First, a little background.
I am very particular on how I wash my workout clothes. I buy mostly higher end pieces that cost a fair amount of money. As such, I'm not going to wash them in a way that shortens their life span. That means I use cooler water, gentle spin, and NEVER put them in the dryer.
The dryer, by the way, is the key point there. If you don't want your elastics and spandex items to die a premature death, you have to keep your stuff away from the heat. I got one of these guys at Target to help aid in the air drying process (and honestly, it's not any more work than putting something in the dryer anyway).
So now you know. I'm an OCD workout wear washer. Heh.
Anyway, for several years I really struggled with washing my workout clothes so that they came out really smelling clean. It seemed like no matter how quickly I washed them, how much detergent I used, or how many times I washed an item, they would still come out smelling faintly ... stanky.
Before I started teaching, I had even asked some of my peers at the gym how they washed their clothes. That is how I discovered that I'm not the only one who struggled with this issue. And that was enough to put me on the prowl.
So of course, the first thing I did was hit up Google. After reading several articles, I decided: (1) I am not washing my clothes in vinegar no matter how much they stink, (2) I am not going to stop using soap all together which some sites actually suggested, and (3) I didn't particularly want to start using a sports specific laundry detergent that was only available at a sporting goods store and was super expensive.
That left me with little other options, which meant a lot of trial and error on potential solutions I dreamt up on my own. Not having any really good results from anything I tried, I started to get frustrated. The only thing that I had limited luck with was pairing Tide Sport with Febreeze powered fabric softener ... which not long after I started doing that, I found out fabric softener isn't good for your workout clothing. Boo.
So, I settled for just using the Tide Sport, bleached any sports bras I had that were white and could take it, and learned to live with the stink.
However, not long after making that concession, Downy released these:
Queue singing angels.
Figuring I had nothing to lose, and also having a promotional first time by coupon, a few years ago I bought my first bottle of Downy Unstoppables ... and what do you know?! I discovered that by pairing Tide Sport with Downy Unstoppables in the wash cycle ... ta-da! My fitness clothing came out of every wash finally smelling fresh. I was thrilled.
And of course, I was even more excited a year or so ago when they launched a new scent. Since your nose can adjust over time to smells, it's always good to rotate through what you use to help you appreciate a smell more.
And ... well, that's pretty much it! I hope you found this information helpful, and if you decide to give it a shot, let me know how it goes!
Or ... if you have your own unique trick on how you keep your workout clothing smelling fresh, share what you do in the comments below!