What’s in your bag? How to keep your gym bag germ free

Shelby Pritchett

| 4 min read

Do you find your gym bag smelling dirty? Even worse, are you afraid it is filled with germs?
Our busy lifestyles make working out hard to fit in during the day. When we do find the time, we often throw our dirty clothes and shoes back into our bag and tuck it away in our car, office or home. Those dirty clothes can sit in your bag for several hours, or even a few days, before you have a chance to pull everything out for cleaning.
Your gym bag can be a breeding ground for germs, mold and bacteria. Avoiding these post-gym no-nos will help ensure that your bag is clean and free of germs.
  • DON’T forget your wet stuff- When you get home after your workout, make sure you take out your wet items, whether or not you have a separate storage compartment in your bag for sweaty clothes. Because mold rests in dark, moist areas, make sure you remove wet workout clothes, socks, towels and bathing suits as soon as you can, then wipe your bag down with a disinfectant wipe. Also, leave your bag unzipped to allow it to ventilate.
  • DON’T keep used gear inside your bag- Because yoga mats, sneakers and other workout equipment is bound to get sweaty, you should make sure you allow these items to air out. For instance, unroll your yoga mat and hang it over a door or let your tennis shoes sit out in the sun.
  • DON’T leave perishable food or wrappers in your bag- Before or after a workout it is a good idea to fuel your body with fresh snacks, such as cheese sticks or fresh fruit, but make sure you remove the wrappers or fruit cores to prevent germs from making a home in your gym bag.
There are many things you shouldn’t forget to do after your workout, but there are also some important do’s that you should remember.
  • DO clean your bag once a week– To avoid an unpleasant smell, mold or germs in your bag, make sure you clean out all the compartments at least once a week. Remove crumbs, wet or sweaty clothes and dirt to keep your bag smelling fresh.
  • DO wash out your gym bag– First, take everything out of your gym bag and allow it to air out for a little while. Then, wash the bag with hot water and a mild soap. To allow it to dry, lay your gym bag on a flat surface. Afterward, wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe before allowing it to dry out one more time.
  • DO make sure you have everything you need in your bag– To ensure you are ready to head to the gym for a good workout, make sure you always have an organized and packed gym bag to keep up with your gym routine. Pack a set of clean workout clothes, gym shoes and socks. Make sure to include a bottle of water with a secured lid and a few healthy non-perishable food items such as a granola bar. Also, pack toiletries such as body wash and deodorant in case you are planning to take a shower before leaving the gym. Perhaps you will need to pack a swimsuit and a towel for swimming workouts or relaxing in a sauna post-workout. Remember to also pack a pair of flip-flops to prevent picking up viruses from the locker room’s floor. Lastly, don’t forget your iPod or other music playing device to keep you pumped up and energized throughout your workout. Music has a powerful voice that out bodies and brains benefit directly from when listening to it.
How often do you clean out your gym bag? What are some must-haves that you make sure to keep in your bag?
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Photo Credit: Dmjarvey

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