How to Remove Body Odor From Workout Clothes

Say bye to stinky body odor.

There are few things more torturous than spending hours doing laundry, only to find your clothes lack that fresh-from-the-dryer scent. For those sporty (or just sweaty) people, getting that funky BO smell out of your clothes is crucial. To help tackle this laundry quandary, The Spruce's laundry expert Mary Marlowe Leverette is here to save the day. Because athletic wear is especially tough to wash, Leverette explains how to deal with your post-workout digs.

First, soak the workout gear in a mix of one part distilled white vinegar to four parts cold water immediately after wearing them. Not enough time in the day to work out and wash? Don't sweat it. Leverette says it's okay to wait a few days but avoid re-wearing, which will cause body soil (dead skin cells, sweat, and body oils) to set in and bacteria to multiply.

"Wash with a heavy-duty detergent that contains enough enzymes to 'bust' the oily body soil," Leverette says, noting that Tide and Persil are the top-ranked brands.

A "sanitary" (hot water) setting can kill odor-causing bacteria, but it can also damage synthetic fabrics like spandex, so check the care label on your favorite pair of leggings.

Leverette recommends avoiding fabric softener and air-drying your garments to avoid shrinkage or damage. And next time, use her trick to prevent odors from locking into your gear: Immediately after wearing an item, soak it in a solution of cool water and a half cup of baking soda for an hour.

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