A visit to the gym might make you feel good, but it’s unlikely to make you smell good. This is due to odour-causing bacteria like sweat and dead skin cells. The bacteria from your sweat aren’t the only germs your clothes encounter, with the gym a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. The NHS consider sports wear to be a high- risk item for spreading germs and recommend extra attention when cleaning them.
Here are five tips to enable you to shed the odour-causing bacteria.
1. Don’t overuse detergent
Surely the more laundry detergent you use, the cleaner your sportswear is going to be? No, in fact the opposite is true. That’s because when you use more soap than is recommended, the suds might not get fully washed out during the rinse cycle. Detergents and fabric softeners can trap odour-causing bacteria inside clothing. If some of the residue is still left on your gym kit after it’s been washed, then the results aren’t going to be very fragrant. This is why you might have the impression that even after being washed your gym clothes still smell like the gym.
2. Use Dettol Laundry Cleanser cotton
When washing gym clothes, or any clothes for that matter, at temperatures below 60°C, odour-causing bacteria can survive in your washing machine. It’s so easy to add a laundry sanitiser to your wash load. Just add two capfuls of Dettol Laundry Cleanser Cotton to your fabric softener drawer and it will kill 99.9% of bacteria even at temperatures as low as 20°C. This is particularly relevant for your work-out gear as most synthetic materials like lycra and spandex should not be washed above 30°C.
So, Dettol Laundry Cleanser, it seems, is good news for your gym kit and your nostrils.
When it comes the cleaning your gym kit, you need to avoid fabric softeners at all cost. Why? Rather than making your clothes cleaner, they actually do the opposite. The softener traps the bacteria inside your clothes, giving them nowhere to escape. Put another way, it prevents the sweat on your clothes from evaporating and makes your freshly-washed gym kit smell more rather than less.
4. Wash your kit straight after your work-out
It might be the last thing you feel like doing after you’ve given your all in a high-powered gym session but, as soon as you get home, pop your smelly gym clothes straight in the washing machine. That’s because damp kit left lying around in a pile in the laundry basket or the corner of your bedroom is the perfect environment for rapidly-breeding bacteria.
5. Wash your workout clothes inside out
The bacteria that causes your gym kit to smell builds up on the inside of the clothes because that’s where most of the sweat forms. It’s not rocket science but turning your clothes inside out, before you put them into the washing machine, will give the detergent more opportunity to get to work where it can do the most good.