Activewear Care 101

Activewear Care 101

Aka the busy girl’s guide to caring for her activewear!

Whether you wear activewear for performance or leisure (we know, they’re so comfy), you want to be sure that your favourite pieces last you a long time. Washing them the right way is key—but many of us are probably doing it wrong without even realising it. After all, your activewear sees you through your hardest and sweatiest workouts, so that means the fabric is durable enough to withstand minimal care or the heavy-duty setting on your washing machine, right?

Wrong! Activewear actually requires more care than your standard T-shirts and shorts, both because of what it’s made of and what it’s used for. Those supportive yet buttery-soft bras and leggings are prone to product build-up and sensitive to heat damage, and washing them the same way as you would a pair of jeans or a blanket might damage them. It also takes a little more know-how to get all those sweat stains and smells out.

Anya Active's super soft Active Rest Mid Tee in Hug
What do your favourite tee and sports leggings have in common? Both are probably oh-so-soft and comfy, but they have different laundry needs! For a tee that can take you from play to rest, check out our Active Rest Mid Tee in Hug.

But we get it—you’ve got places to be and things to do. So here are our top 3 laundry tips for keeping your Anya Active pieces in top shape. (Spoiler alert: all of them are things you can do before you turn on the machine.) 

Tip 1: Turn your clothes inside-out

Whether you’re handwashing your activewear or relying on your washing machine, be sure to turn your activewear inside-out first. This little step might seem like it won’t make a difference—but trust us, it will!

Firstly, the inner surface of your activewear is the dirtiest because it’s been in closest contact with your sweaty skin. By taking a little time to turn your clothes inside-out, you’re making sure that this surface gets cleaned by soap and water more easily. 

Turn up the HIIT in the Terra Bra (Ruby) and Cloud Classic Leggings (Plum)
Unlike most clothes, activewear gets dirtiest on the inside rather than the outside—because we wear it for our sweatiest activities. Try turning up the HIIT in our sweat-wicking Terra Back Clasp Bra in Ruby and Cloud Classic Leggings in Plum.

Secondly, doing this helps protect the sheen and vibrance of your activewear—so if you’re big on colour, this is especially important. This also helps prevent the peeling of any shiny logos on the outside of your activewear. 

One more thing… Before you turn on your washing machine, make sure that your activewear is in a mesh washing bag—you wouldn’t want the zips and buttons of your other clothes snagging on it! And of course, sports bras should go inside a special washing bag designed to protect the shape of your bras. 

Zip pockets on Anya Active's Cloud Boxy Shorts
Ooh, zip pockets! If your activewear is the one with the zips and hooks, put it in a mesh washing bag anyway to protect both it and the rest of your clothes. Pictured here: Cloud Boxy Shorts in Dune.

Tip 2: Wash like fabrics together

You’ve probably heard the term “wash with like colours”, but did you know that it’s better to wash similar fabrics together, too? 

Cool combo: Terra Bra in Ice and Cloud Classic Leggings in Baby Blue
The same colours and fabrics should go together. Twin with your bestie in our Terra Back Clasp Bra in Ice and Cloud Classic Leggings in Baby Blue. We guarantee you’ll be the coolest duo in the room. 

Imagine attending a class at your favourite yoga studio and finally nailing that peak pose. You’re feeling really great about yourself—until you see yourself in the mirror and notice that your sleek, all-black outfit is covered in lint! Of course, this doesn’t actually affect your performance, but this is a classic example of why you should avoid washing your activewear with towels, blankets, fleece and other heavy items. 

Another reason—and probably a more concerning one—is that doing so can cause your activewear to pile. 

Tip 3: Use the right amount of detergent

This is the easiest and most common laundry mistake people make, especially when it comes to cleaning heavily soiled clothes. You might think that the more detergent you use, the more likely those odours will get out of your clothes. It’s actually the opposite! 

Using too much laundry detergent leaves a residue of soap on your clothes—and this traps odours and bacteria. (Not quite unlike what happens when you let soap scum and grease build up in your shower drain!) To prevent this from happening, make sure that you’re using an amount of detergent that’s appropriate for the size of your load. 

Anya Active's Back to Basics Cami and Effortless Joggers II are supremely comfy
The secret to keeping your activewear soft and nice-smelling is to measure the amount of detergent you’re using. Oh, and say goodbye to your fabric softener. Find your comfort in our Back To Basics Cami (V-Neck) in Yoghurt and Effortless Joggers II in Stone Blue

Lastly, skip the fabric softener—it’s activewear’s enemy. Similar to the soap residue problem, fabric softeners lead to odour retention by leaving a coating on clothes to make them, well, soft. This coating makes it more difficult for both soap and water to penetrate and clean the fibres of your activewear, so it is more likely for odour-causing bacteria to stay and build up between wears. It’s okay—our activewear is soft enough without the fabric softener anyway. 

Wash like a pro

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve learnt the fundamentals of washing and caring for your activewear. Congrats—you’ve passed Activewear Care 101! 

Feeling ready for something more advanced—especially if you’ve followed those 3 tips and there are still stubborn smells? Read on for more solutions to common activewear laundry woes. 

Bonus Tip 1: Banish odours with white vinegar

If you can’t tell if you’re using too much detergent to wash your activewear, check if your clothes already smell soiled before you’ve even exercised in them. If they do, then you definitely have a product build-up situation to address.

Crowd favourite: Cloud Cross-Back Bra 2.0
It’s never too late to change your laundry habits. A little know-how will help your workout staples—like our crowd-favourite Cloud Cross-Back Bra 2.0—live a long, active life with you.

In order to reverse the build-up (and banish the lingering odours), add white vinegar to your next load of laundry. Depending on the size of your load, this can be between half a cup to a full cup of vinegar. 

Next, make sure you adjust the amount of laundry detergent you use for future washes! There’s truth in the old saying that prevention is better than cure. You can also consider buying sports detergent, which is specially formulated for getting rid of deep-set odours. 

Bonus Tip 2: Don’t use hot water or tumble drying 

Let’s face it—Singapore is hot enough, but if you have a hot water setting on your washing machine on top of that, stay away from it! 

Your activewear is made of high-elastane fabrics that are sensitive to heat damage. Temperatures higher than 40 degrees Celsius are likely to cause your activewear to shrink and lose its elasticity. Hot water tends to make odours stronger too. 

Green with envy: Terra Bra in Emerald and Cloud Classic Leggings in Pine
Wow, stretchy! We mean the clothes, too. If you want to keep your activewear as flexible as you are without losing shape, avoid hot water and tumble drying. Make others green with envy with our Terra Back Clasp Bra in Emerald and Cloud Classic Leggings in Pine

For these reasons, tumble drying—or putting your activewear through a clothes dryer—is a big no-no as well.

So if you want your activewear to last—and stay stench-free as much as possible—always use cold or room temperature water for washing, and hang your pieces to dry. 

Bonus Tip 3: Air dry after working out

It might be tempting to throw your dirty clothing into your laundry hamper right after your workout, but don’t! Let your activewear air dry for a few hours to let the sweat evaporate.

The Revitalise Bra is an Anya Active classic
It’s okay to leave your activewear high and dry. Pre-wash, this lets the sweat evaporate. Post-wash, this helps your activewear keep its shape. Just hanging here getting some sun are our Revitalise Bras in New Dawn and Steel

Plus, don’t forget that those stinky clothes have bacteria in them. When you throw them straight into the basket, the bacteria can linger for longer and transfer to your other clothes. Overall, that makes the smell more difficult to wash out. 

Do you have activewear care hacks you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments or email us at!


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