Clothing Care

So judging by the title, I am turning into Susie Home-maker, no? I try to be practical when I can, really. Yes, this post is about taking care of your running clothes, and the materials they are made from. What REALLY got me writing about this was quite interesting. Every so often I look back at what I was doing this day a year ago, and when I typed this (the 27th) a year ago, I had just gotten my new washer and dryer delivered that day, yahoo! Let me tell you, a year later, I am still obsessed with my appliances. Clothes washing is so easy not to mention SO much for fun with cool red machines!


So through a totally random train of thought, I decided workout clothes washing lessons were in order. So. how many of you wash and dry your workout clothes just like everything else? (Ok, put your hand down, you are totally embarrassing yourself.) Well, you may do this because you are lazy, or uneducated. Not sure which is better….BUT, please listen up, you may learn something.

Let’s face it, Workout/running clothes are EXPENSIVE. Not something you want to be replacing left and right because you shrunk it, stained it in the washer, or dried it and it fell apart. If you use some TLC your stuff will lost a lot longer. Let’s start with the basics.

Separating: I wash all of my workout stuff together. let’s face it, it smells. bad. I don’t want that stank going over into my regular clothes. Also, I do a load of colored running clothes and white/socks workout clothes.

Detergent: I use special Tide sport with febreeze to wash all my workout clothes in. Now, there is a lot of controversy as to the true usefulness of this stuff but I like it, and tend to err on the side of caution, so I use it. It is supposed to help eliminate stinky odors, and get out tough dirt grass and clay stains for you crazy trail runners out there.

Temperature: Always check the tag for instructions, but I usually if not always wash my running clothes in COLD water. Also, if your machine has different cycles, try using a delicate cycle.

Soak: If you have a particular stinky piece, try soaking it in some detergent in a sink or bucket for a few hours before washing. Some people even swear by soaking in baking soda first. I have never tried this myself, because my sweat smells like flowers, so there is no need.

Drying: I NEVER put my running stuff in the dryer. I air dry everything on a drying rack I got from Bed Bath and Beyond. It easily folds down for storage purposes if you don’t have room to keep it up all the time. Some people say putting them in the dryer gets the stink out…but with cheaper pieces I find it also makes them shrink or fall apart faster, so I would rather soak them than put in the dryer. Also, if you do dry them, NEVER use a dryer sheet/fabric softener. They clog the little sweat wicking areas and the wicking doesn’t wick as well, what? your welcome, wabbit…..


Cool iron only: I doubt you will ever have to iron your running clothes (weirdos) but in case you do, use a COOL iron only. Got it?

Because I take such awesome care of my stuff, it lasts a really long time. I have some pieces of gear I have had for years, and because I take care of it, it lasts a long time. And of course, I want my super cute stuff to last a long time!



***EXCITING raffle coming Monday! It may or may not have to do with a favorite company of mine… 🙂 I will be hosting the raffle to raise money for TNT! a GREAT cause, so please come back Monday!

QOTD: Do you have any tips for the care of your workout clothes?

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  1. I know how much you love ironing so I’m sure you iron your running clothes 🙂

    I put my sports bras, Nike tempo shorts, and some of my more cottony tops in the dryer. But obviously not the tech stuff. I also never separate! I know, shame shame. I do laundry every other day so I’d just rather wash everything together.

  2. Oh, I am so bad. I’m not even going to tell you about my process because I do a LOT wrong 🙂 But you have shown me the light and I will now start taking better care of my tech stuff – promise!

  3. I am a very luck girl because my husband does all the laundry. I would not know how to even work out current machines. We do air dry almost everything we have though….the fold up clothes dryer is a must have in this house!

  4. Great idea for a post!! I was like so many people and just threw our running stuff in with the normal laundry. My husbands shirts started stinking something fierce, even when clean, and I had no idea why. I learned that that fabric softener will deteriorate the wicking/anti-odor properties in tech fabrics. So another really important tip is never, ever use fabric softener with tech fabrics! (I also learned that tech fabric sometimes just stinks, bleh!)

  5. I recently learned that added half a cup of normal white vinegar to each washer load will help maintain the wicking properties and will help cut any accumulated “stank.” I was worried that the clothes would be left with a vinegary smell, but after a couple months of doing this, they smell good, and non-vinegary!

  6. If I have a lot of workout clothes, I will do them separately in a gentle load. Most of the time, though, I throw them in with the regular wash. I do put my bras and skirts (and more delicate workout shirts) in a mesh lingerie bag though, so they don’t snag on anything. I don’t use liquid fabric softener, and I air dry it all. Some of my cheaper, cottony (yet wicking) tanks will go in the dryer (and I do use dryer sheets) if I’m lazy, but I don’t care much if those are not really wicking, since they are cottony anyway. I’m not a stinky person (I don’t think? lol), so my workout clothes rarely smell really nasty. I just use regular tide or all. Woolite is not HE so I don’t put that in my machine. If I’m hand washing stuff in the sink. though, I will use the woolite. ALSO, I have a good tip…if you wear sunscreen and WHITE technical running clothes, you may get some chartreuse staining on your expensive stuff. OMG. Never fear, OxyClean is here! I had stained the straps on a white top, so I soaked it in oxyclean…for 4 weeks…that’s how long it took to come out…but it did! Crisis averted! This also works with yellow deodorant stains. Put a scoop in a bucket with warm water and throw in your stained piece. Change the water weekly until the stain is gone. I have not ruined anything by doing this, and have saved some of my favorite tops. Be prepared to have that item out of commission for a month, but it’s better than throwing it away!

  7. Ooh, and I’m ALL OVER a raffle! I’ll be back! 😉

  8. Ooh I love your new washer and dryer! So pretty! 🙂

    We have different loads of laundry at our house:

    – Rach’s delicate stuff (‘intimates’, favorite shirts, & dresses). These go into a cold wash and get hung up to dry.
    – Rach’s & Christopher’s jeans/shorts/teeshirts (and most of Christopher’s work clothes too): warm wash, tumble dry low
    – Christopher’s & Rach’s gym/outside clothes: hot wash with extra detergent and tumble dry on high

    Christopher used to toss all of his stuff together, but it was making his work clothes start to get that “funk” (like you talked about) so I convinced him that it was worth the time to separate them out in order to keep his nice clothes smelling nice. 🙂 And as for me, I don’t have actual “work out clothes” as much as I just have shorts and tank tops. Nothing officially made for sports so nothing I’m worried about stretching out or shrinking, etc. 🙂 Great tips, though! I think a lot of people don’t realize that they need to take good care of clothes if they want them to last. 🙂

  9. i always line dry my clothes but you bring up good poitns about these other to dos. thanks! also reminds me to get a clothes hanger instead of continually hanging things over chairs. here is an add get those washer bags for your special things that always get lost or hurt – socks? bras? do you know what i am referring to, i forget the actual name of these things..

    • yes I have a dedicates bag, but I only put regular bras in it or swimsuits, or tops with long ties etc. that can get caught up in things. 🙂

  10. I lay out all of my sweat wicking clothing, too! Thanks for the great tips!! :0)

  11. Okay, okay… I’ll get a drying rack! I know that I need to, since like 80% of my clothes are running clothes or just something made of a technical fabric. I hate cotton, yuck. Plus whenever I wash nice running or workout clothes, they inevitably become bound to the one patch of velcro on a pair of shorts somewhere in the dryer. How much was your rack? I see some on Amazon for about $30.

    And I really want fancy front loading machines!