Sweatpants are warm… cozy… and beloved by many. But the question remains…do you have to wash them? Can you wash sweatpants with jeans? Can you wash sweatpants with shirts? How often must you wash pants for them to not smell bad? These are just a couple of questions that needed answers. So let’s find out together how to clean pants without a washing machine!
It’s common that you may get sweatpants dirty during your training… or when you’re hanging out with friends. You don’t want to throw them in the washing machine every time you wear them… right? It can significantly reduce the lifetime of your sweatpants.
Here are some tips and tricks to keep your sweatpants nice… clean and soft.
Do You Have to Wash Sweatpants?
Do you have to wash sweatpants? Most workout gear doesn’t need to be washed after every wear… but sweatpants are the exception. Sweatpants are… by their very definition… worn while sweating. They get their name because they soak up sweat… which is a bit gross. The more you sweat in them… the dirtier they get and the more they need to be washed.
The main reason you should wash your sweatpants after every use is bacteria. Bacteria grow in all kinds of places… including sweaty workout clothes. When you wear dirty clothes… the bacteria can rub off on your skin and cause infections.
If you tend to get sick often… this may not be an issue for you. However… if you’re always ill… washing your pants after every use could help prevent spreading diseases to others.
Do You Wash Pants Every Time You Wear Them?
Antimicrobial and synthetic fabrics are designed to resist odor and stains… but despite the technology available… some bacteria can still get through to your pants. The reason? Sweatpants sit right next to your skin… where microbes like to hang out.
Sweat itself is sterile. It’s when it comes into contact with skin and the environment that it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. These microorganisms thrive in warm… moist environments — like the inside of your sweatpants.
Wearing dirty clothes can cause rashes or other skin irritations because of the buildup of bacteria on the fabric. Even if you don’t notice an itching sensation immediately… there is a chance that dermatitis could develop as a result of repeatedly wearing dirty pants.
The longer you wear your sweatpants without washing them… the more bacteria build up. Over time… these microscopic bugs can start producing nasty smells that won’t go away even after repeated washings. This is when people decide to throw their pants away.
In fact… most reports say that you should wash your sweatpants after every use.
Can You Wash Sweatpants with Jeans?
Sweat pants and jeans are both pants. So… you might think it wouldn’t matter if you accidentally washed them together in the laundry. But… sweatpants and jeans are made from different materials… which means they can get ruined when they’re cleaned together. This is why it’s important to know how to wash your sweatpants with other clothes to avoid ruining them.
Treat Sweatpants Like You Would Any Other Synthetic Fabric
The best way to wash sweatpants—and any other synthetic fabric—is by washing them by themselves on the gentle cycle of a washer and then hanging them outside to completely dry. This allows the fabric time to dry without being crumpled in a pile with other clothing.
When it comes time to launder your sweatpants… you have to treat them like any other synthetic fabric. Synthetic fabrics are synthetic because they don’t absorb water the same way natural fibers do. Therefore… you need to use a gentle detergent that won’t irritate the materials used to make your pants and will help keep their shape while they’re drying.
Can You Wash Sweatpants with Shirts?
Can you wash sweatpants with shirts? Well… it depends on the shirt. The trick for washing clothes is to read the care tag. The tag will tell you if a garment can be thrown in the washing machine and dryer.
But let’s get back to sweatpants. Many sweatpants are made from synthetic fabrics that can be safely tossed into the washer and drier with other clothes. Make sure you check the care tag first… but generally speaking… yes… you can wash sweatpants with shirts.
Yes… you can wash sweatpants with shirts. If you don’t want to follow the same rules for sweats… simply separate your sweat pants from your shirts and dry them separately. The pants will have a different spin cycle time than the shirts (like all heavy fabrics)… so be sure to set the appropriate time on your washing machine.
The first thing you need to do when deciding whether or not to wash sweatpants with shirts is identifying the material of each garment. Sweatpants are typically made from cotton and polyester while shirts are usually made from a cotton/polyester blend or 100% cotton.
Cotton typically requires gentle handling during the washing process and cannot tolerate high heat. Polyesters… on the other hand… can handle high heat but tend to shrink easily. Therefore… it’s important to follow the care instructions for each garment so you don’t ruin your clothes.
How Many Times Can You Wear Sweatpants Before Washing?
Sweatpants are comfy and cozy clothing that most people simply love to use on a daily basis. But due to the fact that we don’t want to look like we’re living in these clothes… we wash them after each wear. However… there’s no rule that says you can’t wear your sweatpants more than once. As a matter of fact… some people go for a couple of days wearing their sweatpants without washing them.
To make sure your sweatpants don’t start to smell bad… wash them after every other time you wear them. Some say it’s okay to wait until three years before washing… but it really depends on your lifestyle and how sweaty you get while wearing them.
Are You Supposed to Wash Sweatpants Inside Out?
If you are washing after every other time you wear your sweatpants… make sure to wash them inside out so they don’t fade. Also… if you use a dryer to dry your sweatpants after washing… set the dryer at the lowest heat possible to make sure the fabric doesn’t shrink or become damaged.
How Do You Wash Sweatpants?
Treat sweatpants like more delicate clothing items. Don’t use a regular washing machine cycle. Consider using the gentle cycle instead. If you’re washing a large load of laundry… be extra careful that your sweatpants get plenty of water and soap. You may have to do a second rinse cycle or use extra detergent to make sure your clothes get clean.
Toss in the laundry. Whether they’re cotton-blend sweats or fleece pants… throw them into the washing machine with your regular laundry. If they have a removable label… remove it first. Use the cold water setting and high-efficiency detergent designed for athletic clothes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on fabric softener and drying cycles.
Air dry them. A dryer will shrink and highlight stains on sweatpants that have been washed more than once. Tumble dry only once to remove any wrinkles. Hang them on a hanger until they’re completely dry.
Replace them as necessary. Unless you can wash your sweatpants every time you wear them… consider replacing your favorite ones that become stained or smell bad even after cleaning. Also… stash an extra pair in the trunk of your car for emergencies like spilled coffee or lost luggage at the airport.
How Can I Wash My Sweatpants Without a Washing Machine?
Washing your sweatpants by hand in the sink will take some time and a lot of elbow grease… but it is possible to do so. If you want to give it a try… follow these instructions:
- First… lay your sweatpants out on the ground. You are going to need plenty of space to remove all of the dirt… dust… and bacteria from them.
- Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and add a few squirts of dish soap. Make sure that the bucket is large enough to allow your pants to move freely in it while you wash them.
- Grab one pant leg and rub your hands up and down its length before submerging the fabric in the bucket. Be sure to rub both sides of the pant leg well before moving onto the other leg.
- Repeat Step 3 until you have rubbed both legs thoroughly with soap from top to bottom and front to back.
- Take your palms and rub all over both legs of your pants again just as you did in Step 3… but this time use more force than you did during Steps 1-4… or else you will end up damaging your pants even further.
TIP: Put your clothes in the bathtub and add cold water… 1/4 cup of vinegar… and essential oils (if desired). Swish the clothes around every so often. Let them soak for 20 minutes or so… then rinse them out in the bathtub with warm water and hang them up to dry. This works especially well on black clothing!
Or you can use this trick to get your sweatpants back into shape. You will need one cup of vinegar… two tablespoons of baking powder… and two cups of warm water. Mix all ingredients together into a bowl and then swirl it around until it turns into a froth. Add in your sweatpants and let them dry.
How Can I Keep Sweatpants Soft?
Sweatpants are great for lounging around. The problem is… sweatpants don’t always stay that way. Sometimes they get super soft and other times they can get stiff as aboard. This might be a little bit of an inconvenience… but it doesn’t have to be bad. You just need to know how to keep sweatpants soft.
Treat Your Sweatpants Right
If you want your sweatpants to stay soft… the first thing you need to do is treat them correctly. Here’s what you need to do:
- Wash them less often: There’s no reason to wash your sweatpants after every single wear. In fact… you should only wash them when they are really dirty or start smelling sour. Is there a pizza stain on your sweatpants? Wash them! Otherwise… wait until there is enough buildup to make them uncomfortable or until they start smelling really bad before washing them again.
- Use cold water: Everyone knows that warm water wears down clothes faster than cold water does so you should use cold water when washing your sweatpants in the machine. Warm or hot water will just dry out the material and make it less likely that it’ll stay soft over time. Coldwater will also help prevent fading and shrinking.
- Wash them on a gentle cycle. Wash your sweatpants with other clothing items that are easy to clean and don’t require high temperatures like jeans or towels. Never use bleach on your sweatpants either… because it can cause excessive shrinkage and break down the fibers over time.
- Air them out. After you wash your sweatpants… hang them somewhere to air dry so they don’t get musty from sitting in a puddle of water in the washer or dryer.
- Use a fabric softener. Fabric softeners make laundry items feel more luxurious and give your clothes a fresh smell. They also help to reduce static cling… keeping unwanted particles from clinging to your clothing instead of you. Add about half a cup of fabric softener to the wash for extra softness without sacrificing performance.
When you’re ready to put away your sweatpants for storage after washing… fold them neatly and avoid stacking them on top of other clothes because it can cause creases in the material.
In summary… the key question here is how many wears your clothes see before you wash them. Some people like to wash their pants after just single wear… while others can get as much as three wears before throwing them in the dirty clothes hamper and starting over again.
Louise Wilson is an accomplished author, passionate textile historian, and renowned fashion enthusiast with a rich background in the world of apparel.
Graduating with honors in Fashion Design, Louise further expanded her skills and knowledge by completing a master’s degree in Textile History. Her academic pursuits have led her to explore the fashion capitals of the world, including Milan, Paris, and New York, enriching her insights into the global world of fashion.
As an author, Louise’s passion for fashion has found its way into her writings, where she intricately weaves narratives of style, design, and fashion history.