How To Wash Leggings So They Last Forever

Its important to spend time to workout, but you probably don’t put the same amount of time into caring for our favorite grey leggings or sports bra. Well, here are simple tips for exactly how to wash leggings at home so that they are fresh and clean every time.

These specific cleaning and care hacks are sure to make your leggings last forever! Furthermore, try out these specialized clothing cleaning instructions for the many types of fabrics and materials in your closet.

Whether you’re going to Yoga, Soul Cycle, or Bootcamp before or after work, cleaning your sweaty, stinky sports bra and leggings are not everyone’s favorite task to do, especially when you spend money on expensive and cute workout outfits.

Before we move on how to care for our warm winter leggings, let’s talk quickly about the origin of your favorite trends. This helps us wear them all the more with gratitude.


Clean Hacks To Make Your Leggings Last Forever

Clean Hacks To Make Your Leggings Last Forever

source: @lizlevinefit

Modern day evolution of leggings really began in the 1960s, with the invention of Lycra or spandex, a stretchy knit fabric created by a chemist. The first spandex leggings were made in 1959.

This was the first time women embraced slim and stretchy pants in the ‘60s. Leggings became a mega trend in the 1970s when Debbie Harry wore shiny, high-waisted disco stretchy pants.

From that point on celebrities like Madonna jammed out with aerobic style leggings. Most recently, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner feature athleisure trends.


Legging Cleaning Hacks

From A to Z, there are thousands of ways to clean, wash and re-wear your favorite leggings and sports bra to make them last longer. But which one is really the right way? How often do you need to wash them? Is it ok to re-wear them?

Even though all leggings and sports bras come with care label hidden inside, here are tips so you can enjoy your workout and feel good every time! These tips are guaranteed to make your leggings last forever.


Re-Wear Workout Outfit More Than Once

Re-Wear Workout Outfit More Than Once

source: @katie_baki

Wearing your favorite leggings more than one time, only applies after less intense activities where you don’t sweat as much. Right after I get home from a short walk, I hang my clothing to allow it to air-dry and let any moist out in outdoors. This is extremely helpful to make your leggings last forever!

I also spray antibacterial lightly on leggings and sports bra. This way it will smell fresh when I re-wear them to remove any bad odor. Not only on your outfits, this sports spray works well for gym bags and yoga mats.


What To Do With Sweaty Clothes At Work

( This is Only For Early Workout Birds)

How do you store wet gym clothes and not get attention from you co-workers? The best way to store your stinky clothing while you are at work is to fold the clothes and put them into a bag. Place a dryer sheet in between clothes to help the smell go away!


What Is Right Way To Wash Leggings

What Is Right Way To Wash Leggings

source: @jentroyan

Some people put extra detergent to wash to their leggings and get rid of funky smell. But that’s big NO, NO, NO! It will actually harm your leggings. Even if you wash on standard cycle, those excess detergent might not get washed out and will create harm on your skin as well.

The right way to wash leggings is to first turn everything inside-out, helpful to make your leggings last forever. Before washing, soak your leggings in cold water with half a cup of white vinegar for 15 to 30 minutes. Use a small amount of homemade nontoxic laundry detergents and wash in cold water. Air dry your leggings or use the lowest heat setting on your dryer.


Hand Wash Your Sports Bra

It is recommended to hand wash clothes to make them last longer, especially your sports bra and leggings.

In the sink, tub, or shower use little bit of detergents and scrub gently, rinse well and hang dry.

Never, ever dry your sports bra in the dryer. It will stretch them out. That is why your favorite sports bra probably doesn’t fit you anymore.


How Often Do You Need To Wash Them

Most activewear including leggings and sports bras are made with dry fast fibers that should be washed regularly, especially when the clothes are high fitting.

The only exceptions are those loose tank tops that you wear over any sports bra, those can be worn a second workout if the first time was a less active exercise.


Keeping Yoga Pants From Piling

Keeping Yoga Pants From Piling

source: @lillye.beltran

Good fabric softeners are just like a hair conditioner treatment. This will keep your yoga pants fibers feeling smooth, brushed and realigned so it reduces fabric piling.


How To Wash Leggings With Mesh Panels

Workout leggings with mesh panels have become a really popular style. Recently we have seen this style on a variety of celebrities and streetwear outfits. It’s a great aesthetic design and has breathable functions.

But unfortunately, they can easily be snagged by other pieces of clothing. It’s recommended to hand wash clothes gently or place items inside of a mesh bag during cleaning in a washing machine, then hang dry.


Spot Clean Your Workout Clothes

If you get a stain while you’re wearing your leggings from Soul Cycle to a brunch date, you don’t have to pop them in the washer right away. You can use the same products that are used on regular laundry stains on leggings.


Wash Leggings with Darker Clothes

Washing all workout clothes together will keep the true color last longer. Because most dark color garments release dye when washed, it tends to bleed dye onto other garments just a little bit.

So if you want to keep them looking fresh and new color, wash your leggings with similar color items.


Freeze The Smell!

Freeze The Smell!

source: @daria.miko

Yup! Freeze your favorite workout leggings will help kill smells. Just make sure to make a note and put it on the fridge for those who share your home freezer. That ways they don’t think you’re some criminal 😉


How To Shrink Leggings

Majority of leggings contain a cotton or polyester blend. The simplest way to shrink leggings is to use a washing machine and clothes dryer. Leggings shrink by applying heat to the material. This is the most successful way to shrink many types of leggings.

Set the washing machine temperature to hot, and also select the longest wash cycle. Then, dry the leggings with high heat. Hot water and hot dry air condense the fabric and help to shrink the material.


Wearing your favorite leggings and sports bra is important to enjoy your workout  everyday. It’s a great way to make you feel good and accomplished.

Cleaning your sweaty clothes is not something everyone likes to do, but there are many easy and quick ways to prevent stinky leggings! These tips are sure to make your leggings last forever!

How do you wash your workout clothes?

What steps do you take to make leggings last forever?


fashion wanderer

10 Guaranteed Clean Hacks To Make Your Leggings Last Forever

Soonjoo Uh

I graduated with a bachelors of fine arts degree in fashion design. I worked in the fashion industry as a lead designer for major brand name labels such as Stitch Fix, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and Dillards. Now, I am the founder of the website Fashion Wanderer where I share current fashion trends, style tips and how to build a capsule wardrobe collection.

  1. These are great trips! I am always torn about how often I should wash work-out clothes. I tend to wash them more often than other things because I sweat in them!

  2. OK I definitely need to follow these tips. I wash mine way too often I think. I also forget to hand wash my sports bras and I know I need to do that. These are wonderful tips.

  3. I can surely use these tips when cleaning not only leggings but other clothes. I know a lot of people that can use these tips.

  4. I should take better care of my workout clothes. With a family of 5 it is always easier to just throw them in the wash.

  5. I am so excited to learn these tricks! I admit I have not taken care of my work out gear and it is needing to be replaced, so I will take your advice with this next round.

  6. I was wearing my new leggings the other day when it dawned on me….”what will be the best way to clean these?”. I contemplated texting my sister since she lives in leggings but I never did which is why I stumbled across this post. Totally bookmarking for later!

  7. Those are awesome tips for people who work out. Leggings get easily worn and it’s good to make sure that you take good care of them so you won’t have to keep buying a new pair.

  8. Great tips – I like the dryer sheet one, as I’m an early bird exerciser adn always end up taking my gym kit into the office!

  9. This is so neat! I have some leggings and I will be doing this! I really hope they will last forever, lol!

  10. I like wearing leggings my kind of to go clothing. Great tips I always takes care of my yoga pants because they were quite expensive.

  11. I had no idea that the first spandex leggings were made in 1959 or that they became popular in the sixties either. I always wash leggings with darker clothes and you are right it really does help!

  12. I feel like you read my mind for this post. I have only recently fallen in love with the comfort of leggings but trying to keep them looking as great as they do on Day 1 has been such a challenge! Thanks for these awesome tips to help me …

  13. You have got some great tips there. I really need to buy an antibacterial spray for my sports clothes but even with that I don’t think I will re-wear any of my sports clothes without washing. I live in a very humid place.

  14. These are some awesome tips and I will definitely apply them to extend the life span of my leggings. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Great tips! I like to use a mesh bag. Didn’t know about the cold water and white vinegar soak. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I always wash my sport gear after only wearing it once because I sweat too much. It’s true I don’t keep my yoga pants for long.

  17. Thanks for these great tips. I don’t usually wear leggings when working out but I could use these for a piece or two I got.

  18. I don’t wear leggings at all but my daughter pretty much lives in them. These are great tips that I will definitely be keeping in mind to care for hers (she is 12). Thanks

  19. I dont wear a ton of leggings, but these hacks are so on point. Im definitely going to do the vinegar soak before washing.

  20. I really love leggings and never knew that I could make them last longer than usual. These are some great tips!

  21. I’ve never thought of adding antibacterial spray to my leggings. That’s probably a really good idea since we sweat in them and all.

  22. these tips are awesome! I wear leggings/yoga pants almost everyday, so I should probably know how to take care of them :). Thanks for sharing

  23. I have a few pairs that should have been placed in a mesh bag before washing, never thought of doing that before. I have one I use for the bras and now I will use it for some of my leggings as well. Great tip!

  24. Great tips! Even before you mentioned adding vinegar to the wash water, my mind was screaming that this would work to get workout clothes cleaner. We’ve done this with all kinds of clothes and it really works 🙂

  25. These are great pointers, I actually hand wash my leggings and undies. I believe I can take care of them by handwashing.

  26. Apparently I have been washing mine the wrong way! I never did a morning workout cause I didn’t know what to do with them and keep them from getting all nasty and stink more – but now I have the solution~

  27. I’m always looking for ways to keep my leggings looking great! I’ll have to add some fabric softener into my routine now.

  28. I had heard about using white vinegar about a year ago. it has made a huge difference in my leggings.

  29. These are great tips! My fiance usually works out in the morning but keeps his sweaty gym clothes in the car haha.

  30. I love my leggings and yoga pants, so I really appreciate that there are hacks to keep them lasting longer. Thank you for showing me how!

  31. These are such great tips – I am terrible at washing my workout gear appropriately. I usually wash them all together on cold setting and hang to dry.

  32. These are some great tips! I tend to turn all of my clothes inside out. I love to use fabric softener sheets when storing my clothes and when packing for a trip.

  33. Thank you so much for sharing the helpful list. I don’t actually work out and I don’t have any kind of sportswear. But to keep the healthy, hygienic lifestyle these tips are great.

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