Tuesday Topics: How do you deal with stinky running clothes?

Photo by @Andyfitz on Unsplash

Let’s talk about stinky running clothes or workout clothes in general.  If you work out on a regular basis, you know it’s a problem. I sweat a lot when I work out and typically you can’t wash your running clothes right away. I usually do a load once a week, but that means most of my workout clothes will sit in a hamper for the better part of the week. Not really ideal, but you can’t do laundry every time you work out. My approach to deal with stinky clothes is multi-layered.

Spray your workout clothes and shoes with Febreze.

Since I often go to the gym during the week before work, my clothes (and towels) inevitably sit in my trunk for most of the day. I bought a Febreze* spray bottle to deal with the immediate smell of running clothes, because they usually have to first sit in the car and then in the hamper for a while.  I spray my shoes, clothes and towels after my workout and it really helps take down the nastiness a notch or two!

Wash your running clothes separately.

I admit that sometimes I have lumped regular clothing (socks, underwear, undershirts) with my workout clothes, but I usually try to wash them in a separate load. It’s just better to separate the really stinky stuff from the regular stinky stuff, ha. I do one load every week and I usually have enough dirty workout clothes by the end of the week to warrant their own load. I also almost always wash my workout clothes in warm (instead of cold) water, because I believe warm water just cleans that much better. 

Use a sports wash detergent.

I use – and love – Molly’s Suds All Sport Laundry Wash* for my workout clothes. I feel it really makes sure they are clean and fresh when they come out of the washer. It’s advertised as preserving wicking capabilities, breathability, SPF and water repellency of your clothing (which is important to me).  It is formulated with non-toxic, food-grade ingredients and without the use of UV brighteners, harsh chemicals, or synthetic fragrance.


Let you running clothes air-dry.

Except for my socks, I air-dry all my running clothes on a drying rack. Not only does that help with keeping my workout clothes in good shape, it also makes sure they keep airing out after the wash. I use this collapsible drying rack* from Ikea.

How do you  deal with sweaty workout clothes? Share your tips and tricks!

This week, I am linking up with  Kookyrunner and Zenaida  for Tuesday Topics.

* #notanad, This is not a sponsored post. I have not been compensated by the brand or anyone else for linking the products/websites.

  1. Looks like we have a lot of the same routine when it comes to cleaning stinky workout clothes. I’ve never heard of that sport detergent – I’ll have to give it a try!

  2. I always made sure the sweaty clothes dried before putting them in the laundry basket – so I’d hang them on a door knob, back of a folding chair, or something like that. Otherwise I felt like they really would stink if they stayed wet in a laundry basket and would make other clothes smell. That’s the only special thing I did, though! Otherwise I washed them with the rest of my clothes!

  3. I never thought about spraying them Febreeze I will have to look at that. I let mine dry before throwing them into the laundry basket

  4. Ooh good tips! I never really thought about using febreeze right away, but that’s a great idea.

  5. oh! Febreeze is a great idea! we actually have that here in NL so I may just stick it in my gym bag!

    we literally have clothes everywhere here – air drying first so that they don’t go wet in the hamper, air drying after being washed, or in a pile of clothes that no one wants to fold…

  6. Haha, I never really think about what to do with my workout clothes! I just throw them in the laundry basket with all my other clothes and wash them all together. I let my shirts air dry because I feel like putting them in the dryer ruins them, but I will just put my shorts in the dryer (maybe I shouldn’t??).

  7. I got a small hanging dry rack from Ikea which the hubby installed in the laundry room / garage. that’s where I dry the current sweaty workout clothes before placing it in the separate workout hamper….
    Ones a week, Saturday is my wash-Day, I do one separate load with all the workout clothes and none of it will go in the dryer.
    How do you handle Sports Bra with removable pads? I wash all of them in a bag, without removing the pads but I hate getting the pads back in place afterwards.
    I’m using Febreeze for my Shoes.

  8. I love that drying rack! The bigger the better! Due to the cold weather, I’ve started to run in the morning in the gym. I shower and get ready there too. My clothes are also in a plastic bag and sit in my car for quite some time till I get home. I’ve never thought about using Febreeze and that is a great idea!

  9. The only thing I do is let my running clothes air dry since I figure they will last longer. As far as the smell… I just through them in the hamper wet with everything else! Omg, I am terrible!

  10. I’ve never heard of Molly’s Suds but will definitely check it out for fitness clothes washing! I usually just chuck my clothes into the washer and then run a load when it’s full.

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