Keeping Your Gym Kit Clean is More Important Than You Might Think

We know what it’s like, you’ve had a busy day at work and you want to hit the gym. You’re already doing the right thing, the healthy thing, the positive thing – you’re going to the gym! So you probably haven’t had time to clean your gym kit from your last session. Give it a quick sniff and you are ready to roll, right?

This is more common than most people want to admit, but the reasons for giving your gym kit a thorough clean can be really important. Towels, gym-shirts, your trainers and other items in your bag need adequate cleaning care, or they can harbour potentially dangerous bacteria that could lead to serious infections.

Common bacteria found in gyms.

Our sweat is odour-less until it comes into contact with sebum (natural oil on our skin) and bacteria. When the temperature of the human body rises during workouts, our clothes become a breeding ground for that bacteria. One of the most common and most harmful types of bacteria found in gyms is Staphylococcus – contracting this is commonly called a ‘staph infection’.

Urban Kings, like all professional gyms, employ specialist cleaning techniques to reduce and remove the threat of staph bacteria. We keep our matts, floors and equipment as sterile as possible and we ask members to keep their feet covered when moving around the gym so that bacteria can’t be spread via skin on the soles of the feet.

Help us help you: Keep your gym kit clean.

The purpose of gym clothing is to attract moisture away from the body, to absorb and then evaporate sweat from your skin. This means that a lot of bacteria is left behind when your sweat evaporates and lays dormant in your clothes – leaving that stale smell that you can sometimes find on your gym kit. This bacteria will become active again the next time you sweat – creating a cycle of bacteria buildup and potentially spreading it to gym equipment.

To reduce the potential of spreading harmful bacteria and to help keep the gym clean and your fellow members safe – ensure that you clean your gym kit regularly and be sure to wash it at the first sign of smells. You might think it’s unnecessary to be so thorough, but remember that some members may have chronic medical conditions or lower immune systems than yourself and it’s important to be a team player when you’re a member of Urban Kings.

What’s in it for you? Apart from smelling great.

Not only are you going to be smelling fine and looking fresh, there is another benefit of keeping tour gym kit clean: Making your kit last longer. You might think this is counterintuitive, that washing clothes more will reduce their life cycle, but the opposite can actually be true. Sports clothes can be expensive and proper care is necessary.

Most gym clothes are a mix of elastic microfibres and polyester and research shows that polyester is a particularly perfect place for bacteria to form and grow. Having this organic material festering in your clothes can cause some materials (such as cotton) to breakdown and lose its form and structure – literally eating away at your gym kit. If you put these clothes in your gym bag with other valuable items, this bacteria can spread to your other fibres, such as your work clothes – and no one wants to smell at work!

Top tips for great gym kit hygiene.

Air it out:

Gym goers sometimes throw their kit directly in their bag without airing it and zip it up. By doing this, you’re making your gym kit a breading ground  for multiplying bacteria and great conditions for odours. Make sure you air your gym clothes whenever possible, both after a workout and when you wash them – moisture is the best friend fo bacteria.

Show it some sunlight:

If your washing your active-wear at home; try doing it on a sunny day. Stinky items like your gym kit, trainers and towels need to dry under proper sunlight. The sunlight will help to eliminate the remaining bacteria and gives your gym-wear a fresher smell.

Make sure you clean your gym bag too:

Your gym bag will hold dormant bacteria that can then be transferred to your clothes, even when they are clean. The hard surfaces and materials of bags can make them hard to wash and as a rule you really need to hit 60 degrees to kill off most bacteria, but we have a solution for that…

Use your Urban Kings Gym Membership to get 20% off at our laundry partner.

The best option is to choose a reliable laundry service. A good laundry company has all the necessary equipment and chemicals needed to minimise the risk of bacteria growing on your gym kits and other related items. A specialised wash with anti-bacterial detergents keeps your gym kit fresh without affecting the product life cycle.

Urban Kings have partnered with 1 Stop Wash, located just a few minutes away from the gym in Kings Cross. 1 Stop Wash use eco-friendly dry cleaning processes to keep your kit clean, as well as the planet.

All members can receive a 20% discount, as long as you drop off and pick up your kit yourself. Take a look at their price list on the 1 Stop Wash website and show them your membership card when you visit.


The bottom line is that ‘it’s impossible to stay fully hygienic at the gym’, but don’t give unhealthy habits a chance to disrupt your health or your enjoyment at the gym. Keep your gym kit clean and keep everyone safe.