The 7 Best Sport Laundry Detergents to Buy in 2018

Get the stink out of your workout clothes

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Active people love technical fabrics because they wick away your sweat, keeping you dry and comfortable when you’re working out. However, bacteria and odors get trapped in the high-tech fibers and can be difficult to remove, leaving your workout clothes with a lingering bad odor. Regular detergent just can’t eliminate the stench left behind after a monster long run or a tough CrossFit session. And, if you don’t clean them the right way, your exercise clothes may lose some of their benefits.

Fortunately, laundry detergents designed specifically for technical workout clothes and sportswear can get rid of those stubborn odors and stains, while also protecting the technical fabric’s moisture-wicking or water-repellent properties. Here are the best sport laundry detergents to keep extending the life of your exercise clothes and keep them looking and smelling clean.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Hex Performance Advanced Laundry Detergent

Hex Performance Advanced Laundry Detergent earns the top ranking in this list thanks to its outstanding performance, benefits and overall value. It’s a powerful formula that strips away the body oils, sweat, and bacteria that get trapped in your exercise clothes. Hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested, Hex detergent is gentle on skin and doesn’t contain any dyes, perfumes, or optical brighteners.

Not only will Hex fight existing smells and grime, but it also coats fibers with molecules to help prevent future odors and stains, as well as static cling. The fresh scent is long-lasting, so your clothes don’t start to smell musty after sitting in your drawer for a while. Eco-friendly and biodegradable, this detergent can be used in all washing machines, including High Efficiency (HE) models. And a little bit of Hex detergent goes a long way, so the price is very reasonable, even compared to regular laundry detergents.

It comes in three different scents including free and clear, clean scent, and power plus.

Best Overall Runner-up: WIN Sports Detergent

WIN Sports Detergent has been a leader in the ​activewear detergent category for years, and it continues to deliver as a high-performance, effective detergent. It’s specifically designed for technical fibers and synthetic fabric, so it works much better than regular detergent to remove odor and stains from your workout clothes. Rather than just covering up bad smells with fragrances, WIN detergent totally dissolves oils that adhere to your clothes. Odors and stains get completely washed away, so you’re not left with any residue on your clothes. Your athletic clothes are left smelling clean, while still maintaining their wicking capabilities.

Available in both fresh and unscented formulas, WIN detergent will help extend the life of your athletic wear.​

Best Natural: Sport Suds Laundry Detergent

If you or your family members have sensitive skin and you’re worried about potential skin irritants in detergents, Sport Suds Laundry Detergent is the detergent for you. The non-toxic, hypoallergenic formula is made from naturally occurring ingredients and is free of perfumes, dyes, UV brighteners, bleach, parabens, sulfates, and other questionable ingredients.

Sports Suds is specifically designed to make technical sport fabrics last longer and perform better. The detergent works to dislodge odor-causing bacteria and oils from fabrics and rinses them away, eliminating even the toughest, most stubborn odors from your athletic clothes. While you’ll pay a bit more compared to other detergents, one zipper pouch washes 140 full machine loads, so it’ll last you a long time.

Best Budget: Sweat X Sport Laundry Detergent

Rather than just masking foul odors, Sweat X Sport Laundry Detergent works to lift and remove them. This high-performance detergent also gets rid of the toughest stains, such as grass, clay, mud, and even blood. Sweat X is also cheaper per laundry load compared to other sports detergents. Just one capful (one ounce) leaves your laundry clean, fresh, and ready for your next workout, game or other adventure. It’s non-toxic and unscented, so it’s a good choice for those with sensitive skin or noses.

Best Single-Use Packs: Tide PODS Plus Febreze Sport Odor Defense

Tide PODS
Courtesy of Walmart

Tide PODS Plus Febreze Sport Odor Defense 4 in 1 HE Turbo Laundry Detergent Pacs offer the ease and convenience of pre-measured detergent capsules, while still providing powerful, high-performance cleaning of your athletic wear. Tide’s 4-in-1 technology gives you a detergent, stain remover, color protector, and odor defense all-in-one, so there’s no need to add in other products to your laundry. The detergent’s Smart Suds dissolve quickly while removing even the toughest stains, so you don’t need to use extra rinse cycles to get rid of the suds. The very versatile Tide PODS dissolve in hot or cold water and can be used in standard and High Efficiency (HE) washing machines, top or front loading. Many people like the detergent’s long-lasting, fresh scent, but if you prefer unscented products, this may not be the one for you.

Best Multipurpose: Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent

If you like to simply throw all your workout clothes in the wash with your regular clothes, then Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent is a great choice for you. This detergent is specifically formulated to wash both exercise apparel and everyday clothes. Vapor Fresh doesn’t contain any of the fragrances, dyes, brighteners, and softeners that clog the pores of wicking fabrics, leaving trapped-in odors. Even if you have old workout clothes that have smelled foul for a while, Vapor Fresh can eliminate the funk. Your clothes smell and look cleaner, and they perform the way they’re supposed to. Vapor Fresh is also hypo-allergenic, so it’s a great choice for anyone with sensitive skin.

Best for Dirt and Stains: Defunkify Active Wash

With a formula that’s scientifically designed to safely remove dirt, stains, sweat, and odor from activewear, Defunkify Active Wash is perfect for athletes who play outdoor sports or anyone who gets dirty and sweaty while working outside. It goes deep inside fabrics to lift stains and eliminate the sweat, body oils, and soap scum that cause stubborn odors. This detergent is safe for all types of fabrics and can be used with septic systems. With no harsh chemicals or optical brighteners, Defunkify is also hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly.

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