How do you deal with smelly clothes?

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No, seriously, how do you deal with smelly clothes? This isn’t some tricky click bait article. I’d really like to know which methods you use to keep your clothes clean and smelling fresh.

When you work out as often as I do, and you sweat the way I do, you are in a perpetual state of laundry. Thing is, after a while, the clothes, particularly the pants get a real nasty smell on them. You wash them, then they are good, until the moment you start to sweat, then the disgusting ammonia like smell returns with a vengeance.

Here are a list of the items I’ve tried:

  • Baking soda
  • Snap antibacterial formula
  • Vinegar
  • Oxiclean
  • Fabric softeners
  • Many Detergents

They’ll get the clothes clean, and they smell okay after the wash, but the bad smell comes back once I start working out. So I guess it doesn’t truly kill or remove the bacteria? I don’t know. I’ve seen some detergents being marketed as good for workout clothing, but I haven’t picked up any of those. I’d have to order them online, and I think they cost a bit more so I’m not sure if its worth it?

It seems to be that the cloth based products are more likely to catch that funky smell. Especially the pants, my shirts don’t seem to get that bad. My under armour gear never really smells like that.

One of the things I’m thinking of doing is buying some under armour pants to see if that works any better for me. Problem is that under armour is really expensive, and those damn pants are like $50 a pop. That’s about $300 worth of workout pants if I get 6 pair of them, whereas the other ones cost me about $5 at some discount 99 cents stores. That’s a pretty big difference. Shorts are cheaper, but they don’t absorb as much sweat and I’ll probably sweat on the floor and into my sneakers.

I might try one pair of each and see how they hold up against my sweat. The pants I have now are starting to deteriorate. In fact, I had to throw one out because the tie string broke off. They also have some holes and were on the way out.

So how do you deal with smelly clothes, and what do you recommend in way of gear?


The opinions and views expressed are solely those of the author.

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Also published on Medium.