Sweat suits (also known as sauna suits - we'll use them interchangeably in this article) can be a great addition to your training routine. They help increase your core body temperature and kick your metabolism into overdrive, which leads to increased fat loss, muscle growth and enhanced recovery. All around, sauna suits are a fantastic way to take your workouts to the next level.But if you've used a sweat suit before, you know that it needs to be cleaned pretty often.
Between the insane amount of sweat that it generates and the compounds released from your body (from skin, sweat, hair etc.), your sweat suit / sauna suit should be cleaned after every use. That way, it's ready for use whenever you need it, and the risk of unpleasant smells / other issues are mitigated. But how exactly do you wash a sweat suit or sauna suit? Can you just put the sauna suit in the washing machine? Should you hand-wash a sauna suit? In this article, we go through how to properly clean a sweat suit / sauna suit by hand, as well as how to clean it using your washing machine.
HOW TO WASH/CLEAN A SAUNA SUIT (AKA SWEAT SUIT)
When it comes to washing your sweat suit, we generally recommend that you hand-wash it. Even though it might be tedious and requires a bit more work than simply throwing it in the washing machine, hand-washing your sauna suit / sweat suit ensures that it stands the test of time. The friction generated from the washing machine - the sweat suit rubbing against the walls and itself - creates small microtears in the polyester fabric. It's unavoidable. While it may not be a big deal in the short term, over time those microtears will grow, and eventually lead to visible tears in the sweat suit.
HOW TO HAND-WASH YOUR SAUNA SUIT/SWEAT SUIT
Handwashing your sweat suit is simple. After a workout, turn it inside out (because that's where most of the sweat will be), and run it under a tap or put it in a basin / bucket. The easiest method is to fill a container with some warm water, mix in some light detergent and wash the sweat suit in it. This method cleans the suit, but also preserves the fabric so your suit can last longer.
Once the inside is clean, do the same with the exterior of the suit.
After hand-washing, you can hang-dry the sauna suit. Since it's made with polyester, it doesn't absorb much water and dries rather quickly.
HOW TO MACHINE-WASH YOUR SAUNA SUIT/SWEAT SUIT
If you'd rather machine wash your suit for the sake of convenience, we recommend you do it less often than if you were to hand-wash it. Like we said before, the washing machine generates a lot of friction, which can damage the suit over time.
To machine wash your suit, simply set the spin-setting to low, flip the suit inside-out, wash with warm water (not hot), and use a light detergent. Once the cycle is done, take your sweat suit out of the wash and hang-dry it.
HOW TO DRY YOUR SWEAT SUIT
Can you put your sauna suit in the dryer? The answer is yes, but we don't suggest it. To dry your sweat suit, we recommend turning it inside-out and hang-drying it. Unlike other fabrics, polyester doesn't absorb much water, so the drying process is relatively quick.
Unlike washing, we don't think using the machine is a good idea when it comes to drying. The high temperatures in the dryer can damage the polyester fabric, and when combined with a harsh cycle in the washing machine, will definitely damage your sauna suit.
So technically, you can put your sauna suit in the dryer. Should you? Probably not!
CONCLUSION: HOW TO WASH/CLEAN YOUR SAUNA SUIT
To sum it up, you can either hand-wash or machine wash your sauna suit. Hand-washing takes a bit more time and effort, but will make your suit last longer. Machine-washing is easier, but the constant friction in the washing machine will cause microtears in your suit and eventually lead to damage.
But for drying, there's really no comparison - always hang-dry it. Polyester doesn't absorb much water, so the drying process is quick and painless.
Your best bet is to invest in a high-quality sauna suit to start with. That way, it's designed to stand the test of time. Combined with a good care routine, there's no reason why a good-quality sauna suit won't last a long time.