You might assume that the smell on your running clothes comes from the sweat you generate during runs. While sweat contributes to the problem, it isn't actually the cause. In fact, sweat itself is odorless.


After you exercise for a long time, the sweat, sebum and dirt accumulated in the fabric will become a breeding ground for bacteria. After these nutrients are decomposed by bacteria, they will produce mixed odors of nitrogen-containing compounds, which will give off a foul smell, and it will not be completely washed off from clothes. When the clothes are worn next time, the smell is covered by lotion at first, but when the body temperature rises and sweats, bacteria will immediately breed and become stinking. The smell will regenerate quickly, so the lack of "real" washing is the biggest reason for the residual sweat odor of clothes.


5 Tips to Get Odor Out of Polyester Clothes

Don't delay

Washing your clothes soon after you exercise will make a huge difference since the bacteria grow and the smell gets worse over time. Experts advise washing your clothes within a day of wearing it. However, if you can't do a full load of laundry, at least try to rinse your clothes in water to loosen the stains

Use a pre-soak

If you pre-soak your clothes, you'll have a better shot at removing stains and odors. There are different pre-soak solutions that you can use.

Some people use a simple solution of water and baking soda (one cup of baking soda diluted in a cup or two of water).

Other experts advise using white distilled vinegar (one part vinegar to four parts cold water). The acid in vinegar helps to break up odors so that they can be washed away in the regular laundry cycle.

Lastly, you can use a commercial pre-soak product or detergent. Brands like Tide and Hex make detergents and detergent boosters that you can use to pre-soak your clothes and loosen odors and stains.

Either use the pre-soak feature on your washing machine or simply soak clothes in a sink or tub for 30 minutes before washing. 


Use a sports laundry detergent

Try using a special detergent formulated for technical sportswear. These types of detergents are designed to remove the odor, but won't degrade sweat-wicking or water-repellent properties. They are also often designed to tackle other stains, such as grass or mud.

Use an odor eliminator

There are also odor eliminators on the market that you add to your wash load along with detergent. If you prefer not to buy an extra sports-specific product, you can also add vinegar to your laundry load to give it an odor-busting boost. While pre-soaking with vinegar works best, adding vinegar to your wash cycle can also help to loosen and remove odors.

Buy odor-fighting clothes

There are also lots of new odor-fighting clothes on the market. They may sound too good to be true, but these clothes do actually help keep you dry and odor-free. A common technique is to include some metal in the fiber blend, such as copper or silver. Silver, for example, attaches to bacteria so that it can't get locked into the fabric's fiber and is, therefore, easier to remove. The downside is that some of these odor-resistant products are more expensive than your average clothes. But they may be worth the investment if they last longer and keep you smelling fresh.