How to Care for your Gym Kit
Written By: SportsShoes
Constructed from specialist fabrics and utilising the latest technologies, your workout gear is designed to optimise your performance and, with a little TLC, will keep you cool, dry and comfortable session after session. Here’s how to care for your gym kit to keep it performing at its best.
Never Leave Sweaty Kit to Fester
Germs and bacteria just love your sweaty gym kit, and are a key cause of engrained and unpleasant odour. Although nobody feels like doing chores straight after a workout, the worst thing you can do is leave your kit to fester away in your gym bag or in a pile of dirty laundry. Wash it as soon as you get home, and if you can’t wash it straight away, hang it up to dry out until you can.
Wash with Care
Technical fabrics need special care to help protect their moisture wicking fibres so it’s important to always follow the care label to the letter. That said, there are a few basic rules for washing technical gym kit. Most wicking fabrics can be machine washed on a cool to warm setting, but put them on a gentle cycle with minimal spinning. Always turn it inside out before washing and avoid using fabric softeners which cling to sweat and odour.
Don’t Put Trainers Through the Machine
It’s tempting to throw your trainers into the machine – especially if they’re starting to smell – but it’s also a sure-fire way to damage the adhesives in the shoe. Instead, wash your training shoes in lukewarm water, using gentle detergent and a soft brush. Having said that, you should be regularly removing the insoles and putting them through a hot wash to maintain in-shoe hygiene. You can also prolong the life of your gym shoes by replacing the sockliner periodically. Finally, always, always wear fresh, breathable socks to avoid a build-up of odour and bacteria.
Always Air Dry
Whether it’s your gym clothes or shoes, you should always air dry your kit and avoid sources of direct heat. That means no tumble drying and no leaving your shoes under the radiator. You can help speed up drying by stuffing your shoes with newspaper to absorb moisture and leave them to dry overnight at room temperature.
Wipe Down Your Equipment
Another favourite of germs and nasties, your yoga mat regularly comes into contact with dirt, sweat and natural oils. Always give it a wipe down using anti-bacterial wipes or spray before rolling and stowing it. Likewise, give your fitness tracker and any other equipment coming into contact with sweat and dirt a wipe down every time you finish your workout.
Don’t Forget Your Gym Bag
The inside of your gym bag is the perfect habitat for germs and bacteria, and it’s important to avoid contaminating it with dirty gym gear. When you’ve finished your workout, pack your dirty kit into a carrier bag and stow it in a separate compartment from your other gear. If it’s machine washable, you can put your bag through a warm wash every so often, or failing that, give the interior a wipe down with anti-bacterial wipes regularly.