This is a follow up to the previous blog post on Sweat It Out. Let’s face it. After you sweat, you need to wash it out.
It’s not just sweat that builds up in our activewear, particularly in our sports bras. But also oils that our body produces. Sebum, an oily secretion of the sebaceous glands, is what is produced from our body and goes into our garments. It lubricates the skin to protect against friction so that the skin is not affected by moisture.
When the sebum makes contact with activewear garments, it can create odors and stains. Along with the sweat and oils that build up in activewear, other components that need to be removed include bacteria, skin cells, and salt.
Now to the work (which is not too much) on getting the build up out.
Wash your sports bra and other activewear in cold water. Hot water breaks down synthetic fabrics, which gives your garments a shorter lifespan for function.
The part of the garment that touches your skin should be the one receiving the most attention in the washing machine. Turn your garment inside-out to remove the build up.
Less is best when it comes to using detergent. Due to most activewear being moisture wicking, the build up of detergent can become a problem in the washing machine as the garment is doing what it is supposed to do: absorbing moisture. When it comes time for the rinse cycle, some detergent may be left in the garment if it was too much to rinse out.
If you must dry, use the air dryer or lowest heating setting on your dryer. Air drying is a great way to keep your sports bra and other activewear fresh and to maintain the function longer.
Using fabric softener or dryer sheets can dull the finish of your activewear. It can also attract bacteria which leads to odor. Ditch the fabric softener for your activewear.
If you have stains and/or odor in your activewear, you may want to consider these simple treatments before you get down and clean with the washer machine.
These do not take a lot of effort, but will require you to set aside a little extra time to renew and refresh your activewear.
Heat from the dryer will leave stains in permanently.
Wearing light colored apparel will make stains more apparent. Removing the sweat stain before it settles into your sports bra or activewear is the first step before washing. Using peroxide as pre-treatment before washing will keep the stains away. Do not use peroxide on dark garments or they will bleach.
Keep these household items on hand for stain removers.
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda
DIY Stain Remover Recipes
1) Mix 1:3 peroxide to water and pour onto stain. Saturate and rub the area with soap or laundry detergent.
2) Mix 6 tablespoons of baking soda and 1/3 cup of warm water, rub it into the stain and let it do what it does best. The baking soda will lift the stain out of the fibers. Discard the baking soda before you put the item in the washer.
3) Use white vinegar diluted with water to remove stains. The ratio for this easy stain remover treatment is 1:3 vinegar to water. Soak for 15-30 mins or even overnight depending on the stain.
With these simple care instructions, your activewear will last longer and you will feel great as you put on your fresh fabrics after a hard workout.
To remove the odors that come with sweating, deodorizing is essential. You can use baking soda or white distilled vinegar to deodorize your activewear.
1) For best deodorizing results, soak your activewear in baking soda overnight to let the magic happen.
Baking soda saves the day again! To deodorize, add ½ cup of baking soda to your laundry in the machine.
2) White distilled vinegar is another household item to keep on hand for deodorizing. Pour ½ cup in your laundry as it is in the washer machine before you start the laundry.
A little TLC goes a long way.
Now, after you have taken the steps to make sure your sports bra is clean, don’t just throw her in the drawer (or anywhere!). Kindly fold your sports bra (yes, she needs TLC all throughout this process).
For maximum space in your drawer, there is a certain way to fold your sports bra.
- Fold the straps down, keeping them flat so as to not cause unnecessary creasing.
- Fold one side to the center, then fold the other side to the center.
For padded sports bras,
- fold the cups over each other to keep their form.
- Tuck the straps under and stack your sports bras as you would your regular bras.
Enjoy the space you have now created in your drawer!
For the visual learners, you can watch a video here.