Home Fitness Is Your Workout Equipment Gross? What You Need to Properly Clean Your Gear

Is Your Workout Equipment Gross? What You Need to Properly Clean Your Gear

by Steve Gordon
medicine balls of fury

Getting to the gym and giving your full effort every time not only takes tremendous physical effort, but a good amount of willpower as well. In order to make decent progress you need to be disciplined in eating right, tailoring the proper workout plan to your needs, and all of your concentration during exercise.
After your workout is finished, the last thing on your mind is your equipment like your wrist wraps, gym shoes, gloves and other things you use on a daily basis. Why bother washing them when they are going to get all nasty and smelly again tomorrow?

The problem is not only that your gym gear reeks, but that the smell is occurring for a reason. Bacterial growth, fungal growths and other nasty stuff is growing in your gear which not only makes you smell horrible, but could be making you sick too.

When it comes to fitness gear however, most of the stuff isn’t made out of your typical cotton or other fabric that can just be thrown in to the wash. A lot of this stuff is made from leather and other materials that can’t go in the wash or they get ruined.

Instead of ruining your gear by tossing them in the wash, here are some more effective ways to get rid of the smell and all of the nasty growth along with it.

How to Wash Compression Gear and Sweat Wicking Clothes

Is Your Workout Equipment Gross? What You Need to Properly Clean Your Gear

Sweat wicking clothes and compression gear are actually some of the few things you can throw in the wash, yet people still really screw this up. Since this is one of the easier ones to tackle, it is a great starting point for us.
The first mistake people make here is that they typically take off their gym clothes after they are done, throw them in the laundry pile, and forget about them. This is a great way for bacteria, fungus, mold and other gross stuff to grow on your clothes.

This is because of the environment that they are in: a dark and wet place which is ideal for their growth. To avoid this throw your clothes in the wash as soon as possible which will limit their growth.

Another huge mistake people make here is that they throw their clothes in the drier with drier sheets. If you are going to dry these types of clothes after you wash them, do so without fabric softener. Fabric softener causes these materials to lose their wicking ability, defeating their whole purpose.

Care for Gym Bags and Gear With Padding

Is Your Workout Equipment Gross? What You Need to Properly Clean Your GearGym bags are another piece of “gear” that can get gross, and fast. These bags are typically made out of nylon or some other material that doesn’t do so well in the washing machine, nor do bike helmet pads and other types of pads.
Pads are best cleaned carefully by hand, making sure not to damage or destroy the adhesive glues within them. Another alternative is to buy some kind of disinfectant spray, which can also be used for the gym bag.
If you are someone who goes to the gym regularly, it may be a good idea to stick another large plastic bag in it. This is for your dirty clothes after your workout, as putting them in another bag will contain the sweat and stank.

Cleaning Advice for Boxing Gloves, Lifting Gloves and Mats

Yoga mats or exercise mats are pretty easy to clean, however the most difficult part is getting in to all of those cervices. Sprays are usually inefficient here, and disinfectant wipes are a better option. Do not put your mats in the washing machine, as they will deteriorate in there and potentially ruin the machine in the process.
Boxing gloves tend to be made out of leather, or synthetic leathers. Many lifting gloves are at least partially made from leather or study material to withstand wear.

Putting either of these in the washing machine is going to ruin them causing cracks and tears, so avoid doing so. Washing them is also going to cause all of the padding inside to absorb the water, which will cause mold growth, defeating the whole purpose.

To clean your gloves, your best bet is to do so with disinfectant wipes or if you want to go the cheaper route you can just buy a bottle of rubbing alcohol which will work similarly.

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