Skip to main navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

How to Clean Gym Workout Clothes With Bleach

If you work out your gym clothes will get sweaty and smelly. Learn how to wash and clean athletic workout clothes to get them fresh for your next workout.

More from Clorox experts
New Clorox® Free & Clear

Safe around kids, pets & food.* * When used as directed.

New Clorox® Free & Clear

Safe around kids, pets & food.* * When used as directed.


I workout often, and it seems some shirts have a permanent odor of sweat or mold. Will Clorox2® help on my colored laundry?


The bleach active in Clorox2®, hydrogen peroxide, is a gentle bleach, making it safe for almost all washable colored items.  However, it doesn’t meet EPA disinfecting requirements, and so it won’t kill the germs on your workout clothes like Clorox® Regular Bleach2.  You may actually be able to use Clorox® Regular Bleach2 to safely wash some of your workout clothes provided they are colorfast to bleach and don’t contain any spandex.  You’ll need to check the items with a quick bleachability test as follows:

  • Mix a test solution by diluting 2 tsp Clorox® Regular Bleach2 in ¼ cup water
  • Apply a drop to a hidden part of the item such as an inside hem, cuff, or seam.  Wait one minute and then blot dry
  • No color change means the item can be safely bleached

For items that don’t pass the bleachability test, you can try the following techniques to at least reduce the germ count.

  • Always wash in the hottest water recommended on the item’s care label.
  • Pre-soak with Clorox2® before washing.  Dissolve 1 scoop of the powder in 2 gallons hot water; fully submerge the items for up to 8 hours or overnight.  Drain the soaking solution before washing.
  • Wash any items of particular concern separately from other items to avoid germ transfer
  • Use the hottest dryer setting recommended on the care label, and dry items separately – or at least with some white towels so the items tumble properly in the dryer.

Periodically run a washer clean-out cycle with an empty washer and ¾ cup Clorox® Regular Bleach2 to be sure the clothes washer is disinfected and germs don’t transfer to other loads. 

Do any readers have suggestions on eliminating gym clothes odor?

Related products