Polyester is the most commonly used material for sportswear. Aside from being more durable and resilient, it’s also lightweight and airy. So even if you’re breaking a sweat, you still feel cool and comfortable to keep going.
But because they do such a good job absorbing sweat and oils released by your body when you workout or play your favorite sport, it can be tough to clean. In fact, many that own polyester sportswear complains about these developing a funky mildew odor no matter how many times they wash it.
If this sounds like you, take heart! There’s a quick and easy way to clean your polyester sportswear and get rid of the bacteria thriving in them that’s causing that nasty mildew odor once and for all.
5 Steps to Properly Clean Your Polyester Sportswear
Step 1: Air out your polyester sportswear before washing them.
Odor-causing bacteria love damp clothing, which is why they thrive on your sweaty polyester sportswear.
That said, take the time to hang your polyester sportswear out to dry outdoors. This will help dry out the sweat and oils that accumulated on your sportswear. At the same time, the sun will kill the bacteria that may already be present on the fabric.
Step 2: Turn your sportswear inside out.
Majority of the sweat and oils is found on the side of your sportswear that’s in contact with your skin. Turning this inside out will make sure that the detergent you use will come into contact with this area, ensuring that these get rid of all that nasty gunk.
Step 3: Check the label before washing.
Polyester is one fabric that’s very sensitive to heat. If the setting in your washing machine and dryer is too hot, it can cause the material to melt, shrink, and become deformed. Heat will also cause odors present on the polyester fabric to stick and amplify.
Be sure to check the label inside of your sportswear for the proper setting for your washing machine and dryer. Follow these religiously. That way, you not only get rid of odors but also make sure that your sportswear lasts for a long time.
Step 4: Use the right kind of detergent.
Your favorite detergent may work well with most fabrics, but not too well on polyester fabric.
That said, invest in a detergent that’s formulated for sportswear like SportsSuds or Tide Odor Defense. These kinds of detergent have been specially formulated to get rid of odor-causing bacteria as well as all the gunk that accumulated on your sportswear.
Step 5: Go easy on the detergent.
One common misconception when it comes to washing clothes is that the more detergent you put, the cleaner your clothes will become.
On the contrary, putting too much detergent will actually cause your clothes—not just your polyester sportswear—to smell funky.
The reason for this is that the water that fills your washing machine may not be enough to rinse out all the detergent from your clothes. When that happens, the remaining soap residue turns into food for odor-causing bacteria, causing them to thrive and your clothes to smell.
The best way to do this is not to overload your washing machine. Also, make sure that you check your machine’s manual for the recommended amount of detergent to use for each load.