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From how many times to wash your leggings to removing smells for good, Yoon Chung, the chief merchant of active-fashion brand Carbon38, outlines the crucial dos and don’ts of washing your workout gear.

1. Wash your leggings after every wear

While there’s no pressure to wash your jeans every week, Chung says the same laissez-faireattitude doesn’t apply to leggings.

“I recommend washing after each workout as the odour-causing bacteria can clog pores and cause skin breakouts and yeast infections,” Chung told E!.

2. Washing instructions are there for a reason

If you’ve ever tumble-dried a woolly jumper or machine washed a silk bomber jacket by accident, you’ll rue the day you didn’t read the washing label properly. According to Chung, each sportswear item is made of entirely different fabrics that require different laundry care. The tip to washing activewear is to keep the water cold and don’t even think about putting them in the dryer. “Hot water can break down textiles and can lead to shrinkage,” warned Chung.

3. Forget fabric softeners

Apparently softeners, brighteners and fragrances are a no in Chung’s book as you’re more prone to get a white residue on your leggings. This is due to the chemicals getting stuck between the fabric’s fibres. In turn, this limits their ability to get sweat and smells out of the clothes. Instead, rely on good old-fashioned detergent.

4. Separate colours

Neon pink, electric blue, deep purple – exercise-wear comes in a rainbow of eclectic colours, but when it comes to washing, separate them by colour. “Whites and bright colours can be washed together, but separately from the dark colours,” said Chung.

Also, anything with a zip (leggings and sports bras) should be popped into a lingerie bag, if possible. Chung says: “Zippers can rub against performance fabrics during the wash cycle and cause fraying and pilling.”

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5. White vinegar removes smells

If you’ve ever gone to put on a freshly washed running top only to realise it still smells, don’t worry, it’s not you. Sometimes clothes just annoyingly retain smells. The solution? Soak your sportswear in cold water and half a cup of white vinegar for 15 to 30 minutes before popping them in the washing machine.

From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK