Can You Use Dryer Sheets with Workout Clothes?

You’ve probably seen those little sheets that people throw in with their laundry, but have you ever wondered if you can use them with your workout clothes?


When you’re going to the gym or participating in other physical activities, you want your clothes to be comfortable and not create any distractions. One way to keep your workout clothes smelling fresh is by adding a dryer sheet after the wash. Dryer sheets have special ingredients that help reduce static electricity and keep fabrics soft, but can they be used on workout clothes?

In general, using dryer sheets with workout clothes is safe and appropriate as long as you follow the proper instructions for this type of fabric. Understanding that different materials require different cleaning processes will help ensure that your workout clothing lasts longer and stays fresh. To give you more information about how to use dryer sheets with exercise clothing, let’s take a look at the types of fabrics commonly found in these garments, how to properly care for them, and when adding a dryer sheet may be necessary.

Benefits of Using Dryer Sheets

Using dryer sheets can be very beneficial when it comes to taking care of your clothing. They can help make your clothes softer, reduce static cling, and even can help reduce wrinkles. Dryer sheets also help to make your clothes smell fresh and last longer. Let’s delve deeper into the benefits of using dryer sheets for your workout clothes.

Eliminates Odor

One of the most obvious benefits of using dryer sheets is that they help to eliminate odor from clothes. Workout clothes can become saturated with sweat, and over time, this can create an unpleasant smell that can linger even after being washed. Dryer sheets are coated with various materials, such as fragrances and chemicals which help to eliminate the odors from clothes. In addition, dryer sheets also provide a light layer of fabric protection on the outer surface which helps trap any lingering sweat molecules that cause bad smells. As a bonus, many dryer sheets have pleasant scents that remain on your clothes even after they’re finished tumbling in the dryer.

Reduces Static

Using a dryer sheet during the drying cycle helps reduce static cling, as well as minimize wrinkles. This is particularly beneficial for items such as workout clothes because they tend to pick up a lot of static. Dryer sheets also have moisturizing ingredients that are great for keeping synthetic fabrics from becoming too stiff or crunchy after being put through the washing machine and dryer. Additionally, since most dryer sheets are designed to be scented, they make your clothes smell fresh and clean after being washed, eliminating the need for sprays or additional fabric softeners.

Softens Fabrics

Dryer sheets are a popular item used in the laundry cycle, known for their ability to soften fabrics and eliminate static. The softening effects of dryer sheets are due to fabric softener coatings that cling to the fibers, making them softer and more touchable when eventually being worn. This softness can last for several weeks, depending on how often the garments are washed. Dryer sheets also have an anti-static element that works by coating clothes with a very thin layer of lubricant. The lubricant is attracted to the water molecules and slightly insulates each fiber of fabric against static electricity build-up when they rub against each other during the drying cycle. Clothes not only feel softer but also less electrocuted!

Potential Downsides

Using dryer sheets with your workout clothes may seem like a great idea to keep them smelling nice and looking new. However, there are potential downsides to using dryer sheets with your workout clothes that you should consider. The chemicals in dryer sheets can damage or fade the fabrics in workout clothing, leaving them looking dull or discolored. In this section, we’ll look at the other potential downsides of using dryer sheets with your workout clothes.

Can Leave Residue

When using dryer sheets with workout clothes, it is important to consider the potential downsides. Many types of fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain fragrances that could leave residue on your clothing. This residue can irritate your skin, as well as cause an unpleasant odor. In addition, some dyes and perfumes may also stain delicate fabrics such as polyester and spandex, leaving them looking dull or discolored.

Also, the build-up created by certain fabric softeners may coat fibers, preventing them from breathing and attracting more moisture than necessary. This can lead to increased wear on materials, changing their composition and causing them to lose their elasticity. Additionally, heat from the dryer may cause built-up fabric softener deposits to melt into the fibers of clothing leading to decreased performance. For this reason it is best not to use additives such as liquid fabric softeners or dryer sheets when washing or drying workout clothing.

Can Cause Allergic Reactions

When using dryer sheets on your workout clothes, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a potential for allergic reactions. Some individuals may have sensitivities to fragrances in the dryer sheets, as well as the chemicals used in their production. If you do experience an allergic reaction like itchy skin, redness or swelling after using a dryer sheet on your clothes, it’s best to stop using them altogether.

Additionally, while fabric softeners and dryer sheets are meant to make clothing softer and decrease static cling from buildup of sweat and dirt during workouts, these products may contain oils that can also lead to buildup residue being left behind on the fibers of your clothing. This build-up of oil can cause staining when washed with other clothes — so it’s definitely something to keep in mind if you are washing your activewear with regular laundry items like jeans or t-shirts.

Best Practices

Even though many people use dryer sheets when doing laundry, it may not be the best practice when it comes to treating your workout clothes. Dryer sheets can add an unpleasant smell to your gym garments, and in some cases, they may leave residue on the fabric. Therefore, it’s important to understand the best practices for treating your workout clothes to keep them looking and smelling their best.

Choose the Right Dryer Sheet

When laundering workout clothes or workout apparel such as yoga pants and sports bras, it is important to choose the right dryer sheets for maximum freshness and care of the fabric. Synthetics like polyester, spandex and nylon are synthetic fabrics used in many activewear garments. Choosing a dryer sheet created with synthetic fabrics in mind can help extend the life and beauty of these items. There are many available specifically tailored to those materials that remove static and keep clothes softer for longer use.

Fragrance-free sheets are also recommended in order to not interfere with any detergents or fabric softeners you may be using. Dryer sheets also add a protective layer of softness to activewear that helps fight against pilling caused by friction against skin or other surfaces throughout a workout session. Reusable dryer sheets are also an environmentally friendly choice since they do not leave residue on fabrics, nor contain harsh chemicals like some regular models do. Using the right type of dryer sheet can go a long way towards caring for your workout garments and keeping them looking new longer.

Use a Small Amount

When using a fabric softener or dryer sheet to soften workout clothes, it’s important to use only a small amount. Even when using a small amount, the fabric softener or dryer sheet can coat the fibers of the fabric with an invisible film that may cause clothing fibers to become more porous and shortens their life span. Additionally, too much fabric softener or dryer sheet can attract dirt, dust, and other particles that may attach themselves to your workout clothes.

Using too much of either one will not only reduce the life of your workout clothes but also cause skin irritations. The oils found in these products can leave residue on your skin which can then attract dust and other particles while you’re working out. To avoid this problem, limit the amount of product used when laundering workout clothing – less is best! It is also important to note that some detergents have added softening agents as well which make it unnecessary to add a separate product for added softening.

Consider Natural Alternatives

When washing workout clothing, many people recommend using natural alternatives such as white vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils instead of chemical-laden dryer sheets. They suggest this as an effective way to reduce static slow down wear and tear, protect fabric colors and remove odors.

White vinegar is naturally acidic and helps break down sweat or oil residue left in fabrics after a workout. Adding 1/2 a cup of white vinegar to the load of wash can be enough to reduce odors from workouts without causing any damage to clothes’ fibers. Baking soda works great for neutralizing the pH balance in sweat which can help ward off bacteria buildup that causes odors. Adding 1/2 to 3/4 cups of baking soda to each load of laundry should do the trick without risking any damage from bleach or other detergents that may contain chemicals that are not ideal for fabric life or human skin exposure.

Essential oils also have anti-odor properties that are great for laundry day when dealing with sweat and other odors left by a hard workout session. Common essential oils like lemongrass, lemon, peppermint, tea tree oil among others are super effective in combating strong sports aromas when added directly into the wash cycle just prior to loading detergent into the washer drum or poured directly onto a non-bio detergent dose before you start running your wash cycle.


In conclusion, using dryer sheets with workout clothing can help maintain the appearance of your garments and reduce static cling. However, if you are prone to allergies and sensitive skin, you should avoid using fabric softener or scented dryer sheets which can irritate these issues. Additionally, do not combine fabric softeners with bleach as doing so may cause discoloration. Finally, only use small amounts of fabric softener or dryer sheets to ensure your clothes remain breathable and comfortable to wear while also preserving their color and brightness over time.

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