Sometimes it's a toss-up what I value more in a running outfit: that it looks cute...or that it smells good. To help us all meet both those aims, follow these experience-counts tips.
1. Don't dry them (the stench!). Don't dry them (the shrinkage!). When I lived in San Francisco, I had a clothesline off my back deck, making it a, ahem, breeze to hang my laundry out to dry. Along with vamps, sunlight also kills odor-causing bacteria (see #2).
2. Wash soon after use. The stinky-stanky-stunk of synthetic athletic apparel is caused by the microscopic poop of bacteria that feast on the dirt and sweat. Proving, like a soiled diaper, small packages pack a potent punch, invisible excrement lingers. Typically, I'm loathe to wash stuff after just one wearing, but I've learned my lesson. Nothing makes a new high-tech tee wreak faster than wearing it, letting it air-dry, then re-wearing it again before washing. By then, the stink is set for life.
3. Toss in some OxiClean along with the detergent. It keeps colors brighter (and, thus, cuter!), removes blood-and-crud stains, and helps fight odor. (Yes, obviously, the quest for stink-free workout wear is my own Holy Grail!) Oh, and as tempting as it is to wash stuff in hottest H2O possible, just let detergent dissolve in warm water, then switch washer to cold.
4. Beware the thingy in the center of top-loading washing machine: It has snagged, stretched, and devoured many a sports bra strap. After my favorite black sports bra got hopelessly tangled around that obstacle because the strap lasso'ed it when I dropped it in the machine, I now carefully place my bras into the washer. Same goes for running tanks.
5. Check pockets--yours and your kids--before tossing. Despite a ban on it in our house, a wad of bubble gum was lurking in one of my kiddo's pockets. I'm still picking fragments of it off of one of my beloved running skirts.
How do you keep your running duds from smelling and looking cruddy?