To help them last longer you’ll need to be as gentle on your workout gear as you are hard during your workout. Still, you want your clothes to be clean and fresh. You don’t have to choose. You can have a wash powerful enough to clean out odors yet gentle enough so your gear lasts. These tips are sure to do the trick whether you have hand me down sweats or top of the line fitness attire.

Stop stuffing sweaty clothes in your gym bag
When it comes to odors in gym gear, fresh air is your friend. Free your clothes from the bag so they aren’t trapped in their own funk.

Start soaking
You probably have a nice soak after a hard workout, your clothes can benefit from a soak, too. A half- cup of vinegar – you can skip the fancy stuff, white is fine – for about 20 minutes before you load everything in the washer should do the trick. Presoaking helps your clothes release tough odors without damaging the fabric.

Keep soaking
If your gear still isn’t as fresh as you would like, add another half cup of white vinegar to the wash. Baking soda is a fine alternative for soaking and washing.

Buy sport wash
Detergent makers have found a new niche with products made especially for athletic gear. They are designed to get out tough odors without harming your clothes.

Don’t overdo
More isn’t better so be careful about using too much detergent. Stick to the recommended amount so it rinses from your clothes properly.

Avoid fabric softener
Fabric softeners smell nice but when it comes to fitness gear they are somewhat equivalent to putting lipstick on a pig. Fabric softeners leave a film on clothing that can trap odors so you end up with their fresh breeze scent on top of your funk. Not so fresh after all.

Turn inside out
Before you wash, turn your gear inside out. Most of the offending odors had contact there first anyway.

clothes-line-615962_640Fresh air is your friend
Skip the dryer and hang your gear after the wash. Drying clothes can damage and shrink fabric, reducing its lifespan. The dryer also bakes in odors making them harder to treat.

Be cool
It sounds counterintuitive but a cold-water wash is best for your workout gear. Especially when you invest in top of the line fitness clothes, you want them to last at least as long as your latest fitness phase. Cold water protects the fiber of stretch fabrics, like spandex, so they last longer without pilling, stretching or fading.

Enjoy your workout gear longer with these care tips. You show up to the gym feeling spiffy and smelling fresh. After all, who wants to start today’s workout with yesterday’s odors.