I have a laundry problem. Specifically, I have a stinky workout clothing laundry problem.

I’m not typically a smelly person( pretty sure ), but recently I “ve noticed that” even after cleaning, my workout clothes were a little, well, funky. Or they would reek fine right out of the wash, but as soon as I set them on and started sweating again, things got a little ripe. Ick.

Things got even worse when I started get into hot yoga. When you wear a tank top, athletics bra, and leggings for an hour-long workout in a 95 -degree room, then jostle those soaking-wet clothes in a plastic pouch in the bottom of your desk drawer for the rest of the workday, you’ve got a recipe for serious reek. No quantity of rinsing with regular cleanser would get the smell out.( When I complained to our fitness editor, Roz, she told grimly, “Oh yeah, everyone says that hot yoga smell is the worst.”)

“Odor in workout garment is most commonly caused by a buildup of sweat and bacteria from your body, ” explained Mary Zeitler, lead customer scientist at the Whirlpool Corporation Institute of Home Science. “How you store your workout clothes can also lead to additional odorsfor example, leaving sweaty clothes in a closed up gym suitcase, locker, or hamper.”( Um, guilty .)

RELATED: 8 Way to Keep Your Shoes Stink-Free During No-Sock Season

In addition, the very qualities that keep high-performance textiles comfortable during a workouttheir ability to push water out of their fibers rather than retaining it, so you stay driermake it harder for sudsy water in your cleaning machine to penetrate the fabric and pull the sweat and bacteria out.

I had to get rid of the stink, so I embarked on a months-long quest to find the absolute best style to get workout clothes odor-free. First, a few general tips-off from Zeitler and my own trial-and-error 😛 TAGEND Turn clothes inside out before cleaning( since the sweat, oils, and bacteria from your body amas on the inside of the clothes ). “Always use the sniff exam before putting the garment into the dryer, ” Zeitler said.( You don’t want to “cook” the smells in .) Wash clothes as soon as is practicable after wearing. If possible, let sweaty clothes air out instantly rather than stuffing them into a plastic pouch or hamper. Don’t use more detergent than recommended or overstuff the machine, both of which make it harder for clothes to rinse clean.( In my tests, every single technique did worse if I crammed too many items into one loading .) Seventh Generation Free& Clear