Like with ready-to-wear and your fashion accessories, the key to getting your fitness essentials to last is maintenance! Assuming you’re investing in quality products there’s no reason you should have to buy new things every year (I’ve had the same Manduka yoga mat, for example, for 7 years and it’s as good as new!). Here’s a look at key products to invest in to keep your fitness items fresh, clean, and feeling like new.
For Your Yoga Mat
Every time you practice yoga you should be wiping down your mat afterwards, especially if you’re doing Heated or Power Yoga. A lot of people just use baby wipes, but I like the Manduka Yoga Mat Cleaner Spray ($11) because it’s portable, organic (the mat touches your face and whole body!) it’s also anti-bacterial and has natural germicides. If you really sweat a lot I would also suggest using a yoga towel to cover your mat. A lot of brands make these, but Manduka has the reputation for being the best.
For Your Boxing Gloves
These get smelly fast! Wraps are easy – just throw them in your washing machine. Gloves however need special deodorizers. Everlast makes great ones; just pop them into your gloves as soon as you finish your workout. They’re similar to potpourri sachets so you can also use these in shoes, gym bags, etc.
For Your Fitness Clothing
We’ll get to washing after, but for immediately post workout if you tend to get really sweaty Eagle Creek’s Wet Dry Bag comes in really handy. It has a pocket for dirty clothes in the back, and clean and dry in the front and it’s coated with an anti-microbial treatment.
As far as washing your clothing, if you invest in quality brands like Alala you should get countless washes out of your items. The same goes for your small items like socks and underwear – invest in ones made specifically for working out (checkout Bombas for, what I think, are the best socks to workout in and I love New Balance underwear). I always wash mine cold and use a sport detergent like the one from Roux Maison. I find that if I use regular detergent and cold water the items don’t feel as fresh.
For Your Sneakers
I don’t recommend washing your sneakers if your workouts are high impact or particularly intense – it’s just not worth it. It’s so easy to get injured, don’t let less than perfectly functioning sneakers be one of the reasons you get injured. If you’re doing barre or a workout that isn’t high impact and/or high in intensity however then go for it! First, take out the shoe laces (you should wash those separately) and bang out the shoes to get rid of any excess grime that may have accumulated. Choose the gentlest setting and machine wash cold.