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Old 07-12-2011, 09:08 AM
2,308 posts, read 3,216,584 times
Reputation: 1969


For years, I just dealt with it. And not until recently did I read up on the subject and realize WHY workout clothes stink. Every shirt I own that contains polyester, stinks. That material doesn't smell great when new, and once it's been "sweatied" up, it always stinks. I've tried every detergent I could find. It may look clean, but as soon as the shirt touches your warm body, the smell pops up.

I read about a few detergents made to kill the bacteria that cause the odors in polyester clothing. The most recommended brand, I could not find. Even online retailers were out of it, and I think the company might have quit making it or gone out of business. Dicks Sporting Goods was listed as a retailer, but when I asked them, they said they stopped carrying it a long time ago. They now sell "Sport Wash" which I bought and tried. Does not work.

So, does anyone have a recommendation for a tried and true method of cleaning workout clothes? Apparently your body secrets oils with the sweat, and those oils stick to the fibers, allowing bacteria to grow. Regular washing doesn't remove or kill the bacteria, therefore not removing the smell. I've tried Oxy Clean also. And Tide with Febreeze isn't the answer.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:15 AM
477 posts, read 1,236,892 times
Reputation: 431
Penguin Sports Wash! It's great!
Penguin Apparel Care
I think that you can still purchase it at The Athlete's Foot in Cameron Village.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:57 AM
477 posts, read 1,236,892 times
Reputation: 431
Fashion and Beauty? Seriously? The OP is looking for a place in the Raleigh area where he/she can purchase a product that works to get the stink out of workout clothes, lol!
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:22 AM
2,308 posts, read 3,216,584 times
Reputation: 1969
Thanks for moving my post to a black hole where it'll never get answered, and I'll never ind it again.

*shakes head in disbelief.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:39 AM
420 posts, read 964,766 times
Reputation: 276
I have not tried it, but Tide has a new version out w/ something in it specifically for sports/workout clothes.
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:40 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
772 posts, read 1,014,065 times
Reputation: 912
Soak the cloths in vinegar overnight, making sure the stinkiest areas get a good soaking. Then wash with regular detergent and 4 more cups of vinegar. Dry as normal.

It was the only thing that worked on my Ex's shirts....all but the oldest, grossiest that were around way before me. And, they mysteriously disappeared.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:17 AM
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,907 posts, read 34,981,619 times
Reputation: 42369
I have not had good luck with polyester clothes--I know exactly what you mean about odor. I had a few shirts that had permanent B.O. I'd wash them but as soon as they warmed up to body temperature, ew.

What about a color-safe bleach? That should kill the bacteria.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:58 AM
2,379 posts, read 4,283,584 times
Reputation: 3402
I try and throw them in the wash as soon as I get home from the gym (gives bacteria less time to grow) and add a cup or so of white vinegar...also hang outside and allow to air dry
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:06 AM
Location: US
5,145 posts, read 10,423,450 times
Reputation: 5326
Spot treat the stinky parts with lestoil and soak overnight. Wash in the morning with baking soda, white vinegar, tide plus bleach alternative. Skip using dryer sheets and softener for a couple loads. The oil from the sheets traps the body oil on your fabrics.

If you can't wash it right away spritz the stinky parts with alcohol or a spot treatment spray. (like shout)
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Old 08-18-2015, 01:14 PM
1 posts, read 4,292 times
Reputation: 10
I have found that rubbing hand sanitizer directly on the smelly part of the fabric, then letting the fabric air-dry, removes odors. Presumably, the hand sanitizer is killing the bacteria that have been causing the odor. I have also used a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to remove odors. I let the paste sit on the smelly fabric overnight, then wash. However, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can lighten or bleach some fabrics, so keep this in mind before trying this method. Hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda is also an effective stain remover.

Last edited by Elizabeth Shannon; 08-18-2015 at 01:18 PM.. Reason: Wanted to add another tip to my post.
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