Bidding Adieu to Sweat and Odor in Gym and Workout Clothes

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What is the most effective way to remove sweat odor from gym/workout clothes? We use a good detergent and either liquid or sheet softners but the odor never is completely eliminated. Clothing is made of either cotton, nylon, spandex, polyamide or polyester. Thank You.

Bidding Adieu to Sweat and Odor in Gym and Workout Clothes

Our poor workout clothes! They take a beating don't they? We sweat in them then wash them and wash them and wash them until one day we notice- (sniff, sniff) washing ain't doin' the trick anymore!

You first have to understand that it's not the sweat that smells but the bacteria on our bodies that eat the sweat. (Don't panic- that bacteria is supposed to be there.) Clothing is made of many many fibers and the microscopic bacteria just loves to get up in those fibers and hide and multiply. These microscopic bacteria are tricky- and stubborn. All it takes is one little piece of bacteria to survive a washing and an entire culture can flourish all over again! You can try washing your clothes in the hottest of water and bleach but this just breaks down the fibers more, making your piece of clothing more susceptible to bacteria the next time you wear and sweat in it.

When you've had your workout clothes for a while and it seems that nothing seems to help and get rid of the odors, the best thing to do is to throw them out and get some new ones.



10/23/2006 3:10:21 PM
fran nester said:

before you throw out your smelly work out clothes try soaking in BIZ 9 NO BLEACH ABOUT 24 HOURS FOOR BAD ODOR THEN WASH AS DIRECTED.YOU WILL BE SUPERISED.

10/23/2006 9:19:29 PM
Meagan said:

Was there supposed to be any helpful advice in there about how to get rid of the smell without getting rid of the clothing? Many people swear by the Penguin wash stuff (assuming your clothing is technical clothing such as Dri-fit). Its kinda pricey though.

8/16/2007 2:35:26 AM
Toni said:

Stop the smell getting there in the first place by a]washing soon after use... and b] wash in warm or hot water,- cold just ain't getting smells out!

9/2/2007 10:50:22 AM
Mel said:

What is Biz 9?

6/21/2009 6:05:42 AM
Paula said:

I have found that vanish in warm water over night then wash as normal works wonders for my husbands work shirts when they get too smelly. I am not sure how it would go in gym cloths though.

7/26/2009 10:40:34 PM
Lorraine said:

How about Oxy-clean with Melaleuca Oil and low suds detergent ??? Good Luck ! Worked for me on dog Beds.................................

7/26/2009 10:42:32 PM
Lorraine said:

How about Oxy-clean with Melaleuca Oil and low suds detergent ??? Good Luck ! Worked for me on dog Beds.................................

7/27/2009 1:57:01 PM
Hope said:

I've found that vinegar works wonders on sweaty clothes and towels/washclothes that get stinky

7/28/2009 3:21:13 PM
MarcusGerome said:

Some people suggested that you try using a combination of a vinegar baking soda soak and then wash them. This was posted almost a year ago and several suggestions came in as responses to the "just toss them out and buy new clothes" remedy. If anyone has the formula or remembers the discussion about vinegar and baking soda - PLEASE POST

8/5/2009 1:00:02 PM
Marilyn said:

How was that a tip? I think most of us can figure out how to throw stuff out. Does baking soda or vinegar work?

8/5/2009 1:24:21 PM
Karen said:

White vinegar and baking soda will often neutralize odors in fabrics. To remove body odor from your clothes: fill the washer with warm water (for a small load if just soaking a few pieces of clothing): add 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup baking soda. Soak clothing overnight. Add laundry detergent to the soak water, increase water level to normal (from small) and wash clothing as usual. I'd recommend an extra rinse as well. If odors still remain, you can apply vinegar directly to the part of the fabric that smells and re-wash. Another natural deodorizer is sunlight! You can hang the clothing outside in full sun (inside out) until the odor disappears. Good luck!

6/29/2011 11:15:29 AM
Peter J said:

what a waste. You can use an anti bacterial detergent or additive. Bambino makes a nappy (diaper) detergent that is effective talk about odor and bacteria. there are also other anti bacterial detergents and additives.
there are also additives you can add to the
As for the gym bags antibacterial wipes used in gyms, hospitals etc. follow the directions.
Dry steam low moisture high heat can also kill bacteria.

2/17/2015 2:34:56 PM
george said:

The best laundry detergent for removing sweat and body odors is OdorKlenz laundry additive. It contains no harsh chemical or fragrances and get you clothes clean and odor free.


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