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By: Lisa Payne

If you’ve ever left dirty gym clothes in your gym bag, you know that it doesn’t take much time for it to start smelling less than great. Keeping your workout gear in tip-top shape and smelling fresh often seems like an impossible mission. And let’s face it, workout gear is expensive! Plus, dirty workout clothes and gym bags can also harbor a breeding ground of nasty bacteria.

Here are five tips on how to clean your workout gear:

Wipe Down Your Gym Bag

When you’re doing a gym bag detox, empty everything out, including what’s hiding in the pockets. Most gym bags are not machine-washable. Use water and a small amount of mild detergent to wipe the gym bag down inside and out. Leave it out to dry. Keep a baggie of anti-bacterial wipes with you so you can wipe down your bag regularly.

how to wash your workout gear

Use Cold Water On Your Gear

This may seem to go against what you’ve been taught for heavy-duty laundry washing. But when you have workout gear made from special high-quality material, you should wash it in cold water. Either tumble dry or air-dry to maintain your gear’s quality.

Wash a Load with Vinegar

No, this isn’t a recipe for salad dressing. It’s a recipe for how to clean workout clothes! When doing your next load of laundry, pre-soak your gym clothes with one-part vinegar to four parts of water for 30 minutes before washing them like normal. You can also wash them in the washer with vinegar, then wash a second time with detergent.

apple cider vinegar

Hang Dry

You don’t need a clothing line to air-dry your clothes. But if you have a lot of them and they won’t all fit on your shower curtain rod, buy a folding rack. Hang drying clothes can keep them fresh and preserve their quality.

Turn Clothes Inside Out

Love your bright red sports bra? If you want to make the colors last, turn your clothes inside out before washing. Combine this new element of your routine with tips 2-4 and your clothes will look as good as new!

Take as good care of your workout gear as you do your regular clothes. Not only are your workout clothes expensive, you spend lots of time in them! Following these simple tips on how to clean your workout clothes will also make your workouts fresh and bright again.