Activewear isn’t cheap, and whether you are wearing your yoga pants for yoga, or for life (no judgements here!) one thing remains the same, it needs to be washed. Washing activewear might seem like a no-brainer, wash it just like you would any other clothes right? Wrong. Activewear is made of tightly woven synthetic fibres, while regular cotton has loosely woven natural fibres.
This means if you wash your activewear the same way you wash your regular clothes, chances are it’s not getting clean. And what’s worse, you are shortening the life of those expensive lulus by not caring for them properly.
Because being sweaty is my job, I’m no stranger to loads of laundry. And because I wear so much of it, I want to ensure my favourite pieces last as long as possible.
The best way to do that is by following these tips:
6 Tips for Washing Activewear
1. Wash your activewear separately
Why? Think about the lint trap in your dryer after drying a load of t-shirts or towels. It’s usually got a decent amount of lint in it, right? When you wash cotton fabrics in the same load as your activewear, you are inviting all of that lint to get attached to your favourite black leggings. Sure there are ways to remove that lint, but why make more work for yourself? Wash all your activewear on its own and problem solved!
Bonus tip: Make life easier for yourself by having a dedicated activewear hamper somewhere in your house. This way, when laundry day comes around, you won’t have to sit there and sort through your stinky sports bras.
2. Turn your clothes inside out
This isn’t a hard rule, but turning your clothes inside out is a good idea for a couple of reasons. The first being if it gets snagged on anything while in the wash, it’s gets snagged on the inside instead of the outside of your clothes.
Secondly – the inside of your clothes is generally going to be the sweatiest. For some reason, the visual that keeps coming back to me is a reusable icing bag. If you use a reusable icing bag to ice a cake, you don’t wash the icing bag right side out. If you did lots of the icing would still be INSIDE the bag even when the outside is clean. Sweat and clothes don’t work the same way, but getting in the habit of having them inside out just allows your washing machine and detergent to do their job a little bit better.
Besides, when you peel out of sweaty activewear, it normally turns itself inside out anyway!
Bonus tip: I don’t often do this one but I should. Let your sweaty activewear dry out before you throw it in the hamper. That way it’s not sitting there wet and gross all week until laundry day comes around. You can drape them over the sides of the hamper and then toss them in the next day when they are dry.
Bonus tip #2: Place items that will easily snag (anything with velcro, sports bras with hooks, zippers, etc.) in lingerie bags before you toss them in the wash.
3. Wash your activewear on cold
Your activewear works hard while you workout, but in the washing machine, it’s considered a more delicate fabric. It’s always wise to wash delicate items on cold. This also helps keep your brights nice and bright so your favourite bright pink tank top doesn’t get faded!
4. Use the right detergent for the job
Washing clothes on cold might be good in practice but when it comes to stinky activewear if you are following that step but using the wrong detergent, you are going to end up with partly-clean, and quite possibly, smelly workout gear. No thank you!
I’ve been using Active Detergent for the past few weeks and have found that it works really, really well. And let me tell you, I’ve been putting it to the test with the heatwave we had this summer!
Active Detergent comes in a super-concentrated powder and one small bag can handle up to 90 loads of laundry (at one small load/week that’s nearly 2 years worth of detergent!)
Their plant-based, triple enzyme blend breaks down tough stains, oils, grease, and sweat without harsh chemicals that can damage synthetic fibres. And they mean it when they say they don’t use harsh chemicals. Active Detergent is formulated without SLS, phosphates, bleach, or parabens.
Active Detergent was made specifically to remove sweat and body odour from your activewear which protects it from breaking down or losing shape.
And even though it is fragrance-free, your clothes come out smelling clean. Like ACTUALLY clean.
5. Don’t use fabric softener
We all want to smell fresh but adding fabric softener clogs the pores of the fabric and can kill those sweat-wicking properties and the breathability of the fabric.
6. Hang your activewear to dry
After using the right detergent, this step is going to be the most important, for ensuring your activewear lives a long happy life. The dryer gets quite hot and that heat isn’t kind on activewear and stretchy fabrics. It can cause it to shrink or lose shape and in general shorten the life expectancy of technical fabric. Every once in a while a pair of my leggings will sneak into the dryer and when I take them out I gasp out loud. A trip or two in a dryer in the life of a pair of leggings is likely not going to do much harm, but drying them every time you wash them, that will significantly shorten how long your favourite pieces last.
If you follow these tips you will be able to wear your favourite pieces for years to come without them looking dull, worn or smelling like week-old sweat (ew!).
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Active Detergent. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.