Do you live in workout clothes? I do. I play tennis, run or do some other kind of physical exercise pretty much everyday. Most days, I put on a tennis or fitness outfit, do my physical activity in the morning, and then spend the whole rest of my day in those sweaty clothes. The result is that, on occasion, well I hate to say it but, I don't smell so good. Working up a healthy sweat may be great for my body, but not so much for my nose.
And, here's my next big admission I hate to make about my workout gear. Over the years, I've thrown away several perfectly good, perfectly wearable pieces of fitness apparel because I just couldn't get that yucky, sweaty smell out of them. The worst part of this problem is that when you put first these things on, they don't smell at all. It's only after you've been wearing them and sweating in them for a little while that you start to notice a smell that is not so pleasant. And a smell that may arise despite the fact that you took a shower before your workout and haven't yet worked up much of a sweat.
I used to try and get the smell out by hand washing my favorite pieces, which didn't work. I also tried soaking them in laundry detergent, washing soda, Oxy Wash, even bleach. But nothing worked. In the end, I just threw those things out. Which is kind of heart breaking because not only is fitness apparel expensive, a lot of the stuff I had to part with was downright cute. I had to learn to not become too emotionally attached to my workout gear because, at some point, it would just smell too bad to keep wearing. (I still miss you Nike sports bras from 2001).
So why have my many laundry tactics failed to work? It's because modern workout clothes are typically made from synthetic fabrics that wick moisture away from your body and retain their shape despite being beat-up through the stretching and tugging of repeated exercise motions. These fabrics are great for athletic apparel because they keep you sweat-free and comfortable during your workouts. But, over time, oils and odor-causing bacteria can build up in the fabrics and regular laundry detergents aren't designed to get these fabrics clean. So, despite all of the washing you may do, your workout gear just stinks.
That's why I was very excited to get the opportunity to try out WIN High Performance Sports Detergent. This detergent is specifically formulated to clean the synthetic fabric used in athletic apparel. It claims to remove the oils and residues that cause odor in these fabrics and leave them not only fresher smelling, but better performing over time.
I received two bottles of detergent from WIN – regular WIN, which has a very light, pleasant smell (like a spring day or a mountain stream maybe?), and WIN Green, which is fragrance and dye free. Both formulas are biodegradable and safe for high efficiency (HE) washers.
So what was my experience with WIN like? Well, I think it was good. I washed all kinds of clothes in my WIN detergent and found that, when I worked up a good sweat in my workout gear, I didn't smell anything. Sure, I didn't smell like a spring day or a mountain stream. But I also didn't smell like a stinky, smelly, sweaty mess. And I think that's a positive thing. The few pieces I have that are on the verge of being thrown out, didn't smell as much as I expected them to or as they had during past workouts. I think this is the outcome you want with your laundry detergent – to be able to wear your clothes without thinking about whether or not they are clean. If they're clean, you don't notice.
The one drawback I can see for some people using WIN is that, because it's formulated for synthetic fabrics and because it's a bit more expensive than regular detergent, you probably want to limit its use to your athletic apparel. For me, that's not too big of a deal, however, because I already keep a separate hamper in my laundry room just for workout clothes and my husband's medical scrubs. So washing these items in a separate load with a different than usual detergent doesn't really add to my labor. But it might add to yours so that's something to consider.
My conclusion on this is that I'm definitely going to keep some WIN on my laundry supply shelf. Athletic apparel is too dang expensive to throw out just because it smells bad. With WIN, I hope to one day be that lady on the tennis court who is still wearing her tennis skirts from twenty years ago!
If you're interested in giving WIN a try for yourself, you can buy it on-line at both Amazon and Tennis Express.
- You can click here to buy a bottle of WIN detergent on Tennis Express for $9.95: Tennis Express – WIN High Performance Detergent, 32 oz.
- And you can click here to buy it on Amazon for $10.95: Amazon – WIN High Performance Detergent Green 32oz
Full disclosure – I received two free bottles of WIN Sports Detergent from the manufacturer to try out. Also, the Amazon and Tennis Express links are affiliate links. Your cost is the same for these items whether or not you use these links. I don't get paid anything if you purchase from Tennis Express but they are nice enough to give me a small discount when I shop with them. I do make a very small commission if you purchase from Amazon. This does not influence my opinion of this product and I always tell the absolute truth about every product that I review. I usually do not review products that I don’t like.