So first of all: great work! You鈥檙e not a morning person, but you鈥檝e been getting up early, throwing on your best workout clothes聽and crushing some daily聽HIIT workouts. But the (literally) dirty little secret we need to talk about is that, no matter how cute you look sweating it out in the latest athleisure collab, at some point your exercise gear is going to start smelling pretty bad聽鈥 even after you wash it. (We know, it鈥檚 totally unfair.)

The thing聽is, all of those great sweat-repelling properties that wick away moisture while you鈥檙e working out can make it tougher for water and detergent to get through and actually deep-clean your clothes. And over time, the more your sweaty body oils and the detergent build-up compound, the harder聽it gets for water and suds to penetrate fabric fibers at all. So if you鈥檙e starting to notice a scent that鈥檚 definitely not that intoxicating fresh laundry smell (pew!), we have some tips to freshen up your workout clothes. You don鈥檛 want your beloved new Ivy Park gear becoming just another gross pile of spandex!

drinking water running

1. Don鈥檛 just throw your workout gear聽in the hamper post-sweat sesh. You may not love the idea of sweaty sports bras and yoga pants hanging up around your bedroom, but letting damp clothes sit in a pile instead of completely drying out will only allow smelly bacteria to fester. You should also turn your聽workout clothes inside-out before they go in the wash to prevent fading.

2. Trysoaking your clothes inwhite vinegar.聽White vinegar is the go-to household hack for smelly clothes. Mix one cup with cold water, and allow your clothes to soak in a bucket for 20-30 minutes before they hit the washing machine. That聽should do the trick,聽but聽you can also add a cup of vinegar to your washing machine during the rinse cycle if you鈥檙e feeling really hardcore. Things might smell a little salad-y going in, but by the time your clothes come out of the dryer, you鈥檒l have a pile of fresh, stench-free gear.

3. Skip the fabric softener.聽Fabric softener doesn鈥檛 do anything to make your clothes cleaner and, in fact, it creates a聽barrier on your gym clothes that will prevent actual soap from getting through. Plus,聽it breaks down the stretch and fit of your clothes over time, and we know you love those spandex pants tight聽(or just really hate them slipping down over and over) for your treadmill run.

Woman Putting her Laundry into a Washing Machine

4. Throw in some baking soda. During your machine鈥檚 wash cycle, drop in a cup of baking soda. It鈥檚 another top odor-fighting household item (maybe you even have some sitting in your fridge right now for the same reason), but you鈥檒l probably want to try this and the white vinegar trick separately. You鈥檙e washing clothes, not scrambling for ingredients on Top Chef.

5. Use less detergent. It sounds completely counter-intuitive, but the better your workout clothes, the less detergent you want to expose them to. You want to prevent that build-up issue we talked about earlier, so blasting them with full-on suds will only do more harm than good. Try using half the amount you would normally, and running them through a water-only cycle if you suspect they鈥檙e already suffering from detergent build-up.

6. Always wash in cold water.聽Too much heat is another way to break down the stretch in high-quality fibers. And there鈥檚 nothing worse than saggy yoga tights.

7. Dry on low heat or hang dry. Ready to picture something gross? Okay, here we go: Think of high dryer heat as 鈥渂aking鈥 the stench into your clothes. Yep, we warned you 鈥斅gross. Don鈥檛 do it! Same as the cold water trick, drying on low will also prevent fabric from breaking down. Get that cute workout gear to work for you longer, girl.

How do you keep your gym clothes from getting smelly? Tweet us your tips @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)