How Often Should I Wash My Running Clothes?

How Often Should I Wash My Running Clothes?

Estimated read time: 6 minutes.

Are you a runner and wondering how often you should wash your running clothes? This is an important question, as not washing them enough can lead to odors and bacterial growth. But on the other hand, over-washing can cause damage like shrinking or fading of fabrics.

It’s essential to get the balance right so that you’re caring for your running clothes correctly while bringing value out of their longevity. Fortunately, there are some simple guidelines for determining how much you need to wash your running gear – good news! Read on for more information about this process and tips for keeping your kit in tip-top condition.

Benefits of Washing Running Clothes After Every Run

Taking care of your running clothes provides more substantial benefits than a fresh, clean appearance. First, sweat contains bacteria close to our bodies, and if left uncleaned, there’s the risk of skin infections or odors in the fabric. The same germs that cause body odor also cause bacterial vaginosis.

Washing your running clothes after every run helps remove germs and bacteria from your clothing, preventing health risks issues yeast infections and unpleasant smells.

Additionally, washing on a gentle cycle and unpinning to dry can prolong your garment’s life – sweeter fabric fibers are much more vulnerable when exposed to heat from tumblers or drying machines. Taking care of your running gear is an integral part of running wisely!

Signs That You Need to Wash Your Running Clothes

After running, there are two tell-tale signs that your clothes need to be washed—body odor and sweat stains. The body odor is self-explanatory, but even if you don’t smell any odors, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to wash your garments. Sweat stains can be difficult to detect until they’re inside a washing machine when they become visible against the white of the cycle.

While washing your workout clothes is important, don’t forget that from a health perspective, washing them after every fitness session is ideal (on the gentle cycle and hung to dry). That way, you keep your gym clothes in optimal shape for your next workout and enjoy all the benefits of a clean atmosphere.

Tips for Cleaning and Caring for Running Clothes

To get the most out of your running clothes, it’s important to take good care of them. Proper cleaning and maintenance can help extend their lifespan and performance. After each run, you should allow your gym clothes to air out for an hour or so before laundering.

When you do wash them, be sure to use a gentle cycle and avoid overloading the machine. If possible, hang it to dry instead of using the dryer, as it often breaks down the elasticity of activewear. While it takes a bit more effort, handwashing is another good option that allows you to scrub the dirt off and use detergents safely without overstressing fabric fibers.

Finally, remember how much detergent you’re using – too much can lead to stubborn stains that are harder to remove!

Factors That Affect How Often You Should Wash Your Running Clothes

Staying on top of your running and workout clothes’ laundry schedule is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. How often you should be washing your running clothes can depend on several factors, such as the kind of fabric they are made from, how much time you spend running, and even the climate in which you live.

Generally, sweat-wicking synthetic fabrics require more frequent washing than natural materials like cotton due to their ability to trap bacteria which produces odors. Those who exercise frequently should practice washing these fabrics after every workout to keep clothing fibers in their gym clothes both fresh and clean.

In regions with hotter climates, frequent workouts might necessitate even more frequent washes to keep clothing fresh during the summer months. Ultimately, staying mindful of these factors will ensure that your workout clothes remain clean and always ready for action!

What Happens If You Don’t Wash Your Running Clothes Regularly

If you don’t wash your running clothes regularly, you may have more than smelly and dirty apparel. Bacteria and fungi accumulate on sweaty clothes as you wear them, leading to infection and other skin issues like rashes that can be uncomfortable and even itchy.

Wearing the same sweaty workout clothes multiple times without washing also increases your health risk because of bacteria transferring from sweat and sweaty gear to other objects or people that your clothing comes in contact with. In short, regularly washing your running clothes helps keep you healthy in many ways!

Alternatives to Washing Your Running Clothes After Every Run

A frequent run can be hard on clothing, but after every session isn’t always practical. If you can’t wash your running clothes every time, some alternatives can help keep them fresh. Refreshing your running gear between uses with a quick machine or rinse cycle and air drying may help prevent bacteria build-up and reduce odor or discomfort.

Spot cleaning can also effectively eliminate sweat stains, while adding baking soda to your laundry cycle will help remove the toughest grime on the items you can’t avoid washing. Embracing these different tips and tricks allows athletes to hit the road with their favorite running attire repeatedly without worrying about it lasting to few cycles in-between washes.


Washing your running clothes after every run is vital for overall health as well as the longevity of the fabric you wear. Not only can failing to do so lead to uncomfortable skin irritation, but it could also cause bacteria to build up and potentially put you at risk of catching an illness or injury.

Although washing after every run isn’t necessary for all circumstances and climates, athletes should be mindful of how they respond to sweat and dirt when exercising frequently and wearing dirty clothes. Knowing the signs that a wash is long overdue and choices for alternate fabrics when appropriate is essential to keep running cultists performing safely and at their best.

With this knowledge and health-promoting technique, your workout goals will remain feasible regardless of season or circumstance!


What are some benefits of washing my running clothes frequently?

Washing your sweaty running clothes after every run is important for overall health as well as the longevity of the fabric. Not only does regular washing of sweaty workout gear help keep skin irritation at bay and reduce the risk of catching an illness or injury, but it also helps keep your workout clothes looking newer for longer. This extends the life of your running attire and makes it easier to wear every time you head out for a jog or race. With these benefits in mind, athletes should take the necessary steps to ensure their workout gear always stays safe and clean!

What fabrics last longest when washing frequently?

Generally speaking, natural materials like cotton are best suited for frequent washes because they retain shape and color over time. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester will tend to degrade faster with each wash cycle due to their lightweight design, making them less ideal for those who wash gym clothes too often. That being said, carefully selecting fabrics that suit your lifestyle and activity can ensure your running clothes stay comfortable and strong for as long as possible.

How often should I wash my running clothes?

The frequency you should wash your running clothes depends on your activity level and environment. Generally, athletes should carefully inspect their garments after every run to check for sweat stains and body odor. If these issues frequently arise during workouts, washing those items after each use is an excellent idea to prevent bacteria build-up or skin irritation.
If the weather is cooler or you’re going on shorter runs, washing every other time may suffice. Ultimately, understanding how your body responds to exercise is key when deciding how often to refresh your workout clothing!

At how many degrees should I wash my running clothes?

Generally, washing your running clothes in warm water (around 30 degrees Celsius) is ideal for retaining color and shape. If you’re dealing with tough stains or heavy odors, however, hot water (40-60 degrees Celsius) may be required to properly clean the garments. It’s important to remember that excessively high temperatures in washing machines can cause damage to fabrics over time, so always check the clothing label before throwing it into the washing machine. All in all, a gentle cycle and temperature will ensure your running attire looks great for longer!

What can I do if the clothes still smell bad after washing?

If your gym or running clothes are still odorous after a regular wash, you may need a special detergent. Look for products specifically designed for athletic fabrics and tackling tough sweat and dirt stains. Also, soaking or pre-washing the item in cold water with a few drops of vinegar before laundry day can help lift any stubborn smells from the fabric. Finally, if all else fails, consider hanging the garment outside to air dry and give it some extra freshness!

Joseph Peele