Monday, 20 October 2014

Get your kit off - and keep it clean!

What else is growing in there?
Image courtesy of anankkml at
So, I received a press release, which mentioned Netmums research that showed the majority of people only wash their sports kit after every third gym session. That pretty much made me want to throw up as it wouldn't occur to me not to chuck my clothes straight into the laundry post workout. But it did make me reconsider how clean my washing actually is - particularly as my kit sits in the washing basket alongside my husbands' cast offs, waiting for a 'full load' to mount up.

Dirtier than you think

For a start, lab-coated experts have recently discovered that bacteria grow faster on high-tech polyester sports gear than on regular cotton clothing. It is also likely that close-contact sports encourage bacteria including the cold and flu virus (and even MRSA) to transfer across the team players. Add to that the chance that dirty gym equipment (from the guy who doesn't wipe down the spin bike after he's finished for example) can transfer yet more germs onto your clothes - and you're looking at more than just a nasty pong on your capri pants.

How should I be washing my family's workout wardrobe?

Don't be that guy 
Image courtesy of patpitchaya at
Ideally, sports gear should all be washed together - rather than with other clothes - which avoids cross contamination to say, your kids' school uniform. You might want to introduce separate laundry baskets too for exactly this reason. Another way to ensure potentially harmful germs and bacteria are properly killed is to wash at a high temperature (above 60℃) - but if your kit can't cope with that and you want to wash at a lower temperature altogether add a laundry disinfectant designed to kill germs and bacteria (which is where the press release comes in, because Dettol make one!).

I think we've all learned something here today, not least that I need to get some laundry on right now! 

Please tell me you wash your kit after every gym visit? Do your kids or partners leave stinky sports kit where they shouldn't? Do you hate to use the mats at the gym - and always spray the shared equipment before you use it? If you have any other hygiene tips for working out - please share them below. 


  1. Hi Vanessa,
    I wouldn't think of wearing my gym clothes three times in a row. Yuck! Thank you for enlightening us about the importance of cleaning our gym kits regularly. This is such valuable health information so I am delighted that you shared it with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop.

    1. I know, I wouldn't but I'm wondering if some of those people only take a really gentle class and feel that if they aren't sweaty it's ok? Surely people aren't going for a run and re-using kit???!!!!