Odor-causing bacteria thrives in damp workout clothes (especially your super-soaked BJJ gear – spats, rashguards, sports bras, and gis). In cotton-based garments (gis), the bacteria penetrates the cotton fibers and can even eventually compromise the integrity of the fabric because the fabric is essentially its food source. In Polyester- or Nylon- based garments (i.e. all activewear, including Gaidama’s nogi Jiu Jitsu gear) the bacteria cannot penetrate the synthetic fibers but it can still take up residency between the fibers and cause odors to linger, even after a wash.
Get deeper cleans, preserve the longevity of your spats, rashguards, sports bras, and gis, and overall take your laundry game to the next level by following these 5 effective laundering strategies.
- Don’t use excess laundry detergent or fabric softeners
While might seem like a clever thing to do, excess laundry detergent will just coat the fibers of your clothes and trap the odor-causing bacteria inside, making things worse rather than better. Fabric softeners do the same. They might help temporarily cover up smells, but they’re also creating a forcefield around the unwanted bacteria.
- Wash clothes immediately after training
Bacteria love it when you let your sweaty spats and rashguards and sports bras pile up. They thrive and mulitply in the soggy sludge of your soaking dead skin cells and sweaty residues. Wash immediately to help prevent them from fortifying and becoming harder to eliminate.
- Use a heavy-duty detergent and don’t over-fill your washing machine
Not all detergents are effective at penetrating deep between synthetic fibers and an overly-full washing machine can also prevent a thorough clean. Opt for a powerful cold-water detergent such as:
- Tide’s Hygienic Clean – a powerful deep cleaning detergent by a well-known, established brand
- Rockin’ Green Activewear Detergent – an all-natural laundry detergent from a conscious brand setting industry standards
- Molly Suds Activewear Laundry Powder – a powdered detergent which uses enzymes and baking soda to penetrate deep between synthetic fibers
- Defunkify Liquid Laundry Detergent – specifically designed to wash deep between synthetic fibers and combat odor-causing bacteria
- Try a pre-soak
Products like BioKleen Bac-Out can be used before washing for a bacteria-fighting boost. Simply spray on affected area and let soak 5 minutes before washing. Vinegar baths are also well-known in the activewear world to be a powerful force against odor-causing bacteria. Add 1 part vinegar + 1 part baking soda to 8 parts water. Sinks, bathtubs, or big containers all work well. You can also use your laundry machine for a similar pre-wash: Run a normal cycle with 1/2 cup baking soda tossed in with your clothes and 1/2 vinegar in the fabric softener tray. Do not use any other detergents for this cycle.
- Don’t wash in hot water and avoid the dryer
It’s well-known that heat will kill bacteria but unfortunately it also degrades fabrics. To keep your clothes living their best lives, it is never recommended to wash activewear in hot water or dry with any heat above the lowest setting (air drying is optimal).
On a final note, if you’re looking for the ultimate laundering bag to keep drawstrings and bra pads in place and protect your spats and rashguards from rogue Velcro (which can cause pilling), check out our big-hole honeycomb mesh laundering bags designed just for the task.
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