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How to Soak Workout Clothes

Regardless of what you wear while working out or the types of exercise you do, your clothes are going to get sweaty and smelly if you put in the effort. However, methods for keeping them fresh and clean do not have to be as grueling as your workout. By taking some simple steps, you won't have to worry about offending your fellow gym exercisers with stinky workout wear.

  1. Add one part vinegar to four parts water. Separate your workout clothes into small loads. Soak your workout clothes for 30 minutes before washing them in the machine. Avoid washing with bleach when using vinegar, otherwise you'll get a chemical reaction. Rinse your clothes thoroughly with plain water when pre-treating with a vinegar rinse before adding bleach to the washing machine water.

  2. Add a quarter cup of baking soda to your regular detergent. Fill up the washing machine with water and then add the mixture. Soak your clothes for 30 minutes before starting the wash cycle. Separate your clothes into small loads for the best results.

  3. Choose a detergent specifically designed for sport clothing and pour it directly onto sweat stains, or use a pre-wash stain remover stick. Let the detergent or stain remover soak into your clothes for 30 minutes before washing on the hottest water setting that is safe for your clothes.


    Dry your athletic clothing in the sun to kill more bacteria and reduce the odor. Soak and wash your clothes as soon as possible to avoid letting the odor or stain set in to the fabric.

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Things Needed

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Baking Soda
  • Detergent

About the Author

A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.

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