fragrance-laden softeners.  Plus, vinegar breaks down completely in the waste water process!

  1. Skip the Dryer

We saved the easiest for last – hang dry your workout gear.  They are made to dry quickly, and the high heat in dryers can break down fabrics, especially synthetic materials.  Save the energy costs and keep your clothes in better shape by hanging them on a drying rack, doorknob, or back of your dining room chairs.  Plus, hang-drying in the dry winter months adds moisture to the air in your home for free.