How Often Should You Wash Workout Clothes?

You've probably noticed that after a particularly hard workout, your workout clothes don't smell so fresh anymore. If that's the case, you probably throw them straight in the washer, but what if you didn't sweat very hard? Should you still wash them right away? If you're wondering how often you should wash your workout clothes, you've come to the right place. We've researched the topic in-depth and have an answer for you.

How often you wash your workout clothes is mostly up to you. If you work out really hard and often, you should probably wash your workout clothes after every use for a number of reasons. However, after a workout that didn't make you sweat too badly, like weight lifting or yoga, you could re-wear your workout clothes and wash them after your next workout. 

How often you wash your workout clothes really depends on a few factors, so keep reading as we elaborate on this topic further. We'll also answer some other questions you might have about washing your gym clothes. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you'll have a clear idea of when, how, and what to use for washing your sweaty workout clothes.

Sporting wear and equipment laid out on a floor

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Should you wash workout clothes after every use?

Technically, you don't have to wash your workout clothes after every use. It is entirely up to you. However, as we mentioned above, whether you should consider washing your workout clothes after every use really depends on a few things. Are you okay with maybe irritating your skin? Or not smelling too fresh? Here's what to consider.

Sporting wears laid out on a bed

Your Health and Skin Care

Generally speaking, not washing your workout clothes after every use will unlikely cause you any health problems. However, this might not be the case for people with sensitive skin. With sweat comes moisture, and with moisture comes bacteria. Moist, sweaty clothes can irritate your skin and cause an acne or eczema breakout.

It's also important to remember that gyms are pretty ridden with germs due to the number of people who visit. Any germs that make it onto your workout clothes might be given a chance to multiply.

If you do plan on wearing your workout clothes again, make sure to hang them up after you take them off. This will give them a chance to dry before you don them again.

Do They Smell?

We can tell a lot from our noses, and a good sign that you should wash your workout clothes is if they stink. You probably don't want to wear workout clothes that smell bad, so if you work out hard enough to sweat a lot, you should wash your clothes after every use.  Even if they only faintly smell right now, sweating even more onto already stinky clothes will not end well for yours or anyone else's nose.

Any Yellow Stains?

Not washing your workout clothes after every use can result in difficult-to-remove sweat stains on areas like your armpits. To reduce the chance of stains and prolong your workout clothes life, you should wash the clothes after every use.

How many times do you wear workout clothes before washing?

The first consideration is whether you would feel comfortable wearing the same clothes again. If you're not bothered by the smell, the risk of acne, or sweat stains, then you could wear your workout clothes two to three times at most before washing them. Sometimes, workouts don't result in super sweaty clothes. These are the times you're more likely to be able to wear them again.

As we mentioned earlier, if you do plan on wearing your workout clothes more than once, make sure you hang them up in between workout sessions. Hanging them up will allow them to dry evenly and quickly. This will reduce the chance of them becoming even stinkier than they already are.

What is the best way to wash workout clothes?

Whether you wear your workout clothes once or twice, when it comes time to wash them, you want to make sure you are doing it the best way. After all, good workout clothes aren't cheap, so you don't want to risk ruining them in your washer or dryer. This is especially important for any workout clothes that are moisture-wicking or DryFit.

If you wash moisture-wicking clothes incorrectly, you might ruin the ability of the clothing to actually wick moisture away from you. Rendering them pointless. It's also a good idea to turn your workout clothes inside out for washing, and if you can, avoid using the dryer as much as possible. Hang them to dry instead!

Follow The Clothes Label

Instructions on how to wash a polyester clothing

The best way to wash your workout clothes is by following the directions for care on the label of each item. If you have the time and patience, the very best way to wash them is by hand, especially delicates like sports bras. However, many of us struggle with completing our regular laundry, so we understand you'd probably prefer to use a washer!

Should you wash gym clothes separately?

Whether you wash gym clothes separately really depends on the materials they are made from and the care instructions that are provided on their labels. Check the labels of each of your workout clothes. One rule of thumb is that you should wash like materials together. This is especially true for workout clothes.

Washing your gym clothes with a pair of jeans or a towel might cause damage to your gym clothes. The abrasiveness of the other fabrics can ruin the soft fabric of your favorite workout shirt.

Some items will require a cooler temperature for washing, while others might be okay to wash with hot water. Wash your gym clothes with items that need similar care and are made from similar materials. If that means only washing them with other workout clothes, then by all means, separate them from your regular laundry. However, if you wash your regular laundry at safe temperatures for your gym clothes and they are similar materials, you should be safe to throw them all in together.

What is the best detergent for workout clothes?

We've told you when and how to wash your workout clothes, but what about the best detergent? Workout clothes typically see a lot more dirt than our regular clothes, so there are, in fact, specially formulated laundry detergents made specifically for removing the smell and stains that sweat leaves behind.

When you're browsing the laundry detergent aisle at your local store, check for laundry detergents labeled for sports. There are a variety of brands available, so you shouldn't be limited on choice.

One website listed WIN Sports detergent as the "best overall" laundry detergent for workout clothes. Since many workout clothes are made from synthetic material, WIN Sports detergent is designed with those in mind.

Click here to see WIN Sports Detergent on Amazon.

Another popular sportswear detergent is HEX Performance. It states that it is made for activewear and is also eco-friendly!

Click here to see HEX Performance Laundry Detergent on Amazon.

For particular stinky gym clothes, you can also try presoaking them in a mixture of white vinegar and water. It can help eliminate some of the tougher odors creating less work for the detergents.

If you have white gym clothes that might've yellowed, check out our other blog post here: "How To Whiten White Clothes That Have Yellowed [6 Methods]."

Final Thoughts

Whether you wash your workout clothes after every use is really a personal choice. However, there are pros, namely not smelling bad and avoiding irritating your skin, to washing them after every workout session. At the very least, wash your clothes after no more than 2 to 3 uses. Hopefully, our article has given you some helpful tips for cleaning your workout clothes!

Do you like to workout in leggings? Make sure you've got the right fit, read "Should Leggings Be Skin-Tight?"

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