By now, we’re all seasoned pros and know how just how bad it can be to skip a shower after a sweaty workout class and when it’s OK to go without one after a less-intense class. We also know that, sadly, our favorite workout leggings have an expiration date, as their fabric can attract lots of bacteria among other things.
Depending on your personal post-workout shower style and how fastidious you are about the upkeep of your workout clothes, you may or may not take advantage of the plastic bags many studios provide for sweaty clothes. You may even use something of your own instead.
I for one, don’t have a strict shower-at-the-studio routine and opt for a shower at home. Therefore, I usually keep my sweaty workout clothes on until it’s time to shower at home – or bring a change of clothes and put my sweaty clothes right in my bag. (Gross, I know.) However, my boyfriend—an avid ClassPass member—must shower directly after every class, and he puts his workout clothes in those little baggies. In fact, come laundry day, his hamper is overflowing with plastic bags full of sweaty, stinky, still wet clothes from all his workouts from the week (TMI?).
Because his pile of bags in the laundry hamper gross me out, I wanted to see what kind of alternatives there are so come laundry day, he’s no longer untying bags and bags of dirty, stinky workout clothes.
Here’s a little more about the options I learned about, so on top of showering and keeping your workout clothes clean, you’ll know about all the options for holding your sweaty clothes.
A workout bag with a compartment for dirty clothes
Some workout bags have a built-in section for sweaty clothes. Lululemon, for example, has bags like the City Adventurer Backpack 7L that have an area for “sweaty unmentionables.” This is compartment designed to carry and keep undergarments, socks and sweaty clothes separate from your other belongings. With an all-in-one bag like this, you can say goodbye to those plastic bags. Just be sure to put your dirty clothes in the hamper or laundry as soon as you’re able to!
A ‘wet bag’
Saarah Samadani, health, wellness and mom blogger for Beauty Momme, recommends Itzy Ritzy bags. These bags come in a variety of patterns, so you can pick one that matches your larger workout bag or purchase a few and mix and match them. “They fold down super small when not in use, and can wipe clean very easily,” she says. Though these bags are not traditionally designed for wet bathing suits, they are perfect for sweaty workout clothes and—bonus—are machine washable!
A ‘Stnky’ bag
OK, so I know you’re probably thinking: Why would I want a bag that’s named after stink—the adjective I am trying to stay away from when it comes to keeping my dirty workout clothes as fresh as possible? But the Stnky was originally developed for triathletes and is designed to transport workout gear, no matter how sweaty, wet or muddy it may be. It’s lined with an inner mesh bag and keeps any unwanted odors trapped inside.
A drawstring bag
Drawstring bags take me back to elementary school soccer camp days, but it is possible to find a drawstring bag that will fit into your workout bag. Shop AOA sells 12-inch square canvas bags that are perfect to use in lieu of a plastic bag. And the best part is they are only $1, so you won’t be breaking the bank and can order as many as you need. Similarly, Adidas or Nike sell drawstring bags that will do just the trick if you prefer a sportier, soccer camp look and feel.