Why do my running clothes stink and what can I do about it?!

Defining yourself as a runner is pretty cool. Finding your community amongst other like-minded, health focused individuals - also very cool! Friends, family, neighbors, and complete strangers running away from you because you SMELL like a runner - super uncool!

Running clothes can develop a particularly strong and unpleasant odor due to a variety of factors. One of the main causes is the buildup of sweat and bacteria on the fabric, which can create a perfect environment for odor-causing microbes to thrive. Fun fact: odor-causing microbes are not a fun thing. Additionally, synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon, which are commonly used in activewear, are not as breathable as natural fibers and can trap moisture and sweat against the skin, exacerbating the problem. Yuck. 

Another factor that can contribute to the odor in running clothes is the type of detergent used to wash them. Many laundry detergents are designed to remove stains and dirt, but they may not be effective at breaking down the proteins and fatty acids that contribute to body odor. This can lead to a buildup of odor-causing molecules on the fabric, even after washing. Hint: Defunkify laundry detergents are formulated to remove the odor causing agents from your running kits. 

Additionally, the way in which running clothes are cared for can also impact the development of odor. In other words, if you toss your sweaty split shorts on the floor post-workout… stop doing that right now. Those damp booty bearers can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and odor-causing microbes. Similarly, if clothes are not properly dried after washing with an odor removing laundry detergent, this can also contribute to the development of odor. Hang dry so your pals don’t leave you hanging simply because you stink! 

To combat the odor in running clothes, there are several steps that can be taken. First, it is important to choose high-quality activewear that is designed to be breathable and moisture-wicking, which can help to reduce the buildup of sweat and bacteria on the fabric. Additionally, it is important to wash running clothes after each use, using a specialized sports detergent that is designed to break down odor-causing molecules. Ahem - we think we’ve got the perfect detergent in mind. These detergents (DE) often contain enzymes and other active ingredients (FUNK) that can effectively eliminate even the toughest odors (IFY).

In addition to using specialized laundry detergents, there are several other steps that can be taken to prevent and eliminate odor in running clothes. For example, stop running. We kid, we kid. It is important to properly dry clothes after washing, either by hanging them up to air dry or using a dryer on a low or medium heat setting. It is also a good idea to avoid leaving sweaty clothes in a pile for an extended period of time, as this can lead to the development of odor-causing bacteria. 

Finally, it is worth noting that the odor in running clothes can sometimes be a sign of an underlying problem, such as a fungal or bacterial infection. If the odor persists even after washing (with Defunkify laundry detergent) and taking other preventative measures, it may be worth consulting a doctor to rule out any underlying medical issues.

In conclusion, the odor in running clothes is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors, including sweat, bacteria, and the type of detergent used. By taking steps to properly care for activewear and using specialized laundry detergents, it is possible to prevent and eliminate even the toughest odors. 

Body odors happen to the best of us - don’t give up on running, but you may want to give up on the detergent you’re using - if it’s not Defunkify

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