washing workout clothes

Washing Workout Clothes vs. Normal Clothes

With all the different fabrics on the market today, choosing the right laundry detergent can be quite a challenge. This notion grows even more complicated when it comes to cleaning workout clothes. 

To maximize the benefits of your workout routine, you need to be as comfortable as possible. A part of this process is wearing clothing that keeps you from getting injured while exercising. Yet, while good gear will keep you safe and active, you also need to put time into caring for your workout clothes. 

It’s a good idea to read up on the best methods for cleaning and maintaining your exercise gear. As a point of reference, Charlie’s Soap put together this brief comparison between washing regular clothes and cleaning workout clothes.


What’s Unique About Workout Clothes? 

The key difference between workout clothes and regular clothes is the materials they are made of. 

Regular clothing is made from a plethora of different fabrics sourced from either natural or synthetic materials. Fabrics made from natural materials include cotton and wool. Conversely, synthetic fabrics like polyester are made from fossil fuels. 

Workout clothes are designed exclusively for high-performance activities. They are made from advanced synthetic materials that wick moisture from the body and dry out extremely quickly. Popular workout clothing materials include spandex, nylon, tencel, and Goretex. 

While both regular clothes and exercise clothes utilize synthetic materials, workout gear uses much more specialized fabrics. 


Keep an Eye on Care Labels  

Before washing any new piece of clothing, it’s a good idea to read the care label for washing directions. Upon inspection, you will notice workout clothing has more varied washing instructions than seen with regular clothing. 

Regular clothing isn’t designed for specific high-performance activities, and it is much easier to wash in bulk than workout clothes. To this end, standard clothes can easily be grouped into large categories such as “cotton.” Any piece of clothing that is designated as cotton can be washed and dried in the same fashion as others. Therefore, as long as you match colors appropriately, you can wash regular clothes in bulk without much concern for doing damage. 

Because workout clothes are designed specifically for certain activities, washing them correctly is far more nuanced than it is with regular clothes. From Goretex waterproof hiking gear to spandex yoga pants, each material has its own unique washing directions. 

To take the best care of high-performance exercise fabrics, it’s advisable to read the washing directions carefully. Once you have identified how to clean your gym clothes, you should group them together with similar materials before washing. More than likely, this process will result in running smaller batches of laundry than you normally do. 


What About Detergents? 

Regular clothes and workout clothes also differ in their laundry detergent requirements. 

Many standard laundry detergents are pre-mixed with fabric softeners. While these detergents work well for regular clothing, they can do some serious damage to athletic wear. When washing workout clothes, you should avoid detergents with fabric softeners because they leave a coating on your clothes that can trap bacteria and prevent the specially designed fabric from performing their jobs like wicking or repelling water. 

For the best results with washing your workout clothes, we recommend a high-quality detergent without chemical additives. Charlie’s Soap Natural Laundry Liquid Detergent is a great option for high-performance synthetic materials. Our all-natural detergent is gentle on synthetic materials yet strong enough to remove sweat and other stains. 


charlie's soap detergent graph


Drying Your Exercise Clothes

You also need to pay careful attention to how you dry your workout clothes. 

By and large, regular clothes are designed to be dried in standard dryers. While certain materials have unique demands for dry cycles and temperatures, you should be able to figure them out without much problem. 

Unlike regular clothes, most workout clothes are better air-dried than running through a machine. Luckily, air-drying most gym clothes is really easy because they are designed to dry quickly. Low temperature and gentle cycles are the best for drying high-performance synthetics if you cannot air dry your workout gear. 


Charlie’s Soap Has You Covered 

At Charlie’s Soap, we know the value of a good workout routine. To keep you performing your best, we want to give you the right tools to care for your exercise clothing. 

You can trust that Charlie’s Soap will protect your clothes for both performance and longevity. Please Contact Us with questions on how to wash gym clothes.

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