Removing Odor From Sports Bras: Effective Tips and Tricks

Sports bras are an essential component of any active individual's wardrobe, providing comfort and support during rigorous physical activities. However, over time, these garments can accumulate unpleasant odors due to the buildup of sweat and bacteria. While some may resort to harsh chemicals or commercial deodorizing sprays, there are natural and cost-effective methods to eliminate these unpleasant aromas. One such solution involves utilizing the power of white vinegar, a potent natural deodorizer. By adding a cup of white vinegar to cold water and soaking your sports bra for a brief period of time (15 to 30 minutes), you can effectively neutralize any stubborn odors. Once the soaking process is complete, simply wash the garment as usual. Additionally, the alkaline properties of baking soda can be employed to combat the acidic odor caused by sweat. By sprinkling some baking soda onto your sports bra before washing it, you can eliminate any lingering scents and restore freshness to your beloved garment. So, say goodbye to offensive smells and hello to your revitalized sports bra by implementing these simple, natural solutions.

How Do I Stop My Sports Bras From Smelling?

One common issue many athletes face is the unpleasant smell that can develop in their sports bras over time. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies to prevent and eliminate this odor. To start, it’s important to address the root cause of the smell, which is often a build-up of bacteria from sweat and body oils.

To reverse this build-up, consider washing your sports bra (along with the rest of your athletic clothing) with a combination of only half the recommended dose of detergent and half a dose of white wine vinegar. This mixture helps break down and eliminate bacteria and odor-causing residue. As you continue washing your sports bra, gradually reduce the amount of detergent used, as excessive detergent can create a build-up that leads to odor retention.

While detergent plays a crucial role in cleaning your sports bras, it’s advisable to skip the fabric softener. Despite it’s pleasant scent, fabric softener can leave a residue on the clothing fibers that traps odors and can be difficult to remove.

Furthermore, after each workout session, ensure you promptly remove your sweaty sports bra and allow it to air dry before placing it in the laundry hamper. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria by avoiding damp conditions, which provide an ideal breeding ground for odor-causing microorganisms. In case you cant wash your sports bra immediately, gently rinse it with cold water to remove any excess sweat.

Proper storage is equally important in preventing unpleasant odors. Avoid leaving your sports bras balled up or stuffed in a gym bag for extended periods. Instead, hang them up to dry or lay them flat until washing. This allows air to circulate around the garments, promoting faster drying and minimizing the risk of odor development.

How to Properly Store Sports Bras to Prevent Odors

  • Wash your sports bras regularly with mild detergent
  • Hang them to air dry instead of using a dryer
  • Store them in a clean and dry place
  • Avoid folding or stuffing them tightly in a drawer
  • Consider using breathable fabric bags or pouches for storage
  • Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or humid areas
  • Keep them away from strong odors or chemicals
  • Rotate your sports bras to prevent excessive wear and tear
  • Consider using odor-neutralizing sachets or balls

In addition to regular washing, there are a few other factors to consider when caring for your sports bras.

How Many Times Should You Wear a Sports Bra Before Washing It?

However, there may be some occasions where you can wear a sports bra multiple times before washing it. It’s important to note that this is dependent on personal preference and comfort level.

Firstly, make sure to hang it up and allow it to fully air dry between uses. This will help prevent the buildup of moisture and bacteria, reducing the risk of unpleasant odors and skin irritations. Secondly, try to avoid wearing the same sports bra for consecutive days. Giving it a day or two to rest and air out can make a difference in maintaining it’s freshness and elasticity.

As for caring for your sports bras, it’s best to wash them in cold or lukewarm water with a mild detergent. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these can damage the fabric and elastic fibers. Handwashing is often recommended to ensure gentle treatment, but if you choose to machine wash them, use a delicate or sportswear cycle and consider placing them inside a mesh laundry bag for protection.

It’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to any signs of discomfort or odor. Regular washing and proper care won’t only keep your sports bras clean and odor-free but also contribute to their longevity, ensuring optimal support and comfort during your workouts.

How to Properly Dry Sports Bras to Avoid Stretching or Damaging the Fabric and Elastic

  • Hand wash the sports bra gently after each use.
  • Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric to remove excess water.
  • Press the bra lightly between a towel to absorb the moisture.
  • Avoid using a dryer as high heat can damage the fabric and elastic.
  • Lay the sports bra flat on a clean towel to air dry.
  • Avoid hanging the bra as it can stretch the fabric and elastic.
  • Ensure the bra is completely dry before storing or wearing it again.
  • Store the bra in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.

Source: How to Care for Your Sports Bra | REI Expert Advice


White vinegar, being a natural deodorizer, can effectively neutralize and eliminate unpleasant smells. So, give these natural remedies a try, and say goodbye to unwanted smells in your sports bras!