My Sports Bras Reek

My name is Anne and my sports bras reek.

I know, I know they’re supposed to be sweaty and smelly after a workout, but that’s not the problem.  My clean, dry sports bras smell like ass.  I put one of those babies on for boot camp and while the trainer was demonstrating the stations I was offending myself with the odor.  I couldn’t help but announce it to some people standing near to me because I thought that mentioning it was better than just pretending the stench wasn’t there.  I don’t know how, but I thought it would make it less embarrassing for me.  Well, it didn’t.  I not only felt like an ass but I smelled like one too.

I knew I needed to do something about this and fast.  I had a bright idea.  I would use the laundry soap (Rockin’ Green) that worked so well cleaning and keeping my daughters’ cloth diapers fresh.  Hey, if it can get out the smells of repeated poops and pees then it has the chance to kick my sweaty body odor ass.  After being impressed with the job that this soap did for the cloth diapers I started using it for all of my laundry and still do.  But it has special powers I tell you.  If you soak your clean clothes (diapers, sports bras, kid’s lovies etc.)  in this soap it sucks out the ground in dirtiness and lingering smells.  You would be super disgusted if you saw the water my daughter’s blankie soaked in for a few hours.  It was sludgy muddy water after Rockin’ Green was done with it.

So here’s what I did to help out my poor stinky sports bras.

I filled up my utility sink with warm water, pulled out my Rockin’ Green laundry detergent and put 4 scoops into the water.

4 Tablespoon sized scoops

Notice the water is cloudy white

After the soap was dissolved I added all 9 of my sports bars (Yeah, I know who really needs 9 sports bras?). I let them soak for about an hour and then I agitated the items a little bit and then let them soak for another hour or so.

After a couple of hours I squeezed out the excess water and removed the bras from the sink. Below is what was left in my utility sink.  I had to put a white spray bottle next to the water because the picture without it wasn’t conveying just how disgusting the water really was.  Keep in mind that this came out of sports bras that I thought were clean.  Yuck!

Next, I threw them into my front load washing machine.

Please don’t look at the black moldy spots. Anyone have a remedy for that?

It is recommended that at this point you do not add any soap to the machine.  I found out from my experience with cloth diapers that it is ultra important to rinse thuoughly and then rinse again.   Otherwise you end up with a much bigger smelly problem than you started with.  I put mine in a stain clean wash cycle with an extra rinse.

Finally, I hung them out to dry.  As I had predicted they were smelling clean and fresh again. Woo Hoo.

Next, I plan to soak my workout pants and shirts because I am hoping to avoid some embarrassment in the future.

How do you get the lingering stench out of your workout clothes?

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28 Responses to My Sports Bras Reek

  1. I was drawn in by “smelled like ass” I stayed for the Martha Stewart schooling. Never heard of that stuff before! Cool! Although, I wear my stink like a badge of honor, at least my dog loves it!

  2. Pete B says:

    Funny stuff! I just bought an Icebreaker shirt. Their slogan is “When it’s stinking hot, you’re not!” The shirts are supposed to never smell, even after wearing for days in a row!

  3. Brianne says:

    I love your honesty. I remember talking about your washing machine dilemmas in regard to the cloth diapers. We actually had a washing machine dilemma of our own this weekend.
    Don’t laugh, I don’t know how to blog.

  4. D Sev says:

    My running bras smell sour after I wash them and let them hang dry. I hope this soap works. Is this the “ass” smell to which you are referring? Or are you talking body odor?

  5. anna says:

    To prevent the black mold on the rubber ring of your front load washer, just leave the door open after you are finished using the washer and let it dry before closing the door. Also, you can wipe it dry.

    I was warned about this black stains from my mother-in-law, so when I purchased my front loader 4 years ago, I made sure to implement my suggested practice, and I do not have any black junk on the rubber ring.

    • I have heard of that trick too and we do leave it open to air dry after each use. The problem probably lies in the fact that we do laundry loads every day so it never has a chance to actually dry.

      • Kristi says:

        I have one of those rubber “C” shaped foam pieces that are used on doors to keep toddlers from shutting it on their fingers. Once a load is done, I pop that on the door so it doesn’t have to be fully open but it’s open enough to keep the air going in there. I also use vinegar instead of fabric softener. It keeps the washer smelling fresh and cleans any gunk off of the drum and hoses caused by detergent and liquid softener.

  6. Laura says:

    I realize this is an old post but I just had to say thank you! I had the same problem and thought I’d have to throw my bras away. Luckily there’s a retailer by me that sells this. I only had three ‘clean’ bras but my water was also gross. Wow! They are hanging to dry now but I’m sure they will smell better. Thanks so much!!

    • Anne says:

      You’re welcome. You are so lucky to have a retailer near by who carries it. I order mine from They should smell fresh again for a few months 🙂

  7. Natalie says:

    I could have written this myself. My clean workout clothes stink the minute they get damp with sweat. Starting to offend me & those around me. Going to try this thanks

    • Anne says:

      I haven’t had any huge problems since. I just do a soak after each season. Sometimes I would have to do one mid season, but not recently. I hope you have good luck like I did.

      • Anne says:

        Oh and they also make a sport formula now. I haven’t tried it but when I’m due for a new batch I’ll order some and give it a try.

  8. Jewel says:

    OMG!! thank you, gonna try this! my other option was to throw them away. 😦

  9. Pingback: Gross Smelling Workout Clothes | Found Myself Running

  10. simmie says:

    which line of the rockin green detergent did you use and what scent? thanks in advance

  11. Andrew says:

    This is kind of odd coming from me,but unfortunately I am forced to wear sports bras for my gynecomastia and know what it’s like to have stinky sports bras.
    Especially if you are spending 10 or more hours in a sweaty sports bra and no matter how good it is it is only so long before they begin to smell like hockey equipment.
    I go through so many sports bras because when they are exposed to conditions like that it doesn’t take that long to smell. I am assuming it must be the spandex content which the bacteria thrive on.

  12. K Mag says:

    THANK YOU for this blog post! I had the same problem with my sports bras. They’d smell clean after washing them but the second I’d start to sweat they’d unleash their hidden reservoir of funk. For a while I didn’t realize the stench was my sports bra, I thought it was coming from my car or something in the garbage can near my desk at work. I found a place locally that carries Rockin; Green and so far, it has worked…. my bras smell clean again! I haven’t used it for every wash, as I’m curious to see how long the clean effect lasts. thanks again!

    • Anne says:

      You are so lucky to have somewhere local to buy it. Now they have an athletic formula!

      • K Mag says:

        Seems like this stuff works on towels too! We had some bath towels that seemed to funkify within two uses, which was unusual for us, historically speaking. Put some Rockn Green in the wash…. viola! Long-lasting fresh towels. 🙂

  13. Amy says:

    Hilarious! In my situation, I thought it was other people around me stinking up the gym. Turned out it was me! My sports bra reeked just like you said! LMFAO

  14. Katie Moore says:

    Okay, so, I too see that this is a really old post, but I was drawn to it by the fact that my bras also smell like ass and it’s so offensive to me. I don’t care what those around me think, it’s the fact that I cannot think when all I can smell is that funk! I went online and ordered the regular formula and the athletic pre-soak. Figure I can use the regular on everything, this must be a magical potion, and it can only do my clothes good. Also, I live in AZ where our water is mineral hard and they have a soap for hard water! I was so excited!! I can’t wait to get mine. Thank you so much for the post. I just kept buying new bras…gets expensive.

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