Any yogi knows that smell. It’s the smell of sweat that seems to never leave your favorite yoga pants no matter how often they’re washed. It may cause you to wash your leggings until they’re in shreds or maybe you find yourself buying new pairs more often because of it. Everyone can agree that smell yoga pants are bad. But why do they smell so bad and how can you fix it?
Synthetic Materials Smell More
You may think that stretchy, sweat-wicking clothing is better. However, these synthetic materials actually contribute to the smell problem. Materials like polyester are non-absorbent. This means that sweat is repealed. This might sound great, but it makes it harder to clean in the washing machine. Rayon, another synthetic material, is particularly bad when it comes to smells, so avoid it at all costs.
Tip: Try wearing yoga pants that have a higher percentage of cotton. Cotton fibers absorb sweat, trapping it inside to the odor is less noticeable. They’re also easier to clean so the smell won’t linger!
Humidity Brings Musty Smells
Unfortunately, Florida is hot and humid. The more humid the air is, the harder it is for clothing to dry. Cotton tends to get a musty smell in humid environments. If you’re line drying your yoga pants, the humidity is probably keeping them from getting fully dry. This can create a smell that doesn’t go away.
Tip: Find yoga pants that can go in both the washer and dryer. This will prevent them from getting only half dry and creating that musty smell we all hate.
Black is Bad
Black yoga pants may be one of the most worn items of clothing in the US. However, black textiles are notorious for having a bad smell. It could be because of the dye or it could just be that more people wear black leggings so there are more stories about them. Black also absorbs the sun, so for outdoor yoga, you’ll be hot as well as sweaty.
Tip: Try wearing other colored yoga pants. If you want neutrals, try looking at grey.
Wool Wins for Wafting
Want to avoid your stench from wafting to others in your yoga class? Try wool. Wool may be like an odd choice, but fine merino wool is actually a great material for active wear. Wool is great at odor control because it’s more absorbent than even cotton.
Tip: Look for clothing that has fine merino wool, also known as performance wool, in your activewear.
When in Doubt, Turn to Antimicrobial
Sweat isn’t what stinks- it’s the bacteria that cause the smell. If you kill the bacteria you can kill the stink. Clothing with antimicrobial fibers can help control the smell. Yoga pants with materials like copper and silver are common antimicrobial fibers.
Tip: Look for yoga clothing with copper or silver fibers as these are antimicrobial. Be careful though, as these metallic fibers can cause harm if worn in the wrong places like in MRI machines.
Clean, Clean, Clean
The best way to manage odor is the most obvious. Clean your yoga pants consistently and consciously. Sometimes tossing them into the washer with detergent just won’t cut it. Try some at home tips to control that odor.
Tip: A few good tips are spraying them down with vinegar, vodka, or tea tree oil before putting them in the washer. This will neutralize any odors before cleaning them.