If you’re in full new year swing by getting a head start on your fitness resolution, good for you!

There’s nothing like a good sweaty workout to give us a boost of endorphins. The less fun part, however, is cleaning your gym kit afterwards. Workout clothes and equipment are expensive, but the better you take care of them, the longer they’ll last—so it’s worth investing a little bit of time to ensure you’re giving those leggings and water bottle the TLC they deserve.

In this article, we’ll share our top tips for cleaning your gym kit, so it’s always fresh and ready for you.

How to clean your workout clothes

orange gym clothes

Your leggings are perhaps the most labour intensive part of post-gym cleaning: they’re thick, they’re often made from synthetic materials, and they tend to hold smells (sometimes even after they’ve come out of the washing machine). We love this top tip from Nike—give it a try next time you get in from that long jog you’ve been putting off.

“Before tossing workout clothing into the washing machine, fill up a large, gallon-sized container (or even the sink) with cold water. Next, add a cup of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda. Submerge the sweaty workout clothes and soak for at least 30 minutes before putting them through a wash cycle.”

The best part? You’ve probably got some white vinegar and baking soda tucked away in a kitchen cupboard, so there’s no need to go out and buy specialist cleaning products. It’s also important to ensure your gym clothes are properly dry before you get cleaning, because bacteria can thrive in sealed, moist environments (which is what happens when you chuck damp shorts or t-shirts into your laundry basket). Lay them out when you’re in from your workout and pop them in the laundry basket when you’ve checked they’re no longer damp.

How to clean your trainers

running trainers

Granted, this isn’t a particularly fun task, but it’s worth it to step into fresh trainers next time you want to exercise. Here are our top tips:

  • First things first, if you’ve been for a muddy run through the park, make sure you’ve cleaned off the excess mud with a wet cloth. 

  • If you’ve been working out enthusiastically and your trainers are less-than-fragrant, you can start by leaving them on the balcony or in the garden (in a sheltered spot away from rain!) for a few hours and let the fresh air work its magic.

  • If you don’t have any outside space, an old trick that works surprisingly well is to stuff a couple of dried tea bags inside your trainers.

  • Here’s the good news: most trainers can be washed in a washing machine. As a general rule, you’ve got the green light if your trainers are made from canvas, nylon, cotton, or polyester. 

Worried about ruining your expensive trainers? Dab them with wet cloth soaked in mild laundry detergent, and allow them to air dry—they’ll be good as new in no time. It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t need to clean your trainers every time you exercise: once a month is a good target.

How to clean your water bottle

It’s not the nicest thought, but your gym water bottle is likely a lot dirtier than you realise. If you’ve been under the impression that you don’t need to clean it thoroughly because it’s only ever filled with water, you’re definitely not alone—but it’s time to start giving it the scrub it deserves. For a quick and easy fix, fill your bottle with white vinegar and warm water in equal parts, and then set it aside to soak overnight. Make sure you scrub it well the next morning, and voila: a painless way to clean your water bottle.

How to clean your workout equipment

workout equipment

Having a few workout items at home is an easy way to get your exercise in without going to the gym. It also means you’re responsible for keeping it nice and clean yourself. To avoid bacteria gathering, you’ll want to wipe down your dumbbells, yoga mat, exercise bands and any other bits and pieces on a regular basis.
Our top tip? Make your own mild cleaning solution by combining a natural All-purpose Cleaner with some water in a spray bottle, diluting it so it won’t wear down your equipment. Spritz your equipment and wipe clean with an eco-friendly cleaning cloth (we particularly like cloths made from bamboo.) Make sure everything’s fully dry before you put it away, and add cleaning your workout gear to your regular chore list to ensure everything stays in tip-top shape.

Looking for delicious-smelling all-natural cleaning products? Colt and Willow has you covered. Explore our selection here.⁠

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