Monday, May 30, 2011

Smelly clothes no more!

I'm sure most of you have devised ways to remove the reeking smell from your workout clothes during your laundry routine, but just in case you still need ideas, I thought I'd share my technique with you.

First off, this assumes that you have more than one set of workout clothes if you workout daily (like I do). Over the past year I have collected enough tech shirts that I am never in need of one. After all, isn't the shirt the reason most of us enter organized races?!? : )

So, in a traditional style washing machine you can do this directly in the machine. If you have a new-fangled high-efficiency machine, you'll need to do this in a bucket or soak tub or the like.
  1. In a tub of warm (not hot, since it's hard on your tech fabrics) water add a full scoop of OxyClean AND enough laundry detergent to equal about a small/medium size load of laundry.
  2. Let the OxyClean and the detergent dissolve in the water completely and then add your recently worn, smelly workout clothes. Since my clothes are not new and no longer bleed color, I throw everything (shirt, shorts, bra, socks) in the same tub... saves time, water, & detergent.
  3. Agitate all the clothes lightly, so they are all well soaked in the cleaning solution.
  4. Now, here's the most important part... allow the smelly clothes to soak several hours. In fact, I usually let mine soak overnight... hence the need for a rotation of workout clothes.
  5. In the morning, just put the soapy clothes into the washer and run them through a complete wash cycle. This eliminates the smell well enough that I usually don't have any qualms about adding a few regular clothes to the load to wash.
  6. Once the cycle is done, go ahead and dry as you normally would (air-dry is best, but I don't always take the time for this).
So far, this has worked pretty well for all of my clothes and even my workout gear... my fuel belt, arm band, head band, etc. all go in this soak and come out fresh smelling and although I really don't have a "control" group of clothes to measure this against, I don't believe I've seen any more rapid deterioration of the tech fabrics for the overnight soak. In fact, it's probably bettter for the clothes to get the salty sweat and bacteria as completely out of the fabric as possible...

Keep up the good work everyone and don't let your family's disgust at your stinky clothes dissuade you from getting out there and exercising!

Yesterday's Run
7.0 Miles
5.2 mph


Heather said...

Sure wish our front loader would let us "soak" stuff. :(

However, I have had great luck with adding a scoop of Oxi Clean into each load on the "active wear" cycle. They come out totally fresh each time. Even our running hats, which seem to get a special funk more so than anything else.

woobielou said...

That's a great idea! I've been using WIN sports detergent, which is great at removing odors, but can be a little pricey. I think I'm going to try your method on the next batch of workout wear!