If you have practiced for a long time and have participated in challenges, you may be familiar with the Bikram phenomenon of... smelly clothes. When I hadn't participated in a challenge yet, I always though: "Don't these people wash their clothes properly?", but during the challenge I changed my mind.
On week three of my first Bikram yoga challenge my clothes started smelling. I was horrified, because we all now what 'smelly' means: bacteria or other organisms! EEEEEEeeeekk! After discovering that my usual washing method obviously wasn't cutting it anymore, I was on a mission and I have since solved the smell problem. All my Bikram clothes are as good as new :) Let me summarize...
My usual washing method... extra rinses (6 months practice before the smell came):
- one rinse cycle with warm water, so most of the sweat get's rinsed out before detergent is added
- one washing cycle with warm/hot water mixed, using regular detergent or Tide with Febreeze (just covered the smell... unsuccessfully, I might add)
- extra rinse to avoid detergent residue buildup
My extra thorough washing method... hot water and double washes:
- as above, but do two washing cycles. First with a little detergent, then with regular amount of detergent
- use hot water
- result: clothes smelled better, but after sweating in them again, the nasty smell came back :(
Extra thorough with white vinegar and borax:
- as above, but add white vinegar to the last rinse (you can put it into the fabric softener compartment if your washer has one) and add borax powder to washing cycles
- use about 1-2 cups of vinegar for a small/medium load
- result: clothes smelled better, but a little bit like vinegar... not sure if the borax did anything... in some fabrics the odor was still present and the odor came back immediately after sweating in the clothes again... UGH!
FINALLY, salvation in form of Sagrotan Hygienespueler (imported from Germany)!!!
So how did it work for the yoga smell? AMAZINGLY! My Bikram clothes are as good as new! Seriously, they smell nice and fresh and the smell is not only covered up. I know because I sweated in them a couple of times and the smell still hasn't come back, squeeeee! The bacteria are DEAD! I plan on using this every couple of washes :)
Thank you so much to my mom and friends who sent me this! I will be importing this from Germany whenever I go or have people visiting, because I have not been able to find a real disinfectant laundry detergent (that is not bleach-based) here in the US.
PS: I have since seen a sports detergent at Lucy's (athletic apparel for women). I have not tried it and I do not know if it really is a disinfectant, but I might when I run out of the magic stuff from Germany. Although... I might just stick with Sagrotan, because I know it works like a charm! Anyway, here's the Lucy stuff.