How Often Should You Wash Your Running Clothes?

You have been working out more these past few days and your laundry gets filled fast. You want to save time and water by not washing your clothes more often than usual. So you’re wondering how often should you wash your running clothes. 

As a general rule, you should wash your running clothes every after use to avoid bacterial build-up which can cause skin infections and odor. However, if you’re working out twice a day and wanted to save clothes, you can reuse them once but make sure to put them under the direct heat of the sun to dry. 

Ahead, we will look at why you need to wash your clothes every after use, how to wash them and how to reuse them without washing if you really need to. 

Why wash your running clothes every after use?

It’s simple. HYGIENE. 

Unlike casual clothes, your running clothes contain a whole lot more contaminants from sweat to dead skin to dust. Any clothing you used for working out is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Bacteria thrive in moist. So if you reuse your running clothes, there’s a huge possibility that you’re wearing clothing that is full of bacteria. In addition, dust and other contaminants from the environment tend to stick more to wet or damp surfaces. In this case, it happens to be your clothes. 

Wearing dirty clothes can have plenty of consequences but the most notables ones are an awful smell and skin infections. 

Proper running clothes care

Running clothes include your shorts, shorts, and socks and you can follow the same procedures for all of them. 

Air dry them right after using. After sweating on your clothes, don’t just dump them in the laundry. Remember, bacteria thrive on damp clothes. So make sure to dry your running clothes by hanging them outdoors or under the direct heat of the sun. 

Soak them in vinegar before washing. Vinegar does a lot of wonders, and one of them is killing bacteria. Soak your running clothes to a cup of vinegar mixed with a gallon of water and let it sit there for at least 30 mins. Not only does that it will prevent your clothes from smelling, but it will also soften them. 

Use a good detergent. There’s a lot of detergents out there, but what I like to use is one that is specific for clothes used in sports like this Tide Sports Odor Defense. It contains odor remover which works very well with workout clothes.

Skip the fabric softener. Fabric softeners don’t work very well with synthetic fabrics such as polyester (which is what your workout clothes are usually made of). It tends to trap existing odors and blocks them from washing out. That results in that lingering smell that you often smell on old workout clothes. 

Don’t use the dryer. Extreme heat can shrink or damage your clothes. Instead, air dries them or puts them under the heat of the sun. 

How to re-use your workout clothes without the smell

When you’re working out twice a day, your laundry can fill up really fast if you don’t reuse your workout clothes. So is there a way to reuse them without the smell? 

Yes, you can reuse your running clothes without the smell. Although I do not recommend it, reusing your workout clothes may be the only way for you to be able to work out twice a day without washing clothes too often.

First off, this works better for moisture-wicking or quick-drying fabrics. Cotton fabrics tend to trap the smell and dirt in their fibers. That is why I recommend you avoid cotton on anything you use for working out. 

Step 1: After your workout, rinse your workout clothes with water to remove loose dirt and wash off the sweat. Then, squeeze them and remove as much water as possible. 

Step 2: Hang your clothes under the direct heat of the sun. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can kill the germs and bacteria lingering in the clothes. In other words, the sun can disinfect them. 

Step 3: Make sure they’re completely dry before you reuse them. 

Unfortunately, it only works in sunny places. If it’s rainy, there’s not much you can do but to wash your clothes every after use. 

Final Thoughts

When you’re running and sweating out a lot, you have to be extra careful with your hygiene. What may have worked before in your casual clothes may not work in your workout clothes that are drenching in sweat. 

If you have the means, I recommend you buy enough workout clothes for the week. That way, you can avoid re-using your clothes. Go for clothes made out of synthetic fabrics such as polyester. They wick away the sweat and dry quickly which are great qualities for workout clothes. 

Similar articles

Washing clothes are pretty obvious. Everybody does it. It may not be every after one use, but people do it often.

What most athletes forget about are their shoes. Shoes have to be washed to maintain proper hygiene. But not everybody does it because it takes longer, gets dirty more often and some are afraid they’ll damage it. 

So I made an article, a complete guide on how to wash your running shoes without damaging them. 

Nicho Mauricio

Running wasn't always my favorite sport. I was a CrossFit athlete and I loved every bit of it. But since the pandemic began, I was forced to stay away from the gym and train at home instead. Things got boring. That's when I decided to trail run with my friends. I instantly got hooked. So I started training and researching all things running. As a beginner, I want to buy only the best running gear and do only the best practices. This blog is where I share what I've learned in my journey and my experiences as a runner.

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