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You may have a cleaner mind after yoga class, but your workout clothes are a playground for dirty, dirty microbes that defy traditional detergents.
Blame the odor on gas-producing bacteria, says Lee Silverman, managing director of WIN laundry detergent.
Silverman - Science - Lululemons - Oil - Water
Silverman explains the basic science behind smelly Lululemons: oil and water don’t mix.
Cotton T-shirt fibers are rope-like, with lots of nooks and crannies—perfect for absorbing H2O and deflecting body oil. High-tech performance gear, on the other hand, is made of smooth synthetic tubes, similar to fishing line, that deflect water and allow sweat to evaporate off the skin.
Chemicals - Make - Clothing - Fearful - Water
Chemicals in this fabric make clothing “hydrophobic,” fearful of water and perspiration. This “wicking” translates into a cooler workout with less friction on the skin. But it also means fabric absorbs body oils, the first event in a foul-smelling melodrama.
Over time, your favorite workout clothes can become the perfect setting for “Germs Gone Wild,” especially if garments live in dark, warm places like gym bags and lockers. Laundry detergents like Tide, which effectively pull stains and odors out of cotton, really don’t work on sports clothes that require simple, alternative treatments to remove sweat.
Years - Person - Pieces - Performance - Wear
“Fifteen years ago, a person might have had one or two pieces of performance wear,” Silverman says. “Today active people have as many as 15 pieces of athleisure, which means a lot of laundry.”
Here are four tricks to washing the sweat from your high-tech workout clothes, for a less smelly summer:
Athleisure - Pieces - Use - One - Louder
Rinse athleisure pieces immediately after use. No one preaches this louder than Anina Young, owner of Brazen Lingerie in New York City, who feels personally insulted when clients don’t respect their sports bras. “Take care of your girls and they’ll take care of you,” she often tells customers. After soaking workout clothes in plain water, Young recommends pressing the items between two hands...
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