Keep Your Gym And Sports Equipment Bags Smelling Fresh With This Clever Hack

Most of us wear polyester or other synthetics when we exercise because of their wicking properties. These fabrics help to pull perspiration away from our bodies and directly into the garment. While this helps us stay physically more comfortable while we're really exerting an effort in class, it puts our gym clothes into full Smell-O-Vision mode. Toss the whole business into your bag and then into your car and, well, it can be pretty unpleasant. 

Luckily, there's a clever hack you can use to keep your gym bag smelling fresh: Simply pop a pleasant-smelling bar of soap into it. Keep the soap unboxed and ready to temporarily mask the inevitable after a workout, whether you exercised at the gym, basketball court, or on the soccer field. Ensure you choose a scented soap that isn't too overpowering, though. A strong scent can quickly switch from an anti-BO solution to an overpowering irritant. 

Once it's time for a wash cycle, you still might need to do some heavy lifting but there are plenty of laundry hacks designed to leave your clothes smelling fresh in that case too. 

More tips to keep your gym bag and sneakers smelling better

Bar soap is milled with varying levels of hardness. A popular brand, Dove soap, might be one of the softest soaps available. It not only melts as it's used with water, but the soap will easily rub off onto anything it comes into contact with. For this hack, we recommend that you invest in a harder-milled soap, one made with oils that firm up at room temperature such as coconut oil, palm oil, or beeswax. If you're going to have unboxed soap rolling around in your bag and coming into contact with your clothes or sneakers, look for a "triple-milled" variety because it's the hardest type and won't leave deposits on your clothing. Woodgrain Sandalwood Bar Soap, from Caswell-Massey, is a great example.

In addition to this clever soap hack, you should also consider using the following freshening technique. Once a week or several times a month, remove everything from your gym bag. Sprinkle baking soda into your bag, zip it closed, and leave it for two or three days to allow the bicarbonate to fully neutralize any nasty odors. 

Then, unzip it and shake the bag out over a garbage can, and finally swipe the interior with a dampened paper towel or microfiber cloth to remove any excess baking soda. Also, to de-stink your sneakers in between workouts, consider sprinkling some salt into them and letting them rest overnight or for 24 hours. Good as new!