03/11/2024 06:49 am GMT

Does it matter if you use the best activewear laundry detergent for your workout clothes? The answer is yes. For example, it’s not uncommon for some products to contain harsh chemicals such as phosphates, formaldehyde, phthalates, and sodium laureth sulfate, many of which have adverse health effects.

Different formulations also have their pros and cons. Take liquid detergents, for instance, they’re great in that they’re super easy to use; they’re also great for treating stains. Powders, on the other hand, tend to be cheaper but can be a little messier.

What you’re washing matters as well. Put simply, some detergents are better at washing certain types of fabrics.

best activewear laundry detergent Take gym clothes, for instance, they’re typically made of synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon. For garments like that, it’s best to use a laundry detergent that’s specifically designed for synthetic fibers.

How are they different from regular detergents? They have special ingredients that let them penetrate deep into the fibers to dissolve sweat and other gunk- something that traditional detergents can’t do.

Not only that but many of these laundry detergents for activewear also contain natural surfactants and chelating agents that will restore the synthetic fibers back to their original state after washing- that is, they’ll extend the life of your gym clothes.

Which laundry detergent should you get for your workout clothes? How do they compare with other brands?

For the answers, be sure to scroll down- we’ll be going over everything that you need to know in our 2024 best activewear laundry detergent guide below!

The Best Activewear Laundry Detergent – Our Top Picks For 2024

03/11/2024 12:44 am GMT

Here are some of the best activewear laundry detergents that you can use for sweaty gym clothes, ranked in terms of efficacy and performance.

  1. ACTIVE Laundry Detergent
    5.0
    $29.95 ($0.33 / load)

    ACTIVE Laundry Detergent is scientifically formulated for activewear. A plant-based product, it contains three types of enzymes that allow it to physically eliminate sweat and odors. It's also free of harsh chemicals such as phosphates and SLS and is septic-safe. Made in the USA.

    Cleaning Power:
    5.0
    Ease of Use:
    5.0
    Value:
    5.0
    Our Review: ACTIVE Detergent features a concentrated formula that is incredibly effective at removing sweat and smells. At the same time, it'll protect your clothes from breaking down. Not only that but it's made from all-natural, plant-based ingredients, which makes it suitable for those with allergies.


    You also get your money's worth as one pack comes with 48oz, which is enough for up to 90 loads of laundry. It's also versatile in that it can be dissolved in water and used as a soaking solution.
    Amount: 48oz of Powder
    Number Of Uses: Up to 90 loads
    Scented: No
    Safe For HE Machines: Yes
    Pros:
    • - Highly effective at removing sweat and odors
    • - Made from plant-based ingredients
    • - Septic-safe
    • - Safe for HE washing machines
    • - Made in the USA
    Cons:
    • - Those outside of the U.S. will have to pay extra for shipping
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    03/11/2024 12:44 am GMT
  2. WIN Activewear Laundry Detergent
    4.5
    $14.95 ($0.47 / Load)

    WIN Activewear Laundry Detergent is specifically made for synthetic and technical fibers. Septic-safe, it features oxygen ions and contains no polluting residues, which means it has minimal impact on the environment. There are two scents to choose from: fragrance-free and light fresh scent. Not tested on animals.

    Cleaning Power:
    4.5
    Ease of Use:
    4.5
    Value:
    4.5
    Our Review: WIN Activewear Laundry Detergent is a great option if you're looking for a liquid product. Not only is it great at removing odors but it'll also brighten colors and enhance the elasticity of your activewear. Compared to other products, it's also low PH, which means it won't damage synthetic fibers.


    The only thing is that it doesn't come with a measuring cap. The bottle can also be awkward to hold as it doesn't come with a handle.
    Amount: 946ml
    Number Of Uses: Up to 32 loads
    Scented: Scented and unscented options are available
    Safe For HE Machines: Unspecified
    Pros:
    • - Can choose between scented and unscented
    • - Great at removing smells from workout clothes
    • - Features a low PH formula
    Cons:
    • - Does not come with a measuring cap
    • - Bottle is relatively small and can be hard to hold
    Buy On Amazon
    03/11/2024 06:49 am GMT
  3. HEX Performance Laundry Detergent
    4.5
    $25.99 ($0.41 / load)

    HEX Performance Laundry Detergent is powered by the patented HEX molecule, which cleans and removes odors from synthetic fabrics. Eco-friendly, the biodegradable product pours like water and is free of phosphates, parabens, SLS, dyes, and thickeners. The plastic bottle itself is also 100% recyclable.

    Cleaning Power:
    4.5
    Ease of Use:
    4.5
    Value:
    4.0
    Our Review: HEX Performance Laundry Detergent is versatile in that it's suitable for all fabrics. While it's a little pricey, it does a great job of removing sweat odors. It also pours like water, which means it doesn't contain any fillers or byproducts. There are also several fragrances to choose from.


    Keep in mind, however, that the scents can be a bit strong. The unscented version is also not truly unscented in that there's still a subtle fragrance.
    Amount: 0.95L
    Number Of Uses: Up to 64 loads
    Scented: Scented and unscented options available
    Safe For HE Machines: Yes
    Pros:
    • - Effective at cleaning and removing smells
    • - Free of harmful chemicals
    • - Pours out like water
    Cons:
    • - Scents can be a little overpowering
    • - "Unscented" version is not truly unscented
    Buy On Amazon
    03/11/2024 07:29 am GMT
  4. Rockin' Green Active Wear Detergent
    4.0
    $22.99 ($0.26 / load)

    Rockin' Green Active Wear Detergent is made with plant-derived ingredients and is designed to keep your activewear in great condition. All-natural, it features a powerful yet skin-friendly formula that washes off tough stains and odors and is free of dyes, bleach, phosphates, parabens, artificial fragrances, and other harmful chemicals. 

    Cleaning Power:
    4.5
    Ease of Use:
    4.0
    Value:
    3.5
    Our Review: Rockin' Green Active Wear Laundry Detergent is a great choice for those who are looking for a green product and don't mind paying a bit more. Not only is it safe for the environment but it'll also leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean. The scented versions are also mild and not overpowering.


    Keep in mind, however, that you may need to use more than one scoop per load. The product also doesn't come with a scoop so you'll need to get one yourself.
    Amount: 45 oz.
    Number Of Uses: Up to 90 loads
    Scented: Scented and unscented options are available
    Safe For HE Machines: Yes
    Pros:
    • - Plant-based formula
    • - Various scents to choose from
    • - Free of harmful chemicals
    Cons:
    • - Does not come with a measuring scoop
    • - Might not last 90 loads (you'll need to use more than one scoop each time)
    • - Expensive
    Buy On Amazon
    03/10/2024 09:59 pm GMT
  5. Dropps Active Wash Laundry Detergent Pods
    4.0
    $14.99 ($0.62 / Load)

    Dropps Active Wash Laundry Detergent Pods are pre-measured and dissolve quickly in both cold and hot water. Designed specifically for sports gear, they contain natural enzymes that will eliminate even the most persistent of smells caused by sweat and dirt. Vegan, cruelty-free, never tested on animals, and free from sulfates, parabens, dyes, phthalates, and phosphates.

    Cleaning Power:
    4.0
    Ease of Use:
    5.0
    Value:
    4.0
    Our Review: Dropps Active Wash Laundry Detergent Pods are a great choice for those who don't want to deal with having to measure liquids or powders. Simply toss the pod into the washer and the formula will automatically work its magic.


    The product also comes in low-waste packaging, which makes it even better for the environment. Keep in mind, however, that you may need to use more than one pod to completely get rid of odors.
    Amount: 24 pods
    Number Of Uses: Up to 24 pods
    Scented: Yes
    Safe For HE Machines: Yes
    Pros:
    • - Pods are convenient and easy to use
    • - Vegan and cruelty-free
    • - Free of harmful chemicals
    Cons:
    • - May need to use more than one pod to completely eliminate odors
    • - More expensive than liquids and powders
    Buy On Amazon
    03/10/2024 10:54 pm GMT
  6. Sweat-X Sport Free & Clear Activewear Detergent
    4.0
    $19.99 ($0.44 / load)

    Sweat-X Sport Free & Clear Activewear Detergent is specially formulated for athletic apparel. It features a concentrated formula and is designed to remove and eliminate body odor and sweat smells from all fabrics. Certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. 

    Cleaning Power:
    4.0
    Ease of Use:
    4.5
    Value:
    4.0
    Our Review: Sweat-X Sport Free & Clear Activewear Detergent is a good option for those with asthma or allergies as it doesn't contain any dyes, perfumes or brigheners. Like most liquid detergents, it can also be used as a soak solution for stubborn stains. The fact that it runs like water also makes it easy to pour.


    However, compared to other brands, it's a bit expensive. The product is also unscented, which may be a pro or con, depending on your preference.
    Amount: 1.33L
    Number Of Uses: Up to 45 loads
    Scented: No
    Safe For HE Machines: Yes
    Pros:
    • - Safe for those with asthma and allergies
    • - Does a decent job of removing odors
    • - Easy to pour
    Cons:
    • - Can be expensive compared to other products
    • - Does not have any special scent
    Buy On Amazon
    03/10/2024 11:09 pm GMT
  7. Pro-Enzyme Laundry Detergent Powder
    3.5
    $27.95 ($0.31 / Load)

    Pro-Enzyme Laundry Detergent Powder is plant-based and scientifically engineered to remove sweat odors from activewear. It features a blend of potent yet natural enzymes and surfactants as well as color-safe oxygen bleach and is capable of eliminating the toughest of stains and smells. 

    Cleaning Power:
    3.5
    Ease of Use:
    3.5
    Value:
    3.5
    Our Review: Pro-Enzyme Laundry Detergent Powder contains color-safe oxygen bleach, which gives it a boost of cleaning power. The formula is also highly concentrated so you only need to use a little each time. The light fragrance is also derived from natural citrus oils so there's nothing artificial in the mix.


    Because it contains bleach, however, it can leave stains on your clothes if you're not careful with colors. It's also more expensive than other enzyme-based detergents.
    Amount: 48oz
    Number Of Uses: Up to 90 loads
    Scented: Yes
    Safe For HE Machines: Yes
    Pros:
    • - Powered by color-safe bleach
    • - Highly concentrated formula
    Cons:
    • - Can leave stain on clothes if you're not colorful
    • - More expensive than similar detergents
    Buy On Amazon
    03/11/2024 08:04 am GMT
  8. Molly's Suds Active Wear Laundry Detergent
    3.5
    $24.99 ($0.21 / load)

    Molly's Suds Active Wear Laundry Powder contains biodegradable active enzymes, baking soda, and other earth-derived ingredients and is formulated to fight the smelliest of odors. Designed for performance fabrics, it does not contain any harsh ingredients and is certified vegan and cruelty-free.

    Cleaning Power:
    3.5
    Ease of Use:
    3.5
    Value:
    3.5
    Our Review: Molly's Suds Active Wear Laundry Powder is a decent choice if you're looking for something all-natural and vegan. While it's not as effective as some of the other brands, it still does a decent job at cleaning. It also comes with a measuring scoop, which makes using the powder convenient.


    Despite what it says on the packaging, however, the powder tends to clump and harden if used with warm water. Sometimes, it can also leave white residue on your clothes.
    Amount: 60oz of powder
    Number Of Uses: Up to 120 loads
    Scented: Yes
    Safe For HE Machines: Yes
    Pros:
    • - All-natural and vegan
    • - Comes with a measuring scoop
    • - Low sudsing formula is suitable for HE machines
    Cons:
    • - Powder can harden if used with warm water
    • - It may leave white residue on clothes
    • - A bit pricey
    Buy On Amazon
    03/11/2024 08:25 am GMT
  9. Nonaste Performance Laundry Detergent
    3.0
    $17.99 ($0.56 / Fl Oz)

    Nonaste Performance Laundry Detergent is designed to lift and remove smells and residue caused by sweat. It contains environmentally-safe surfactants and enzymes and is free of phosphates.

    Cleaning Power:
    3.0
    Ease of Use:
    3.5
    Value:
    3.5
    Our Review: Nonaste Performance Laundry Detergent has a light fresh scent and does a decent of removing odors as long as you're washing your clothes right away. If you only wash your gear once a week, it might not be strong enough to remove the sweats and smells.


    The detergent also doesn't come with a measuring cup so you'll have to provide your own.
    Amount: 946ml
    Number Of Uses: Unspecified
    Scented: Yes
    Safe For HE Machines: Unspecified
    Pros:
    • - Can be used for soaking smelly clothes
    • - Decent at cleaning as long as you wash your activewear right away
    Cons:
    • - Not as effective as other brands
    • - Product doesn't specify how many loads it can be used for
    Buy On Amazon
    03/10/2024 10:49 pm GMT
  10. STRETCH Active Wear Laundry Detergent
    3.0
    $24.00 ($0.75 / Fl Oz )

    STRETCH Active Wear Laundry Detergent is designed to eliminate sweat, odor, body oils, soil, and chlorine from your activewear while retaining its elasticity. Gentle on the skin, it does not contain bleach, dyes, lanolin, brighteners, phosphates, or petroleum ingredients. 

    Cleaning Power:
    2.5
    Ease of Use:
    3.5
    Value:
    3.0
    Our Review: STRETCH Active Wear Laundry Detergent deodorizes and can be used for delicates in addition to activewear. Compared to other brands, however, it's cleaning power is a bit lacking. Despite that, it comes at a premium price.
    Amount: 946ml
    Scented: Yes
    Number Of Uses: Unspecified
    Safe For HE Machines: Unspecified
    Pros:
    • - Gentle formula
    • - Can also be used for delicates
    Cons:
    • - Cleaning power is lacking
    • - Expensive for what you get
    Buy On Amazon
    03/10/2024 11:04 pm GMT

How to Choose The Best Laundry Detergent For Activewear Clothing

Not all activewear laundry detergents are created equal. At the end of the day, there are a few things that you want to consider before making a decision on the best detergent for gym clothes.

Environmental Impact

Ideally, you want to choose an eco-friendly workout clothing detergent – one that’s made from all-natural biodegradable ingredients. That way, when you do the laundry, harmful chemicals won’t enter the aquatic environment and potentially harm marine life.

best gym clothes detergent sweat workout Formulation

Find out which type of active wear detergent you want to use. Some of the most popular options include liquids, powders, and pods, all of which have their own pros and cons. At the end of the day, it all depends on your preference. Cost is also something that you want to factor in.

HE Compatability

High-efficiency (HE) washing machines require a special type of detergent. Using regular detergents will create too many suds, which can impact the washer’s performance and efficacy.

Personal Sensitivities

Those who suffer from allergies may benefit from using a gentle activewear laundry detergent – one that’s free of irritants (e.g. preservatives, parabens, dyes).

best activewear detergent workout clothes sweat

Active Wear Laundry Detergent – Q&A

Does laundry detergent kill bacteria?

Laundry detergent can help get rid of germs if used in combination with hot water. Having said that, they may not kill all bacteria and viruses as they're designed for cleaning and not disinfecting. Activewear should also be washed with cold water as high temperatures can damage synthetic fibers and cause colors to run and fade.

Does laundry detergent expire?

Most laundry detergents have a shelf life of 6 months to 1 year after being opened. Unlike expired food, however, they can still be used past their expiry date; they will just become less effective and lose their scent. Keep in mind, however, that that's only true if the detergent hasn't been exposed to moisture. Take powdered detergent, for example, it can become cakey or hard if not stored properly. In cases like that, you'll want to discard it as it likely won't dissolve properly in the washer.

Why is laundry detergent staining my clothes?

Your clothes may become stained if the laundry detergent is not properly dissolved in water. This can happen if the washer is overloaded (your dirty clothes need space to tumble and agitate for the detergent to loosen from the fabric) or if you've added too much detergent. That's why it's so important not to add too much; only add the recommended amount- this goes for all detergents from liquids to powders.

What is the difference between he laundry detergent and regular?

HE laundry detergents contain the same cleaning ingredients (e.g. enzymes, surfactants) as regular detergents. The only difference is that they're specially formulated to be low-sudsing; this allows high-efficiency washers to clean clothes with less water. Using a regular detergent in a HE washing machine will cause too many suds, which can cause it to overflow. Not to mention that it can also interfere with the washer's sensor. Detergent residue can also build up.

Can I mix laundry detergent with bleach?

Most laundry detergents are compatible with bleach so you can safely use the two together in the washer. Depending on what you're washing, however, it may not be the best choice. For example, it can cause discoloration or fading. Not only that but prolonged use can cause the fibers to deteriorate.

Can laundry detergent cause itchy skin?

Some laundry detergents can cause contact dermatitis, a common condition that manifests as a red, itchy rash. More specifically, it's the preservatives, fragrances, dyes, and other chemicals in the detergent that trigger the reaction. Fortunately, you can avoid this by using an all-natural laundry detergent. For example, you can opt for a plant-based product that's free of harmful chemicals. Some laundry detergents are also hypoallergenic, which makes them a better choice for those with skin sensitivities.

How do I know if my laundry detergent has enzymes?

Enzymes speed up the rate of chemical reactions and in doing so, help detergents break down stains and dirt. The easiest way to find out whether or not your detergent has enzymes is to read the label; it should say whether or not the product contains enzymes. Some enzymatic detergents will also have 'bio' in their name.

How does activewear laundry detergent eliminate odors?

Activewear laundry detergents contain enzymes that are designed to physically break down odorous compounds. These substances are then washed away with water. Compared to traditional detergents, they're also able to go deep down into the fibers for a thorough clean. Not only that but some detergents are also capable of eliminating odor-causing bacteria.

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