health

Gym-goers should be doing this once a week. We bet you haven't even done it once.

The one thing you take to the sweaty gym, but never wash

Friends, you need to stop whatever you’re doing right now and tell me:

When was the last time you washed your gym bag?

I know. I KNOW. I have the loveliest, most practical, sleek, black gym bag that I use every time I go to the gym. I pop my towel in, as well as a change of clothes. My phone, my wallet, deodorant, headphones, etc.

But I really don’t remember the last time I cleaned it. I’ve never even thought about cleaning it. Which is disgusting, considering that said gym bag would be full of the kind of bacteria that exists on sweaty gym towels and sweaty gym clothes and the inside of lockers which contain all of the above.

Excuse me while I take a shower for the next few years.

US website Jezebel recently dedicated an entire column to the issue of gym bags, stating that most experts  recommend washing a gym bag at least once a week.

Cleaning expert Jolie Kerr writes:

Check the care tag to find out if it’s machine washable and follow whatever other instructions are provided as to water temperature and such. If the care tag has gone missing, you can always look on the manufacturer’s website to see if care instructions are available there. When in doubt, skip the machine and give the bag a quick sponge bath using a mild liquid detergent. To do that, just wipe the interior and exterior of the bag down with a damp sponge and a small amount (and I do mean small—about a teaspoon will do it) of detergent. Then rinse the sponge well and go back over the bag a few times to remove the soap residue and allow the bag to air dry.

Disinfecting wipes are also a good way to quickly relieve a gym bag of its bacterial buildup.

Oh, and one more thing? Your yoga mat also needs a good clean, you filthy devil. Particularly if you’re a hot yoga fan, or if you’re a total yoga fiend that goes to class four times a week:

There are two primary ways to go about cleaning your mat—using a disinfecting spray or wipe and deep cleaning the mat… The best way to deep clean your mat is to do so by hand, though many people use their washing machine (cold water, small amount of mild detergent—you all know the drill by now).

Has anyone here ever washed their yoga mat? No. Me neither. Now I am starting to feel obscenely dirty. I’d just like to establish, before anyone judges me, that I do wash my gym clothes and towels after every use. Ain’t nobody got time for reusing sweaty workout gear.

Be honest – when was the last time you washed your gym bag? Have you got any other gym tips?

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