The Dangers of Placing Your Gym Clothes in Plastic Bags
Eliminate foul odors and bacteria from your sweaty clothes
Many gyms and health clubs will offer plastic bags for patrons to place their soiled laundry. Some members will place their swim wear in these bags after a fresh dive in the pool. However, most people using these plastic bags are placing their sweaty workout clothes in them. They are typically used so that people can separate their sweaty clothes from other items in gym bags. This is an effective way to protect your gym bag and other items, for instance, a brush, lotion, deodorant, your water bottle. But this is a total disaster for your gym clothing and health.
Placing your sweaty and wet clothes in plastic bags is probably the worst thing you can do for those clothes and for your health. There are many issues with this process.
First, the sweaty clothes will form a moist breeding ground for harmful bacteria and fungi. Clothing textiles are in close contact with the microorganisms of the skin and those of the environment. The clothes create a warm and often moist environment on the skin, which leads to the growth of bacteria. In some cases, these microorganisms lead to unpleasant odors, staining, fabric deterioration, and even physical irritation, such as skin allergies and skin infections.
Drew Westervelt, professional lacrosse player and founder of Hex Detergent says, “Anyone who has ever smelled workout gear after a wash and found that it still had that musty odor clinging to it knows about the problem at a high-level,” Drew tells Teen Vogue. “But as a professional athlete, the bacteria issue was first brought to my attention when there was an outbreak of MRSA (staph infection) in the locker room (a fairly common, but awful, problem). That was when I learned about the bacteria in our clothing, that this bacteria is also responsible for odor, and that whatever I was using simply wasn’t working.” In a test done by the International Antimicrobial Council, Lululemon yoga pants went into the wash with 187,000 bacteria on them.
So it is most effective to attack and kill this bacteria directly after a workout. The worst thing to do is put them in a plastic bag and allow bacteria to multiply over time. Some suggest the best thing to do is wash them immediately after your workout. That is a good idea, however what if you workout 5 days per week or more. Do you really want to have to wash clothes 5 times per week – that can be costly.
The last thing on your mind after a long workout is washing your gym clothes. But according to new research published in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, it should be — as wet and sweaty clothes are a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria called Micrococcus.
In the study, researchers asked 26 healthy individuals to participate in an intensive hour-long spinning session. Afterwards, they sealed their T-shirts in plastic bags and placed them in a dark corner. Twenty-eight hours later, seven new participants were asked to smell and rate the shirts based on the intensity of smell. No big surprise here: Researchers found that the shirts made of polyester had a mustier, sourer scent because they had higher levels of micrococci. The cotton clothes were also foul smelling.
According to this article, instead of leaving those sweaty clothes in the hamper overnight, you should add one more step to your exercise routine by tossing them in the wash right away.
Well, that is not the most practical use of your time, money, detergent, electricity or water. In today’s environmentally conscious society, it is best to limit water usage as much as possible.
Instead, you can treat sweaty clothes with Higene to kill that bacteria. Higene is a triple acting solution that pre-washes, dis-infect and deodorize your sweaty clothes. This will eliminate foul odors and make your laundry process more efficient. You can use cooler water with less detergent and your clothes will be always be fresh.
Watch the video below to learn more about Higene!