How often do you wash your running kit?

Just wondering how many times you wear your running kit before putting it in the wash? Because you can't use fabric conditioner on a lot of the clothing, I tend to wash mine separately. Being an economical type, I save it up for when I'm washing other stuff that doesn't require conditioner. So I try to get 2 wears out of my running gear, before washing it. Mind you, I do sniff it first just to make sure it's not too whiffy! Is this bad? I only have 2 sets of running gear, so I am trying to make them last!

72 Replies

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  • Mine generally get washed after each run :) i have o  the odd occasion worn something twice before washing 

  • Depends how 'sweaty betty' I've been, and how muddy/wet the terrain has been.  I try and get at least two wears out of them, sometimes maybe one more - I've got some lovely warm long leggings for the winter, depending on the weather ive held out washing them too often as I've needed them! 

    I don't worry too much about it, do a check sniff though 😄

    Mx

  • Ha ha, another 'Sniff tester'. Glad I'm not the only one!

  • Every time.  It stinks!  (And I'm really not a smelly person, honest).  I keep thinking I'll lob it all in the garage and wait till I've got another lot of smelly running gear as I have drawers full of kit, but then I go into the garage to get a bag of carrots and think euuuwwww!

  • Ha! Wish I could keep mine in a garage in between runs! I could wear it loads then!

  • After every run. I'm far too much of a sweaty to do anything else to be honest. I've once worn my leggings twice after realising (too late to wash & dry them) I only had one pair with me on a work trip, but it wasn't pleasant............ for anyone. 😆

  • I tend to wear my tops, capris and sports bra twice between washes unless they're muddy or too stinky, but socks get a wash after every run, as do my dedicated running drawers (obviously). I work on the principle that nobody is standing close enough to me when I'm running to get a proper sniff. Always wear clean kit for Parkrun though!  Now worried in case this makes me what my mother would call a mucky woman!! 😱😱😱

    Edit: Just checked with hubby who assures me I don't reek the place out -phew!!

  • I do this too, don't worry! Twice is fine for the main items and I agree underwear/socks always get washed every time. I haven't done distances yet that make anything smell bad, so I feel it's OK. Plus I run alone!

  • Ahh good, I run alone too, so hopefully nobody can smell me! I do wash my stuff every couple of runs too unless muddy or very sweaty.

  • Yeah I guess if I start doing 30 mins three times a week that'll be different, but for now I don't have enough kit to wash every time. Looking at getting more stuff, but other outgoings are necessary too, sadly.

  • Ahh now you've made me feel better. I tend to wash my stuff every 2 runs unless muddy or ive been really hot! Definitely socks every time. Dedicated drawers eh? I must look into this! Do they do running knickers then?

  • They probably do, but I use Sainsburys No VPL knickers because they're incredibly comfortable, don't show under Lycra and never ever fall down. Only down side is that they're not very pretty but who cares when they're so good!

  • As long as they don't fall down that's good enough for me! Maybe I finally need some smaller ones. Or just newer ones with better elastic!

  • Tesco do some Lycra knickers that don't show under leggings and they last ages. 

  • Will check them out, thank you.

  • All of my kit gets washed daily. T-shirts I get through 2 or more a day between running and gym and so on. The only items that don't would be the rain jacket I wear in winte, and the hoody I wear during warmup.

    I don't use fabric conditioner at all though. the concept of coating my clothing with a layer of chemical gloop that renders them impervious to detergent and water seems to defeat the object of washing the clothes in the first place to me, and it really isn't something I want in contact with my (or my kids) skin.

  • Oh well, I'm disgusting, then. I just wash my stuff once a week, so every three runs. It's a bit whiffy by the last time out but not too bad, and I figure it's a solitary pursuit. If my joggers are a bit mud splattered, I don't really care. They're black, so it doesn't show up much. This does not apply to socks, which are changed for every run. As I do morning runs, I also wear the previous day's knickers. No point putting a clean pair on for less than an hour. As soon as I'm back, they go straight in the laundry.

    Worried that I sound like a freak, now. I have proper running tops that wick sweat away. If I was running in normal cotton t-shirts I would change them after every run.

  • As we all slowly move just a little bit f u r t h e r away from Vivster lol!!

    I do it 'as needs must' which is anything from each run to 3 runs. Jacket even longer.

    I just sniff my stuff. If it's reeking it goes in the washbasket, if it's just a bit damp it gets hung up to dry out and is worn again.

    I've got 3 tops, 2 bottoms (ooh), 2 running bra's and 2 jackets which mix and match so there's always an 'outfit' ready to go :)

  • I sniffed my tops! They were okay 😕 I really have excellent personal hygiene 😇

  • I think that's the thing, in the beginning I wasn't running long enough to work up a sweat, but now it's getting a little warmer and I'm running for longer, I get more hot and sweaty. I think I will gradually have to pick up more items so I have some ready to go.

  • I definitely need to get another bra! But they are just so expensive, the proper engineered type that I would need! I'll just have to wash it more I guess. I do have 3 tops now, so that should be enough to be getting on with.  And I always sniff to see if I can get away with it again ha ha.

  • No, definitely not a freak. I've worn stuff longer than I should! My sports bra doesn't get washed very often, as you say, it's not on for long! And I have sometimes worn previous nights knickers....

  • Well when I run first thing I dont shower & use yesterdays knicks. But oddly I always brush my teeth!

  • Me too! Somehow I feel less skanky if I have clean teeth!

  • Technical t-shirts and fabrics go into the wash asap for me. The wicking away of sweat is from the body not out of the garment. If they lie around in a pile this can cause bacteria to proliferate and the fabric will start to deteriorate. The fabric pulls sweat off you but unless it is washed out the sweat and salt and dirt just clogs up the fibres

    The key is to wash at low temp or handwash and line dry. Performance fabrics are pretty high maintenance unfortunately. This goes double for compression gear and sports bras (and before anyone asks, no  i don't wear one, but I do the laundry, and handwash my wife's sports bras, daily, which is how I know this stuff).

  • Ahh interesting about the deterioration of clothing due to the bacteria. I didn't know that. And about washing at a lower temperature. Guess I'd better wash my stuff more often! I didn't think for one minute you wore a sports bra! But thanks for that as I'm terrible at leaving them for ages before they get washed!

  • So, Rig... You create healthy balanced meals for all the family, you wash your wife's sports bras... would you like to come and stay?

  • Before my image becomes completely Metrosexual New Man Caspar Milquetoast, I would like to point out I shoot large animals, do not own a manbag and have never used moisturiser.

  • During the week I run at 6am and so meet no one between leaving the house and returning. So, I wash the kit I wear on those two runs at the end of the week.  My sunday run is during the daytime, so I wear clean stuff and wash it staight after along with the weekday stuff. If I thought that I'd meet anyone on a weekday run then I'd wear freshly washed stuff then too, as it's a little wiffy after a run.  I wash my running cloths in a detergent aimed at technical fabriques such as MIR Sport. It is no more expensive than other detergents per wash and doesnt contain any of the gunky additives which block the hollow wicking fibres in technical fabriques :)

  • I didn't know you could buy special laundry liquid! Where do you get it from? Haven't seen that in my local supermarket.

  • I'm not too familiar with UK shops as I live in France, but I know that Sainsburys stock one as I am currently visiting UK and saw it on the shelves. 25 washhes in bottle, 16p per wash. Halo Sports Wash.

  • Hello, I bought some Halo sports wash off the Internet and wash my stuff on the 30 mins wash. It smells nice and is lasting ages. 

  • Thank you @+Zev1963 and BlinkyBecky, I'll find some!

  • I normally also do two runs between washes - generally not too smelly!

  • Glad it's not just me then! Although I might have to have a rethink after what Rignold said.

  • Oh well, I will wash more often 😕 I do have two tops now and I guess I will gather more as I go, so I can alternate what wear. When I started I only had one outfit. Still doing the knicker thing though as it is excellent economising.

  • I need knickers that don't start working their way down as I'm running!

  • *Sits on hands to prevent any number of replies that spring to mind.

  • Moving swiftly on.....

  • I try to wash mine every 2 runs but if I was very sweaty or there was a lot of mud, it will go into the wash.  I use fabric conditioner most times, no problems as a result.  If in doubt, sniff it out!  LOL

  • Yep! Definitely the sniff test!

  • Oh dear - I'm starting to worry about my smelliness now! Perhaps I have a sensitive nose!!!

  • Mind you, I've never caught a whiff of anyone when they run past me (as most runners do at the moment)!

  • If you're not sweating enough to be smelly you really aren't trying hard enough. (he says, putting Hard Taskmaster hat on)

  • I am definitely working harder now I'm on week 9.  But no, I probably wasn't in the earlier stages unfortunately. I'll be checking my clothing to see how hard I've worked after my run tomorrow :)

  • Trying hard enough for what?

  • Rignold, my headmistress used to say that horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow. All I can say is that the National Grid could use my glow to power half of Britain...... ;-)

  • I only ever see sheep on my runs so providing they don't keel over as I pass, I have no problem wearing my outer running gear a couple of times between washes. And as for dedicated running undies, Londonred, someone recommended Chafree knickers to me and they are very comfy tho rather expensive. Needless to say, they definitely get a wash after each run!! :-)

  • Can't you turn them inside out for the second run  ;)

  • I could try but I think the size label might show that way and the sheep would die laughing...... 

  • Ha ha! Turn them inside out! Don't think I'd want my label on show either!

  • Depends on whether or not it passes the stink test, but either way I put them in with everything else and no conditioner. Then I take the kit out at the end of the cycle, leave everything else in and do a "rinse and spin" with fabric conditioner in.

    In the summer I hand wash my running tops and then let them drip dry.

  • I've always just put my running kit through the normal cycle with my other clothes. Is that wrong??

  • Only if you use high temperatures and fabric conditioner (see Rig's posts above). I wash kit at 30 or by hand and don't use fc. Apart from not being good for your kit I read somewhere that it coats towels and, whilst they are soft, they become less absorbent.

  • Yes I've heard you shouldn't use it on towels for that reason.  But I've always washed my kit at a higher temperature to kill any bacteria, but I guess I shouldn't be.

  • After each time with two caps of zoflora.  I do weightlifting and discovered years ago that if you don't put some disinfectant in, the clothes may smell nice but the moment you work up a sweat, OMG, horrific! The only things I don't wash that often is my running gilet and beanie. Posh sports wash not worth it, use zoflora. 

  • Zoflora is so versatile, would never have thought to use it in my wash. Cheaper than the dettol stuff they advertise on tv. Thanks for the tip. 

  • Yes it's great. I just pop it into the fabric conditioner drawer. 

  • There's also a Dettol "after wash" treatment for the conditioner drawer. Often cheap in Costco if anyone is a member. 

  • Underwear and socks every time, the sniff test applies to the top and leggings, I try to get 2 wears out of them, they never stretch to 3 I sweat too much.

  • Me too. 2 wears and then into the wash! Unless sniff test fails.

  • I wash after every use - sweaty betty... My washing machine has a 'sportswear' cycle that's 30° and uses no fc so I use both sets of gear and then do a wash. If my husband has done a couple of days of exercise too it's pretty much a full load! (He seems to wear a phenomenonal amount of kit!)

  • I also hang washing outside as much as possible as sunlight is also a good bacteria controller.

  • Yes I like to do this too. Smells so much fresher too.

  • In this house, everything goes in the washing machine. Even the shoes. Same detergent. No hassle. If I know I can't chuck it in the washing machine, I don't buy it. Life is beautiful.

  • I use a cap of white vinegar in the wash for anything that is mingingly malodorous. But never put running shoes in the machine. The insoles/sock liner and laces if necessary, but never the shoe itself. Not even on a cold wash. Reduces thair lifespan by about half and destroys cushioning.

  • White vinegar, another great household tip, thank you.

  • i wash everything after every run. I can often wring out some of the gear I wear. I wouldn't even think about wearing it again till it was washed. I have a cheap tracksuit that I put on after a run so I don't get cold on the walk/drive home. That goes straight in the wash too. Shoes on the other hand never go in the washing machine, but do get washed by hand occasionally.

  • Socks and undies get washed every time, although they might be the previous day's - I can't see the point of putting clean ones on for an hour. Everything else I usually get a couple of wears out of.

    And I confess to rummaging in the dirty washing for a sports bra to wear just one more time when I suddenly realise both of mine are in the washing pile...

  • I'm always rummaging in the laundry basket for my sports bra! I really need to buy another one! I keep meaning to wash it , but then forget about it until I need it, only to find its still waiting to be washed!

  • That makes me feel a lot better - thank, Londonred!

  • Once.

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