There is a lot of attention focused on what to wear to the gym, from Lulu Wunder Unders to Nike cross trainers, and an even greater focus on what to do in the gym. But what happens when the sweat session is over? Do your sweaty workout clothes end up in heap on the floor or buried in a laundry basket? Are you taking as much care of your active wear as you should be? After all, these clothes do not come cheap.
All fitness clothes, accessories, and gear require a certain amount of maintenance in order to keep them smelling clean, looking their best, and in their prime condition. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your active gear:
The first rule for protecting your gear from mold, germs and unpleasant odors, is to hang them to dry as fast as you can, post-workout. Instead of piling your sweaty garments in the laundry basket, hang them up! Damp clothes left sitting for a long time can acquire mildew and other unpleasant germs, which make them more difficult to clean. Immediate hanging protects clothing from odors and mold spores.
Before washing your fitness outfits, soak them using a solution of water and baking soda in a ratio offour tablespoons baking soda to one quart warm water (4 tbsp baking soda: 1 qt warm water). Doing this will help remove lingering sweaty odors. Post-soaking, use cold water to wash your fitness garments. Active wear is generally made of special fabrics (like Lycra and spandex), and require the same gentle care that you would use when washing your delicates. After washing, it is a best practice to hang your clothing to dry, which will protect them from potential dryer damage.
For hard to clean fitness gear, like helmets, pads, and weights, use a vinegar solution. Mix equal parts vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle and sprinkle gear with the solution. Let it dry naturally without wiping. Once dry, eliminate the vinegar smell by adding a couple of drops of lavender oil directly to the gear.
Keeping your dumbbells, yoga mats, and various other fitness gear clean requires regular sanitizing after every use. You can make an easy DIY cleaning spray for refreshing fitness bags, yoga mats, shoes, etc. All you need is a small, clean spray bottle which seals tightly, and lavender and tea tree essential oils. Fill your spray bottle with spring or distilled water and add one drop of lavender oil along with one-to-two drops of tea tree oil. Shake the mixture well and use the spray on wiped down fitness gear. The tea tree essential oil has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties to keep germs at bay, while the lavender oil has calming properties for your post-training wind down.
Helpful Quick Tips:
Let your fitness equipment air out in the sun from time to time to keep it fresh.
Sprinkle baking soda in your shoes and fitness bag after using them; baking soda is a natural deodorizer.
Add one cup of baking soda to your next load of laundry (along with your regular laundry detergent); this will balance pH levels, absorb odors, and leave your clothes cleaner and brighter.
Avoid harsh chemicals (like bleach) on padding foam and other fitness gear. Chemicals can damage the fabric of the fitness equipment, which is specially made to protect the body from perspiration and excessive heat. If padding foam accumulates mold or mildew, replace immediately.
Keep your fitness clothing and equipment clean and odor free by taking a few extra minutes to properly care for them. Proper care and maintenance are essential in extending the life of your active gear.
This guest post was written courtesy of Daisy Murphy of Tenancy Cleaners Kensington. Daisy has years of professional cleaning experience and is the proud business owner of Best London Cleaners. She actively enjoys Pilates in her spare time.
Also worth checking out: Washing and Caring for your Lululemon Gear.