Skip to main content

How to Get Smell Out of Workout Clothes

Neutralize the body odor smell on your workout clothes

We’re laundry experts. And, we’re here to say that neutralizing smells is not that hard. But not many people take the extra time to neutralize the lingering body odor smells on their workout clothes. Here are some tips.

How to Get Smell Out of Workout Clothes | 2ULaundry

How to Get Body Odor Smell Out of Workout Clothes

  • Air your clothes out before putting them in the hamper. Don’t roll up your sweaty workout clothes into a tiny ball and stuff them at the bottom of the hamper. Spread them out to let them air out and let odors dissipate before throwing them in the hamper. While it is not always possible, the goal should be to wash your workout clothes immediately. If that is not an options, hang them to dry before cleaning. Avoid putting them in a dark, dry hamper. Hang them until they are fully dry before putting them in a hamper. 
  • Freeze them! Wait, what? Toss your workout clothes in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer until laundry day. The cold air prevents bacteria from growing and kills odor until you can do laundry. This is particularly helpful for folks without access to an access patio, balcony, or area to hang up their sweaty workout clothes. It is science. And, it is incredibly effective
  • Wash with cool water. This is counter-intuitive. Washing with cold water prevents shrinking and color bleeding. While hot water does help with odors, it will shrink your workout clothes. To prevent odors with cold water, we recommend a soak cycle before your normal cold wash cycle.
  • Avoid too much detergent! This is an important one.  Too many suds can trap odors rather than remove them. If there are too many suds, they get heavy and can trap dirt and bacteria into your garments. You’ll want to wash faller loads with less detergent – creating a high ratio of water to clothing. More water and less bubbles means more room for clothes to properly agitate and clean.
  • Wash your workout clothes inside out. Flipping clothes inside out helps detergent work on the smelliest parts of your clothes. This helps remove underarm and undergarment odor. All laundry, not just workout clothes, is significantly dirtier on the inside than the outside. Don’t trap the smells in your workout laundry! Turn your laundry inside out before washing.
  • Freshen up with baking soda, lemon juice, or vinegar. We do not recommend using fabric softeners on performance fabrics because they can clog the moisture-wicking fabrics. Instead, using a touch of baking soda, lemon juice, or vinegar can help get rid of smells. It doesn’t take much – think in tablespoons, not cups.

How to Get Smell Out of Workout Clothes | 2ULaundry

The Bacteria in Your Workout Clothes Smells – Not the Sweat

According to Care Clinic, body odor is what you smell when your sweat comes in contact with the bacteria on your skin. Sweat itself doesn’t smell, but when the bacteria on your skin mix with your sweat, it causes an odor. Body odor can smell sweet, sour, tangy or like onions.

Your body has two main types of sweat glands that produce sweat. Eccrine glands are all over your body. Apocrine glands are in areas like your armpits and groin. They produce a thicker, milky fluid.

But, remember, it is the bacteria that causes the smell – not the sweat. 

And, how do we kill bacteria?

  • Dry, sunlight
  • Freezing temperatures
  • Chemicals

How to Get Smell Out of Workout Clothes | 2ULaundry

Tips for Washing Workout Clothes

Different odors require different cleaning methods, and the same goes for the clothing material itself. For example, some items may be severely stained and require a pre-treatment, like a stain and odor remover, bleach, heavy-duty detergent, or a DIY home remedy. Depending on the fabric and material, some items of clothing may not be suitable for washing machines and will need to be sent to a professional cleaner.

To properly wash your clothes and avoid unwanted results, always read the label before washing or drying. Items like delicate workout clothes have specific instructions to be washed separately. Following these steps will help you maintain the appearance of your clothes and eliminate any future accidents. Always refer to these instructions before attempting to remove the odor for maximum results.

‍Most workout gear is made with moisture-wicking performance fabric, which does an amazing job of sending wetness to the surface of the fabric to keep you cool and dry, but has extra nooks and crannies that cling to dirt and odors. Laundry detergent has a hard time penetrating those grooves, and can even trap the bad stuff. And since performance fabrics dry super fast, you might even forget just how sweaty your clothes got in the first place.

Laundry Delivery Service Notification | Delivery Notification for 2ULaundry | 2ULaundry Wash & Fold Service

Ready to get started with laundry delivery service?

We’re a laundry service you can trust with your laundry.

Delivery Driver for Laundry Delivery Service | Wash & Fold Laundry Service | 2ULaundry
Delivering Laundry for Laundry Delivery Service | Wash & Fold Laundry Service | 2ULaundry
Unpacking Laundry from Laundry Delivery Service | Wash & Fold Laundry Service | 2ULaundry

Interested in More Laundry Product Reviews?

We’re experts in laundry care! Browse the articles below for more laundry product recommendations from laundry professionals!