You’ve Been Washing Your Workout Clothes Completely Wrong

Simply separating lights and darks isn’t going to cut it when you splurge on a “life-changing” pair of $100 yoga pants. Before you toss them into the washing machine without a second thought, consider this: The high-quality fibers you paid top dollar for will wash away to nothing if you don’t launder your gym pants properly.

Just like dress shirts need the occasional visit to the dry cleaners, gym clothes requires a little more TLC in the laundry room than say, the college t-shirt you sleep in. Performance fabrics that claim to keep you cool with moisture wicking, antimicrobial fibers, or ultraviolet protection (UPF), are a little more high maintenance—and the same goes for body-hugging compression fabrics. One wrong washing sesh and you can forget slipping into them again!

Special fabric requires special attention. So here are a few things to keep in mind before you start up the washing machine.

1Read The Fine Print

Most tags will tell you exactly how to care for your clothes. For performance apparel this usually means machine-wash cold, occasionally ‘hand wash’, and no—or low—temperature drying. It may seem extraneous to read the tiny print and follow little details when you’re in a pinch, but it’s a must! Super-scientific fabric blends are sensitive to temperature as well as detergent types.

2Know When To Wash

There’s no need to hide your workout gear in the bottom of your gym bag or laundry bin after every workout. Stick your clothes on a hanger, hook, or even the backseat of your car, will de-stink them better than creating a cozy spot in your gym bag for bacteria to settle down. Plus, keeping them in plain site will make you more likely to remember to wash than forgetting they’re buried in a bag.

3Flip Out Fabrics

Turn your pants and shirts inside-out to safeguard colors. Even on black-colored clothes flipping is a must to prevent fading and pick up on the grossest stuff, which tends to accumulate on the inside of your clothes.