Handy Tips and Tricks for Freshening Up Gym Clothes

Three things in life are inevitable, death, taxes, and bad-smelling gym bags. While we can’t do much about death or taxes, there are a lot of household ways to deal with stinky cleats and soccer clothes.


Sometimes, all you need is a little air. Unlace shoes and pull the tongues back; then either put them in the freezer or leave them somewhere safe and dry where you won’t have to suffer the smell. If you’re a fan of citrus, take a handful of citrus fruit peels, shave them up, and place them in your shoes overnight to replace old sweaty smells with fresh lime, lemon, or orange scent. Take your jersey out of storage early before practice starts and hang it outside to freshen up.

Deep Clean

If you have a particularly stinky opponent to tackle, you might want to start with a deep clean. Washing gym clothes and cloth gym bags in cold water with a cup of vinegar loosens up and removes ground in sweat and stains. You may have to take a second pass if you’re dealing with tough stains, like grass stains on a white soccer jersey. For extra brightening and a great scent, boil some sliced lemons and lemon peels in a large pot of water on the stove. Then, take the water off of boil and place your clothing in the pot, making sure to completely soak them. Let them sit for about an hour and then hang up to sun dry, or put run them as a dryer load.


Whether you want to maintain some rehabilitated clothes or keep your fresh new Diadora soccer kit clean, many people make their own small sachets filled with a mix of deodorizing agents to place into shoes and gym bags after use and during transport. There are many to try, including baking soda with zinc oxide, tea bags, dryer sheets, and fresh kitty litter. If you work out daily, keep a spray bottle filled with half vinegar, half water in your gym bag. After your workout, spray down the inside of the bag and then spray every item of clothing as you place it inside. Spray the insides of your shoes and then place them in a separate plastic bag before placing in your gym bag.