Beating Tough Odors: Laundry Solutions For Active Lifestyles

November 7, 2023

In today’s fast-paced world, where health and fitness play a pivotal role in our daily routines, there’s an unavoidable by-product we all deal with – sweat. An active lifestyle, be it gym workouts, hiking, or just regular day-to-day activities, can often leave our clothes with stubborn odours. If you have ever been disheartened after a wash, feeling your favourite gym tee still does not smell fresh, you are not alone. Let us dive into the art of beating those tough odours, ensuring your laundry is always as fresh and lively as you are.

1. Understand The Science Behind the Stink

Firstly, understanding why our activewear smells can help us tackle the issue more effectively. Sweat itself is virtually odourless. It is the bacteria that break sweat down into acids that produce the unpleasant odours. These bacteria thrive in damp and warm environments, making sweaty clothes their perfect playground.

2. Pre-treatment Is Key

Before tossing your active wear into the washing machine, consider pre-treating them. If you have had an especially gruelling workout, it might be beneficial to soak your clothes in a solution of cold water and a half-cup of white vinegar for about 30 minutes. Not only will this help in loosening any residues, but it will also act as a natural odour neutralizer.

3. Washing: It Is All in the Details

The way you wash your clothes can make a significant difference.

Water Temperature

Contrary to popular belief, hot water is not always the answer. For synthetic active-wear fabrics, cold water can be more effective. Hot water can break down elastic fibres, leading to misshapen attire, and can also set certain types of stains.

Detergent Choice

Opt for a high-quality sports detergent. These are specially formulated to tackle the kind of tough odours and residues that regular detergents might not handle as well.

Avoid Fabric Softeners

While they might make your clothes feel soft, they can leave a residue that traps odours. This is especially true for sportswear with wicking capabilities.

4. Rinse And Repeat

Sometimes, one rinse cycle is not enough. Consider giving your clothes an extra rinse to ensure all detergent residues are gone. These residues can trap odours, making your efforts futile.

5. Introducing: Laundry Sheets

Now, for those who are always on the move and need an even more convenient solution, you might want to use laundry sheets that are Australian-made. Just one sheet can provide an optimal clean and refreshing scent to your garments, making it an essential tool in the fight against stubborn odours.

6. Drying Matters Too

Believe it or not, the way you dry your clothes can impact how fresh they smell. Here is what to keep in mind:

Sunlight is Your Friend

Whenever possible, dry your clothes outside. UV rays from the sun act as a natural antibacterial agent, helping kill any odour-causing bacteria.

Avoid Overloading the Dryer

If using a tumble dryer, ensure there is enough space for clothes to move freely. Overloading can trap moisture, leading to—you guessed it—more odours.

Cool Down

For synthetic fabrics, it’s a good idea to use a low-heat setting or even air-dry them. Excessive heat can break down the fibres, affecting the garment’s shape and lifespan.

7. Storage Solutions

How and where you store your activewear can also affect its freshness.


Make sure the storage area is well-ventilated. A closed, damp space is a breeding ground for bacteria. Using sachets of dried lavender or cedarwood can also help in maintaining freshness.

Avoid Dumping

After a workout, avoid dumping your sweaty clothes in a closed hamper. Instead, let them air out a bit before tossing them in the laundry.

8. Maintenance Is The Mantra

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, regular maintenance can go a long way. Ensure that your washing machine is clean, as mould and residues in the machine can transfer to your clothes. Running a monthly clean cycle with a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda can keep your machine in top condition.


An active lifestyle does not have to mean compromising on fresh-smelling clothes. With a bit of knowledge, the right tools, and some diligence, you can ensure that tough odours are a thing of the past. Whether it is the smart use of laundry sheets or harnessing the power of the sun, the solutions are within your reach. Here is to freshness in every facet of life!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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