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The Solution For Smelly Workout Clothes

Happy Friday!

Dealing with smelly workout clothes is a topic that I’ve been meaning to cover for quite some time. When I first started practicing yoga it seemed like I could never get my clothes and YogiToes really clean. Even when they seemed fresh, the minute I started sweating in class the smell would come right back. And there’s nothing worse than being able to smell yourself during class…which results in being self-consicous that everyone around you can also smell you.

You know it’s bad when the dog chooses to lay on your stinky, smelly clothes. Yikes! 😉

I purchased all kinds of special detergents for sports but the smell always came back. I finally discovered a very simple (and cheap!) solution about a year ago.

Now when I wash my workout clothes I always add a heaping spoonful of baking soda and about 1/4 a cup of white distilled vinegar right into the wash with the clothes along with the normal amount of detergent. I recently purchased Tide with Febreeze and I really like it for extra smell-fighting but it’s totally unnecessary. I typically use normal detergent and wash in a cold cycle. This method works for all workout clothes whether you’re a runner or a yogi. One tip for my yogis – it’s best to wash your YogiToes and workout clothes separately.

Go be less smelly!

Speaking of yoga, I went to a hot vinyasa class this morning. I was late (as always) and the only spot left in the room was in front of the wall heater. Some days I can hang with the heat blowing in my face, other days I feel like I’m going to combust. Today was a combustion day and fairly miserable. Usually I don’t really feel the heat, I just sweat a lot. It really got to me this morning. I immediately needed food when I arrived home from class. Breakfast number one was a piece of toast with peanut butter, honey and pumpkin butter that I inhaled standing over the counter and still in my sweaty clothes.

Breakfast number two in a charming golden retriever Tervis Tumbler was a green smoothie with spinach, banana, mango, peaches and almond milk.


Lunch was a tuna melt with mashed avocado and goat cheddar. Fresh, sweet local strawberries on the side. Yum.

After lunch I opened a Buchi Kombucha that I picked up while I was in Asheville last month. It was tasty but I have to admit that I felt a little like I was walking around drinking a beer in the middle of the afternoon because of the style of the bottle.

I met a friend for a manicure/pedicure before heading back to work. I got a little crazy today (which I always do with my toes…they were light purple before this) and went with a pretty turquoise color. I love it!  I did a bright pink called “Tropical Punch” from OPI on my nails. I’m ready for the beach! Sadly, there are no beach trips planned.

Have a great weekend!

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Dana Slagle May 4, 2012, 5:40 pm

    Great info about smelly clothes. I am going to try it so I won’t be such a “stinker”. 🙂

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  • Alice May 4, 2012, 5:52 pm

    I have been looking for the toe color. What is it??
    Love it!

  • I haven’t had too much problem with smelly clothes luckily, but this is great to keep in mind! I’ve never heard of that mixture!

  • Chris K May 4, 2012, 6:41 pm

    I practiced in front of that wall heater during Superflow the past two Saturday mornings in a row. Talk about misery!!! It was a great exercise in mind control and took deep concentration. Plus, it’s been hot as hell in there lately! Hey, as they say, it didn’t kill us so it must have made us stronger.

  • Carrie May 4, 2012, 6:50 pm

    Vinegar is such a magical substance! It works great in laundry, I also use it to clean a lot of things around the house.

  • Kacy Pleasants May 4, 2012, 8:00 pm

    I have to use detergent free of dyes and perfumes. And my clothes stink too! I’ll try the vinegar…. Maybe a few drops of lavender oil? My mom suggested salt. Ever heard of that?

  • CTC May 4, 2012, 8:42 pm

    I like to pretend that I don’t smell upon returning from a sweat session. Thanks for the tips, I am sure husband will appreciate 😉

  • Lee May 4, 2012, 8:55 pm

    I wish that they would bottle Buchi in different bottles because of that reason. They sell them at WF near my office but I don’t want to look like I’m drinking a beer at my desk!

  • Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More May 4, 2012, 9:16 pm

    Good to know! Sometimes my daughter’s gym clothes are a little foul. Even after washing them! I will try your laundry tip.

  • Sana May 4, 2012, 11:00 pm

    OPI rules!

  • Stephanie May 4, 2012, 11:42 pm

    I’m a super-sweater, too, and have totally been there where you’re in the gym working out and you catch a whiff and think, “Is that me? It can’t be, I just washed these clothes!” I’ve had good luck with a combo of the Tide Sport detergent with a scoop of OxiClean. I’m out of OxiClean right now and am using Borax along with the detergent and that seems to be working as well.

    I’ve used just vinegar to wash towels that don’t seem like they’re getting as clean as they should be. I’m not ready to clean my counters, floors, and windows with vinegar yet, but maybe I’m moving in that direction…

  • Erin May 5, 2012, 7:02 am

    That’s great advice for workout clothes 😀 Thank you!

  • Meghan May 5, 2012, 11:14 am


    Does this techniquire work for a high efficiency washer?

  • Mattie @ Comfy and Confident May 5, 2012, 11:30 am

    AWW! I have been trying to find a solution for my stinky clothes for soooo long! I have tried a lot of different things but now I am absolutely going to try to this method! My clothes are so stinky.

  • Linda May 5, 2012, 1:13 pm

    I took a couple of your yoga classes at the Y and really enjoyed them.! I’ve been thinking about coming to your hot yoga class at Y2, but I’ve always been nervous about the room being so hot. I’ve taken a couple of regular classes at Y2 before and I thought the room was hot to begin with! Any suggestions?

  • Julianna @ Julianna Bananna May 5, 2012, 1:57 pm

    so glad i read this post! i’ve had to throw away clothes before because no matter how many times i washed them, they still smelled.

    all the eats look delicious as usual! 🙂

  • Liaa May 5, 2012, 4:02 pm

    Great advice for washing those smelly workout clothes, I use practically the same mixture as you do. Love the nailpolish!!

  • Becca May 6, 2012, 12:58 am

    Nature’s Miracle (for cats or dogs) works well on smelly gym clothes, too. Just squirt it on, let it dry, then wash as usual. Works like a charm!

  • Ally May 6, 2012, 2:11 pm

    I agree, vinegar really works! I was surprised that even a Nike sales associate recommended this recently. I love your toes. I’m obsessed with Butter London’s Artful Dodger right now, especially paired with red and coral clothes.

  • Caitlin May 6, 2012, 3:34 pm

    Thank you for the tips about smelly workout clothes! I have felt like I am the stinky one in class – never a good thing!

  • Sandi May 7, 2012, 10:07 am

    Great post, thank you! I have a question, if you have time to answer–I wash all my clothes together (ack, I know a lot of people will freak out about that) once a week and I was wondering if this technique would be safe for my other clothes (mostly cotton, nothing fancy). I jog four times a week and I have four sports bras which get really sweaty and gross, as well as four pairs of running socks. I would feel bad doing a load of laundry just for my workout clothes, since it would be so small. I just want to make sure this technique wouldn’t harm my regular clothes if I use it for my weekly load.

    • Beverly October 17, 2014, 1:12 pm

      I learned the hard way that if workout clothes aren’t washed separately from all other clothes, the stink will find it’s way in the non-workout clothes. Buy more workout clothes and then it will be easier to find a full load of workout clothes to wash. 😉

  • Heather May 7, 2012, 11:55 am

    Thank you so much for the tips on smelly clothes! I use baking soda as well and have to ask where you find the large bag of it – that is so great!

  • Shelby July 18, 2012, 10:12 am

    Thank you for the tip! This will be very helpful! One quick question….do I need to mix the vinegar and baking soda together before I add it to the washing machine? If I have a front loading washing machine, would I add this directly to the “barrel”?


  • Francesca Kotomski January 30, 2013, 9:00 pm

    I really appreciate the smelly clothes tip. I have been struggling with this and really need a solution, rather than throwing out clothes. Thanks so much!!!!

  • Mark Stewart April 1, 2013, 5:16 pm

    I used a laundry soap on my hockey gear and workout clothing called Gear Wash It removed all the smells from BO. No problem

  • Gorata July 23, 2013, 10:00 pm

    I thought I was the only one who had this problem 🙂 …thanks for the great tips

  • Bo September 5, 2013, 1:22 pm

    This could make the process a lot simpler! Let me know if you’d like to try a sample!



    • Pamela Hubanks December 14, 2013, 7:50 pm

      Just saw your post and would love to try a sample. How can we make that happen? Thanks.

  • Necator October 13, 2013, 11:35 pm

    Hmm, you do know that vinegar and baking soda react – you could say, mutually annihilate – to produce water! So when you stick vinegar and baking soda into your wash, you are basically ONLY adding water… Just sayin’.

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