I only work out in the high-tech fabrics that wick sweat away and keep me dry. High performance fabrics, like Dri-Fit, Under Armour and Coolmax, are great for lots of reasons—they stand up to countless workouts, they fit well, and they don't get weighed down with sweat like cotton does. But performance fabrics aren't perfect. Over time, they can become stinky and soiled, reeking of sweat even long after the workout (and washing cycle) is over. That's where a new detergent claims to help. Win is a "High Performance Sport Detergent" that's specially formulated to clean, remove odors and fight stains on high performance fabrics. I'm generally skeptical, but I decided to try it out. So does it work?
"After a few workouts, even the best high tech fabrics typically develop a musty odor," says the Win website. This is true for me. If I put my nose right to the fabric, even after it's been washed, it still stinks in the places I sweat the most. And I'm paranoid about being stinky. Some of my most worn shirts have developed discolored "sweat stains," too, which is downright embarrassing.
So I performed my own (very unscientific) test. Win looks and smells like ordinary blue detergent, although I usually prefer natural detergents free of fragrance or dye. (Perhaps that's why my workout clothes are stinky, since there's no scent to mask the odors?) After washing and drying, the clothes come out looking pretty much the same. I'm scared, but I put my nose right to the formerly stinky spots. And you know what? It smells noticeably better. Dare I even say it smelled good?
I've tried Win for about 6 loads now. Sometimes I'll throw in more clothes than just my workout items, because it's kind of annoying to have to do separate loads. While the results aren't amazing, I do notice a difference. My clothes smell better overall, even the old ones that seemed to have a stench that would never go away. It has helped reduce some of the sweat stains, but not removed them completely. I wonder if some of the embedded stains and smells would have never gotten as bad had I been using Win since day one. Perhaps it's a good way to prevent them, but I don't know for sure.
The downside? Well Win is expensive (about $6.99 for a 21-oz. bottle that will wash 14 loads). Plus, you won't find it easily. You can only get it at specialty sporting goods stores (I got mine at Dick's) or online. But it could help extend the life of your current workout gear, so you don't have to replace your clothes as often. If you look at it that way, the small bottle of detergent isn't a bad investment to make.
More From SparkPeople