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Do You Use Special Detergent For Your Exercise Clothes?

June 6th, 2010 · 9 Comments ·


After exercising, it is normal that our clothes stink, especially after it is soaking wet with sweat. Also, if the wet towels or socks are kept in the gym bag for too long, they smell really bad after a long day. So, it is always good to wash them immediately.

However, I do not really do that. I normally do my laundry during weekends and I always wash the workout clothes together with my other clothes. Those fully cotton shirts are normally still smell good after the wash. However, sometimes, polyester made shirts or pants like Nike Dri-Fit, Under Armour or CoolMax have that weird musty smell after the wash. I have to hang them under hot sun, then only that smell will go away. I am not sure that is only me or others have the same experience.

So, when I came across new detergents, which are claimed to be made for exercise attire, I am pretty curious whether they are really that good. One of them are Penguin Sport-Wash which claims that it is not a regular detergent – “keep the high tech in your high-tech fabrics so your workout wear will continue to look good and perform its best.” This soap also claims that it leaves no residue to interfere with moisture control, breathability, “water-repellency on insulation and it even restores factory-applied waterproofing”. Those words sound technical to a layman like me.


The other is Win Detergent. This manufacturer claims that the detergent wash the clothes in a “super oxygenated” way to target odors and stains. It is able to eliminate embedded sweat molecules that reside in the fabric. By removing the sweat, the fabric will be free from odors.

As much as I love to try any of these two special detergents, I think that it may not be so environmentally friendly to do separate load of laundry for just workout clothes, unless I hand wash them which I doubt so (since I am so lazy). Recently, my mum shares one of her tips in get rid of those odor is to soak those clothes for few hours before washing them. I have yet to try it but think that it may work. In fact, it only takes more time, and not more water or using special detergent.

But, if my mum’s tip does not work and my regular detergent is not doing the trick either, I may think of buying those special detergents. I mean, if I simply cannot get the funk out of the gym clothes, then it is definitely worth the extra load.

How about you, do you have stinky gym clothes or musty gym towel?

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Category: Other Fitness/Sports Articles

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9 responses so far ↓
  • justin // Jun 7, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    no wonder i smell weird when sweat, i thought i got body odour. :x

  • carlist // Jun 7, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    I usually just use a hell load more of detergent in my clothes. Though it may be wasteful, at least it keeps the smells away.

  • shine // Jun 7, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    Couldn’t care less lolz.
    Even if the newly washed clothes do smell,they are only discernable to the wearer (aka your highness), and they are meant to be worn ONLY during workout. And guess what, when I work out, my body sweaty “frangrance” would have overpowered it anyway.

  • Kucing // Jun 7, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    Hey, that’s my mum’s tips as well. Soak those sweaty shirts in a bucket of water before washing.

    In my case, it affects my cotton shirts as well, so it’s not true that this only applies for those polyester, dry-fit material.

  • jeff // Jun 8, 2010 at 1:19 AM

    Win works fantastic. Much better than the Penguin.

    I use it for my golf clothes, work out clothes, any clothes that have wicking fabric. We have used it on pet odors too. My friend used it on hockey clothes and it worked great.

    Stuff makes a difference.

  • TJ // Jun 8, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Mun, try hanging out your sweat soaked clothes as soon as you can to dry first before you wash them. In fact, under the fan will do. The smell comes from ammonia (part of the chemical constituent of our sweat) but mainly from the germs that multiply. Drying out first will reduce and stop the germ multiplication. Or when you wash throw in some white vinegar or even cider vinegar. Try also Dettol. The classical Dettol or the Dettol for clothes The latter is basically Dettol with nicer colour and lesser Dettol smell.

  • Usman // Jun 8, 2010 at 6:55 PM

    I burst into laughter when I read this. I don’t think you need a different detergent for the clothes

  • JD // Jun 9, 2010 at 1:55 AM

    I have used Win. It worked okay, and I think it was better that regular detergents. I agree that soaking clothes first is the way to go. This makes a difference. I have since moved to Charlies Soap Powder for work out clothes. I will be using it for everything once I use up my regular detergents.

  • sara // Feb 1, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    I was still having problems with the stuff I couldn’t put in the washing machine, like my gym bag or my tennis shoes.

    I tried a product called Febreze SPORT

    I really like it and it gets rid or the musty, yucky smell.
    Has anyone else tried this?

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