The Simple Laundry Change That Gets Athletic Clothes Truly Clean And Smelling Fresh

As you smash those fitness goals and stay committed to an active lifestyle, you might notice that the clothes you've gotten for this purpose aren't holding up well. Gym clothes easily retain moisture, smells, and stains from our bodies and external environments, so you need to launder them a bit differently from your other clothes. One simple change that helps is to soak and wash your laundry in an enzymatic detergent so your athletic clothes come out fresher after cleaning.

Sweat and bacteria can cause unpleasant odors and stubborn stains to set into gym clothes, which can make laundry labor-intensive since it needs to be done so often. Soaking in an  enzymatic detergent can be a big help because it contains enzymes that break down stains and soils faster than normal detergents. Using the right products can make a huge difference in making sure your athletic clothes hold up to even tougher workouts. 

How do enzymatic detergents work?

A lot of detergents already contain enzymes. However, you need to find one with enzymes that can directly tackle the specific soils in your clothes. In the case of gym clothes, you're dealing with soils like sweat or blood, which require enzymes that specifically target protein-based stains. Enzymatic detergents also keep the odors in clothes from coming back. Unlike traditional detergents, they loosen odor-causing bacteria from being held in the tight fibers of athletic clothing.

Whether you're washing in the machine or by hand, enzymatic laundry detergents in the form of liquid, powder, or bars will make this chore much easier. Treating stains in clothes before washing is one thing that people typically get wrong when doing laundry. They might use the wrong products or apply them the wrong way. The good news is that enzymatic detergents are suited for this, especially if dealing with dried stains, and all you need to do is follow the product's instructions for use.

How to use enzymatic detergents on your workout clothes

To use an enzymatic detergent, apply it to the stained area, and let it sit for a few minutes so the enzymes can get to work. Rub or gently scrub at the stains to move the process along, then leave the items to soak for at least an hour but preferably overnight. After soaking, drain the soapy water and rinse thoroughly with clean, lukewarm water. For the main wash, pour the enzymatic detergent directly into the machine – not the dispenser tray – run a gentle cycle, and wash with cold or lukewarm water. For strong odors, add vinegar to your laundry during the rinse cycle. This needs to be added separately from the detergent for best results.

Rockin' Green is one brand that produces an enzymatic detergent designed for activewear. To use its product, Rockin' Green recommends soaking each load with two to three scoops of detergent for up to an hour, then rinse and dry. Depending on the level of soil, simply wash athletic clothes with one or two scoops of detergent. 

Be sure to follow the instructions and recommended quantities of your specific detergent. Take care of your workout clothes by also avoiding harsh chemicals, fabric softener, and bleach when washing. Air dry them afterward since the high heat in a dryer can damage the materials athletic clothes are made of. By soaking with an enzymatic detergent and following the right laundry routine, your gym clothes are sure to stay fresher and last longer than ever.