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Getting the Smell out of Your Active Wear: Top 10 Laundry Tips

by Stephanie Jamain 18 Sep 2019
Getting the Smell out of Your Active Wear: Top 10 Laundry Tips

We chatted with the founder of Sports Suds, Paul Yung, to talk about what it really means to have clean clothes and how to keep the stank out of your active wear.

Paul Yung Sport Suds

B: When and why did you come up with the idea for Sports Suds? How long was the R&D process?

P: Sport Suds Laundry Detergent first started selling about 10 years ago at a local specialty running store. Back then, no one had ever heard of a sport laundry detergent. Today, the growth in use of technical fabrics, and along with it the increase in stubbornly stinky sports clothes, have resulted in a new concern for customers who want to get the stink out of their apparel.


We spent quite a while getting the right mix of ingredients for Sport Suds. Our goal from the onset was to have a product that worked well, was easy to use and that was environmentally friendly. After a long period of research and testing, things finally came together. One of the distinguishing features of Sport Suds is that it is a powder. We didn’t start out that way, but research showed us that powders did a better job compared to liquids. Even though consumers are used to liquid detergent (some even prefer them), we didn’t let that stop us from creating the best product for technical fabrics.


B: What is it exactly that causes our gym clothes to be smelly?

P: There are two major causes of stink:

  1. Bacteria related: Bacteria love to live, eat and breed. The more they eat, the more they multiply. When they eat, they give off a bad smell; and the more bacteria there are, the greater the smell.
  2. Contaminate related: Contaminates are anything in your clothes that shouldn’t be there; things like cologne, sun screen lotion, campfire smoke, etc.


Truly removing stink - not just covering it up or overpowering it - means removing the things that are causing the stink: the bacteria and the contaminants. Sport Suds dislodges and washes bacteria, dirt and contaminants away. Once this is done, your clothes inherently will no longer have any smell. THIS is what we call “truly clean” clothes.


B: What does non-residue mean?

P: Conventional detergents are designed to deliberately leave residues in your clothes after washing. Seems a little odd at first, but these residues include fabric softeners, anti-static additives, optical brighteners and fragrances. The issue with residue is that they trap bacteria and contaminants into the fibers and essentially ‘lock in’ smell into your clothes.


B: What was the most interesting thing you learned along the way?

P: The most important thing we learned about odor removal is a new meaning to the word “clean”. Turns out, when you really want clean, you don’t want your clothes to smell like flowers or an ocean breeze. After all, the scent of flowers or the ocean is a perfume or chemical that’s sitting on the fibres of the fabric. Something that’s truly clean has absolutely nothing on the fabric fibers. Achieve this, and inherently all contaminant odor is no longer present. Another fun fact, clothes with no residue are also considered hypoallergenic.


B: How is Sports Suds different from other laundry detergents?

P: These residual chemicals left behind by conventional detergents actually hinder the ability of performance fabrics to work (re: breathe) and traps bacteria and dirt in the fabric. That’s why some workout gear can start to smell bad again moments after they’ve been washed. In reality, they didn’t get cleaned during their cycle through the washer.


B; What is it about athletic apparel that makes it different from everyday clothes when it comes to laundering?

P: Technical fabrics used to make athletic apparel are microwoven. These differ from regular clothes in that they tenaciously hold on to contaminates in their fabric weave. Technical fabrics perform best when their fibers are clean to allow moisture to wick and travel through the fabric. If contaminants, bacteria or residue are present, they cannot perform the way they were meant. So, when technical fabrics are washed with a non-residue detergent become truly clean. They breathe better, feel drier and are more comfortable to wear. An added benefit with compression wear is that the fibers are able to return to their maximum compressed state. They compress better, feel more comfortable and last longer.


B: What are your top tips/dos and don'ts of washing sports gear? 


  • First, better quality fabrics tend to smell less. Choose quality over quantity.
  • When your clothes are wet, don’t leave them wet in the hamper or in a gym bag, let them air dry or wash immediately. Bacteria love warm, damp environments.
  • Warmer water washes better than cooler water. Check the label on your garment and select a temperature that’s safe for the fabric being washed.
  • Use a non-residue detergent.
  • Never use fabric softener or chlorine bleach with technical fabrics.
  • It’s okay to use a spot cleaner or pre-treatment. Apply treatment prior to washing with Sport Suds and set machine for an extra rinse (always a good idea anyway) to rinse away the chemicals.
  • For tough odors, agitate and soak items before washing. Some odors can be very deeply entrenched. Keep washing, it does go away eventually. Repeated washing with Sport Suds will progressively remove entrenched odors.
  • Just like in your bathroom, soap scum and mineral deposits appear and grow over time. Clean your washer regularly with a washing machine cleaning product. It allows your washer to perform better AND your clothes are cleaner.
  • Keep the door or lid of your washer open between washings
  • On a road trip or camping? Sport Suds is septic and grey water safe as well as readily biodegradable thus safe for use in small lakes and streams.


A little laundering love goes a long way in prolonging the life your activewear. Check out our Product Care Guide.


Want to try Sport Suds Laundry detergent? Use code BRAVA at checkout for 20% off!  ▶︎

BRAVA Sport Suds Laundry


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