How to Wash a Gym Bag

admin July 07 2021

It is almost like opening an old crypt: every time we open the sports bag, a musty smell of sweat and old trainers flows towards us. And every time you think, which bag is better for sweaty clothes? After all, you don’t want to get your sports bag dirty. For the sake of your olfactory nerves, you should wash your gym bag regularly. In this article, you will learn how to do it.

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Wash your gym bag in the washing machine

Most sports bags can be easily washed in the washing machine. First, remove all objects and check all pockets to see whether there is tissue or something similar hidden somewhere. Also remove loose metal parts or appliqués that could be damaged during the wash.

Now put the sports bag in the washing machine and select a wash cycle with a low temperature of no more than 40 degrees. You should also make sure that the spin speed is low so that the duffel bag is not damaged too much.

Tip: To keep your gym bag smelling fresh, you can put a cup of baking soda in the washing machine to remove the smell.

The gym bag shouldn't be in the dryer, it is better to let it dry in the fresh air.

Hand wash your gym bag

If you don't want to put the gym bag in the washing machine, you can clean it by hand. All you need is a large container or a bathtub.

Fill in enough water for the sports bag to be completely submerged. Now add two spoons of baking soda, a dash of shampoo or detergent, and a little lemon juice. This will keep your duffel bag smelling fresh. Mix well and put the gym bag inside.

After an hour or two, take it out and hang it up to dry. Now your gym bag should smell good again.

Cleaning leather gym bags

If you have a leather gym bag, it should not be washed using the methods above. Instead, we recommend cleaning by hand.

First, remove the entire contents and shake out the duffel bag well. Now mix cleaning water with a little washing-up liquid or all-purpose cleaner. Thoroughly wipe the inside and outside of the gym bag with a cleaning rag.
To remove odors from the leather bag and help your gym bag smell fresh again, you can deodorize the inside with coffee or baking soda. To do this, you either put the powder directly in the bag and suck it out later, or you fill it into a container or an old sock. 

Alternatively, you could put the powder in a large plastic bag, put the leather bag inside, and seal it with tape. Leave the duffel bag in it for at least two hours or all night.

What to do after cleaning

If your gym bag was impregnated against moisture, you should renew the protection after washing, so it stays waterproof. 

Gym bags and sports bags can quickly smell unpleasant. Use the tips above to remove odors and dirt and keep both your duffel bag and its contents clean.

Video guide

We also found a short video for you, which shows step by step how you can wash your sports bag correctly and how best not to do it.


I take my gym bag and put one of those flimsy bags with the rope shoulder straps inside for my clothes after I work out. That bag gets washed almost daily (occasionally I leave it in my locker overnight, not ideal though) and keeps my larger canvas bag from being contaminated.
mizeorand / 2021-08-07 00:36:00

I use a cheap duffel bag from Walmart that is plastic on the inside. Easy to wipe down with an alcohol wipe and after about a year there’s no smell at all. Along with wet gym clothes there’s usually a wet shower bag.
jdp1175 / 2021-11-10 07:12:00