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Stay Hygienic: How to Wash Gym Clothes, Swimwear, & Other Activewear

Washing gym clothes and underwear is easy! Follow these tips to make sure your sporty delicates and swimwear stay fresh and in great condition.

However you're working up a sweat, there's one thing you can guarantee: your gym clothes need to be washed regularly and thoroughly! Not only do these types of clothing require a little extra TLC due to the delicate and sometimes easy-to-damage fabrics that they use, but also because they can be a breeding ground of malodour, bacteria, and other nasties.

In a gym setting, your workout attire can come into contact with germs, sweat, and dead skin cells from you and others - so much so the NHS classes these items as high-risk when it comes to spreading germs. That doesn't mean that you need to cancel your subscription and give up on your fitness, though: just that these clothes require special attention when washing to banish bacteria and make sure your favourite yoga trousers don't lose their elasticity and shape.

Read on to find out how to wash gym clothes thoroughly and gently, so they stay hygienic and in great shape.


Despite being made of elasticated fabric, most gym clothes can be machine washed safely. See below how to clean activewear properly so it lasts longer: 

  • Want to know how to get the smell out of gym clothes? The trick is to stop them from getting too smelly in the first place. Turn them inside out and hang them up to air as soon as you take them off to keep them from getting smelly or developing mildew.

  • Always follow the garment care label when washing gym clothes. If the gym wear is made of modern-tech stretchy fabric, it is best to avoid using water temperatures higher than 30 °C, as this could damage the fabric. Always wash sports clothes inside out too.

  • Add a fresh-smelling detergent that works just as well on quick and cool washes, like Persil Liquid Detergent. Our laundry sanitiser is effective as low as 20°C and is safe on coloured clothes too - perfect for tackling the odour-causing bacteria on your sports kit and leaving your clothes fresh and hygienically clean.

  • Once the wash cycle has finished, dry the gym wear according to the instructions on the garment care tag. It is usually best to air-dry modern-tech fabrics to help preserve their elasticity. If you need to tumble dry them, make sure that the tumble dryer is set to a low temperature.


Your swimwear should have specific washing instructions, but there are some general tips when it comes to washing swimwear

  1. After removing your swimwear, wash it under running water with mild soap to remove saltwater or chlorine. Avoid harsh detergents as they can ruin delicate fabrics. 

  2. Don’t wash your swimwear in the washing machine. The same goes for the tumble dryer. 

  3. After washing your swimsuit by hand, hang it to dry naturally.

  4. Never iron or wash your swimsuit in high temperatures as it will fade your suit - try to avoid hot tubs for the same reason.