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Best Laundry Detergent for Gym Towels

Fancy, fragrant detergents are rarely the strongest or the safest for gym towels.

Blood, sweat, tears, and high levels of use. These are the things your gym towels face every day. It’s a tall order for any detergent! So how do you know what detergent will get the job done at the scale you need?

If you’re washing your gym towels in-house and you’re using a standard grocery store detergent, chances are, you’re causing more harm than good. Fancy, fragrant detergents are rarely the strongest or the safest for gym towels.

Your top priority should be ensuring the detergent you use will keep towels clean and your members safe from germs.

What is the best detergent for gym towels?

Here is our top 3 list of best detergents for gym towel laundry:

  1. Win Active Fresh Sport Detergent
  2. Arm & Hammer Commercial Powder
  3. Sports Suds Pods
The Folde | Best Laundry Detergent for Gym Towels | Delivery Laundry Service

Best Laundry Detergent for Gym Towels

Use Powder Detergents Whenever Possible

Powder laundry detergents are generally more powerful than liquid. They dissolve and disperse easily and are easier to clean should a spill occur. Powder options are also more economical and environmentally friendly.

Gym Towel Laundry Detergents We Recommend

Choosing the right detergent is a simple way to make your gym towels smell better and last longer.

Win Active Fresh

Best Laundry Detergent for Gym Towels

WIN is specially engineered to remove workout odor from fabrics. It sanitizes and deodorizes as it cleans sport and sweat stains.

Arm & Hammer Commercial

Best Laundry Detergent for Gym Towels

Most often, we notice that big brands bring lower quality. However, Arm & Hammer tends to be the strongest commercial option.

Sport Suds

Best Laundry Detergent for Gym Towels

SportSuds uses a residue-free approach in formulating this sports-specific detergent. Residue-free means more absorbency.

Best Laundry Detergent for Gym Towels

Avoid Fabric Softeners

While you can’t track what members of your gym have sensitive skin and those that don’t, you can do yourself, and your customers, a favor by treating your towels as if they all have sensitive skin. This means skipping the highly scented detergents, fabric brighteners, and dyes.

Silicon is usually one of the main ingredients in fabric softeners. Always avoid using any softeners as this can deteriorate the absorbency of your towels over time. This also prevents the appearance that they’ve just been spritzed with happy smells, rather than deep cleaned and sanitized.

Best Laundry Detergent for Gym Towels

Skip the Cold Water Detergents

Some detergents are designed to be run in cold water washes. It’s true. This can save your gym money and reduces the negative effect on the environment.

However, cold water washes aren’t going to sanitize your high-use gym towels. To keep your gym members and equipment safe and clean, hot or warm water washing is essential. This also means that whether you choose powder or liquid detergent, it will be easily dissolved in a hot water wash.

A Note About Stain Treatment

Sweat isn’t the only thing your gym towels are cleaning up. They could see cosmetics, blood, and even those pre-workout shakes.

Sweat stains should be soaked in a pre-wash and washed in hot water with bleach. Other stains should be pre-treated with an enzyme-based stain remover in cold water before their regular wash.

Best Laundry Detergent for Gym Towels


As a business owner or manager, you’re always thinking about your bottom line: money. There is a common misconception that the more soap you use, the cleaner the towels will be, right?

Unfortunately, using too much detergent will contribute to a build-up of residue and cost you more money in wasted soap. Using extra detergent will also trap more odors and bacteria, decreasing the overall absorbency of your towels. This could mean you end up buying new towels more frequently, further damaging your profit margins.

Best Laundry Detergent for Gym Towels

Bleach & Scent Boosters

Towels and bed sheets work hard to keep you dry, clean and comfortable. In the process they pick up stains, dirt and unseen “body soil” made up of body oils, dead skin flakes and sweat. Washing with detergent alone is not enough to keep sheets and towels truly clean.

Towels can hold germs like E. Coli for days, especially if they’re super absorbent, which can lead to illness in members. If you provide towels at your gym, launder and sanitize them daily using a hot wash with bleach and a hot drying cycle.

Bleach, Whitener, and Scent Booster We Recommend for Gym Towels

Additives like bleach, whitener, and scent boosters can help your gym towel laundry detergent perform better.

Zep Commercial Bleach

Bleach for Gym Towels

Renews fabric brightness and whiteness lost after repeated launderings due to graying or yellowing while also knocking out odors.

White Brite Whitener

Whitener for Gym Towels

Brightens and removes dingies bleach and oxi’s can’t. Easily removes yellowing caused by overuse and other water impurities

FREY Scent Booster

Scent Booster for Gym Towels

FREY’s laundry booster is formulated with natural ingredients that leave behind no residue which can block absorbancy.

Best Laundry Detergent for Gym Towels

Everyone loves clean and fluffy towels! And gym goers go through their fair share of towels and washes. Offering fresh and clean towels at your gym or fitness studio shows your members that you care about health, safety, hygiene, and a positive customer experience. But, as a gym owner, towels cost money to buy and money to clean. What is the cost-benefit analysis here?

Most big-box fitness centers don’t offer free towel service, and there is a reason: cost. With their emphasis on profit, it doesn’t make sense for these types of facilities to buy towels, launder them, keep track of them, and spend staff time collecting and distributing them.

Not providing gym towels could lead to lower standards of cleanliness, accidents on the floor, and decreased attendance if gym-goers forget to bring their own. If you are a boutique gym trying to create value to attract customers, offering gym towel service is a great place to start. But, at what cost?

Here are several benefits to offering a towel service for your members!

Gym Towel Laundry Service | Best Laundry Detergent for Gym Towels | The Folde

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