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Best detergent for STINKY workout clothing!

My Lord! My workout clothes STINK!!! Even after I wash them, they still smell and after a workout they just reek!

Help! Should I throw the clothes away or is there a way to save them?

Wed. Dec 12, 4:38pm

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Thursday, October 26, 2006, 12:15 AM

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 10:30 AM

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try some baking soda

Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 5:07 PM

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And lots of downy maybe?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 5:12 PM

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a few suggestions:

if they're not cotton, then make sure you hot water wash them.
try adding vinegar to the water
use dish detergent. (Dish detergents break down oils better than laundry detergent.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 8:18 PM

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Baking Soda added to your laundry with your regular detergent (I use Tide and Downey) is a MAJOR helper in the stinky department

Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 11:00 PM

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Try cotton

IMy polyester workout clothes also reeked. But I've noticed that my cotton one's don't. Same me, same sweat, same wash, but polyester reeks and cotton doesn't.

Thursday, December 13, 2007, 12:54 PM

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My poly stuff doesn't stink, and I would never wear cotton for working out.

Thursday, December 13, 2007, 1:24 PM

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That's weird, 12:54! You'd think it would be the other way around, since polyester fabrics are hydrophobic and cotton isn't. Sweat may gather around the fibers of poly fabric, but it can't soak into the fibers themselves like it does with cotton.

Thursday, December 13, 2007, 9:03 PM

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I think its because its not really the sweat that stinks. Sweat just smells like, well, sweat. Not pleasant, but not stinky. I think its the way it interacts with the fabric and the way the bacteria breeds in the fabric. I find that my odors just "don't stick" in natural fibers like they do poly one's. Of course, stains sure do, so I'm talking specifically about work out clothes.

To the person who's poly stuff doesn't smell. That's great. So why are you here giving advice if you have no experience with the problem?

But I think this is an empirical question. A lot of people don't like working out in does get wetter (but I sweat like a little oiled up pig, so everything I wear gets soaked!) and if you're a real athlete, not just someone doing fitness at the gym, cotton is certainly not considered "performance" gear, but it works for me. I no longer smell. But, perhaps the mechanism of the funk isn't the same for you, so it may not work. So try out the suggestions here that make sense and see if anythings works. I'd be interested in hearing what finally works for you.


Saturday, December 22, 2007, 12:12 PM

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The OXY powder added to your regular detergent & fabric softener should do the trick.

Saturday, December 22, 2007, 1:32 PM

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Oxy clean, Oxy clean, Oxy clean for colors.
And Regular Clorox Bleach for whites along with detergent.
After you wash, make sure clothes are completely dry before putting them away. (clothes smell if not completely dry). Good Luck!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 12:47 AM

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I first spray my workout clothes with a product called ordor-ban. I then wash them with baking soda and Tide w/bleach. No longer having the smell anymore. i have been using this combination for several years now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 1:30 PM

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win high performance sport detergent- see link below


Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 2:21 PM

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Baking soda...they sell it in big boxes, too.

Add one cup to your regular wash (with detergent, too.)

Works wonder on my funky Army clothes.

Tammy Lou

Monday, February 04, 2008, 4:07 PM

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I always spray my workout equipment and clothes with 4 parts rubbing alcohol and one part water. It keeps the bacteria from forming on wet clothes, and that is usually where the stink will come from. They even make Rubbing alcohol with smells, I use peach its lovely.

Then like above wash with bleach, baking soda, or vinegar.

Monday, February 04, 2008, 6:50 PM

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there are special detergents available for workout clothes. i prefer the Penguin brand of sport wash. just use it like regular detergent for your workout best on the "wicking" fabric, but I have used it on cotton as well. It will also re-waterproof your clothing (as long as it was waterproof in the first place). You can find it online or at specialty running shops.

Monday, February 04, 2008, 7:11 PM

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Best detergent for STINKY workout clothing!

PINE SOL DISINFECTANT works, then wash the pine sol Odor out with Tide powder.

Sunday, July 26, 2009, 9:18 PM

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Try amonia - like a cup with your load. Warning - Do not mix with bleach!
This works well for my husbands stinky - really stinky - workout clothes.

Monday, July 27, 2009, 2:45 AM

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I second the Oxy Clean comment. You can buy it in big buckets at Sams Club and Cosco. I add a scoop to every load of laundry, and it really does the job.

Monday, July 27, 2009, 1:58 PM

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It's best to use powdered detergent because liquid detergent doesn't get the smell out as well. And add a cup of vinegar.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 2:05 PM

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NEVER use fabric softeners on fitness attire that has sweat wisking properties. They have very fine pores in the fabric with need to remain open to release sweat during washing. Once these pores get clogged with thick fabric softeners, the sweat is now locked in. Tide, Fabreze, and WIN have products for washing unnatural fabrics which wisk sweat from the body.
You will most liekly find them at sporting good stores on endcaps and displays.

Monday, April 26, 2010, 2:59 PM

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This is a special detergent to prevent tech wear stink. Polyester wicking clothing does get stinky after enough use and even washing the clothes may not help. You can also buy special techwear that has imbedded silver to prevent stink.


Friday, April 30, 2010, 8:24 PM

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This company makes great wash for all kinds of technical wear. This one is for STINK that gets a foothold in your favorite wicking clothes.


Wednesday, May 05, 2010, 10:01 PM

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I have tried absolutely everything possible to get the stink out of my clothes. I finally ran across something that actually works!!!! And the best part is it's the cheapest stuff on the market. It's called Ultra Scentsations (big green container) It's super cheap laundry detergent and takes the smell out of even my worst work out clothes! You can find it on the bottom shelf at the supermarket. For the dryer I use arm & hammer dryer sheets and the combo of the two works great. I will never go back to Tide or any of the other expensive brands!

Thursday, May 06, 2010, 12:21 AM

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STINKY workout clothes

I was having the same problem...
Have you ever tried Febreze SPORT? :

I've used it on so many different workout items and it works well...I LOVE it!!!


Monday, January 31, 2011, 11:16 AM

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TIDE, tide tide. Totally works. Regular scent. Nothing fancy.

Thursday, February 03, 2011, 2:15 PM

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Cotton Base Layers for workout

Cotton clothes can make you feel cold. Cotton doesn't wick moisture away from your body. This is the reason that exercise clothing are frequently made from polyester

There are many polyester excercise clothing that contain some type of odor control properties. For example, at least some Hot Chillys Base Layer Tops and Pants contain “Bio Del Mar” antimicrobial and odor control properties. The yarn fibers are treated with properties that are dervied from proteins in crustacean shells. These proteins naturally inhibit the growth of fungi.

The associated URL given in this entry has information about odor control in fabric and Hot Chillys Base Layers. Hot Chillys Base Layers are useful for winter outdoor activities - such as running, jogging, bicycling, and winter sports.


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