1. Health

Discuss in my forum

Christine Luff

How Can I Remove the Smell from My Running Clothes?

By July 11, 2008

Follow me on:

I got a bunch of emails regarding this week's post about Embarrassing Running Problems. Many runners were relieved that they were not the only ones who had experienced some of those issues. And one runner had a question about another common problem that I didn't cover in the article: How can I get the smell out of my running clothes? Here's my response:

Technical fabrics are great for running because they wick away your sweat but, unfortunately, bacteria (which causes the smell) gets trapped in the fibers and can be hard to get out. Here are a couple of tricks that work:

  • Using baking soda helps. Pre-soak your clothes in a solution of water and Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (or just use water and a cup of baking soda). You can use the pre-soak setting on the washing machine or do it in a separate container. Then wash and use Arm and Hammer laundry detergent.
  • Try using a special detergent formulated for technical wear, such as Penguin Wash.
Comments
July 29, 2008 at 1:33 pm
(1) Patrick says:

My washer has an auto-soak feature. I wash my synthetic running clothes on warm and add the auto-soak cycle. The extra time my clothes spend bathing in warm water helps rinse away the stink.

July 30, 2008 at 9:09 pm
(2) chris says:

It may seem odd but after a run I’ll jump in the shower with my running shorts and shirt still on. The initial quick rinse seems to do the trick as i’ve never had any problems with lingering odors since i started the routine.

January 31, 2009 at 10:14 pm
(3) Joanna says:

You should try the new Febreze Sport. It’s Febreze but for athletic clothing so it’s made especially for eliminating sweat odor. It actually works really well! They make it to put it your washing machine with detergent, spray on your clothes or spray in your shoes/equipment. It’s really nice looking too!

January 31, 2009 at 10:14 pm
(4) Joanna says:

You should try the new Febreze Sport. It’s Febreze but for athletic clothing so it’s made especially for eliminating sweat odor. It actually works really well! They make it to put it your washing machine with detergent, spray on your clothes or spray in your shoes/equipment. It’s really nice looking too!

August 26, 2009 at 5:46 am
(5) happyjaga says:

Try Zinc nano for clothes coating, Zonop,it is clothes coating liquid. Help eliminate bad odor from clothes and also anti bacteria and fungal. Try some at http://www.nanomaterials.co.th
I think it will help much.

August 26, 2009 at 12:25 pm
(6) Suzann says:

I think one of the best odor removers is plain white vinegar. Soak the clothes in a cup or two over vinegar mixed with plain water. Then wash as usual. It’s really cheap and works great!

November 20, 2012 at 6:25 am
(7) Jay says:

Let them sit in direct sunlight. The UV rays kill the bacteria. Was/sunlight/ wash again. Works every time.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.