While there are truly no bounds to what your body can do (people run marathons, after all!), activewear has its limits. If you've been rocking the same few sports bras on rotation, chances are they're starting to stink. And while normal detergents simply can't cut through the funk sometimes, Hex Laundry Detergent ($24) is designed to refresh your garments with every wash so you can rely on them on many adventures to come.
Workout clothes are an investment for your physical and mental wellbeing, but—to put it bluntly—they ain't cheap. One market analysis found that the average price of shorts, leggings, and workout tops rose significantly from 2021 to 2022. A pair of leggings from Lululemon can cost $100 and over, and unless you want to be doing laundry every day (and wearing said leggings out even more), you're going to need several pairs. With inflation on the rise, you may feel more compelled than ever to take care of your existing wardrobe.
Fortunately, Hex is determined to make sure you're getting as many runs, yoga sessions, and and HIIT classes out of your workout sets is possible.
One bottle is good for 32 workouts—I mean, washes—and the formula is free of dyes, phosphates, SLS, parabens, or fragrance encapsulants to protect sensitive skin. Plus, for $24, you do get two bottles, so make that 64 washes. Within the first wash, the detergent imbues your clothes with its signature "Hex Molecule" technology, which creates a "shield" of sorts around your athletic clothes to protect them from odors, resilient stains, and other annoying imperfections (like pilling and loss of elasticity).
Basically, it's the athleticwear equivalent of putting a protective case on your phone, or water-proofing your brand-new leather boots—and the brand is really starting to pick up steam. Hex's Amazon page features over 1,000, extremely enthusiastic, five-star reviews, including someone who works on a horse farm and swears that their clothes don't stink after one wash with Hex.
The shopper wrote, "This is hands down the best detergent for removing odors that I’ve ever tried. I work on a horse farm for a living. On top of going to the gym, then working outside on a farm all day in the heat of summer, I could never find anything to get my clothes to smell clean. I’ve tried every detergent under the sun, washing with vinegar and baking soda, detergent boosters. Nothing worked until Hex. Hex has a bit of a perfume-y smell that I don’t love, but it gets rid of any barn / dirt / sweat / mud / horse smell that’s embedded in my clothes 100%. It’s too expensive to use on all of my laundry so I don’t use it for towels or bedding, but I will keep buying this for as long as they make it."
While most of us may not experience equine-level odors when we're hitting the gym or going for a bike ride, it's reassuring that Hex covers even that level of reek. So, of course, I had to try it for myself.
Now, I put my workout clothes through a lot: I love to run, climb, strength train, and practice yoga. And thus, it's fair to say that I don't always smell like a fresh bouquet of roses. Somehow, my boyfriend smells even worse (I love him, but it's just true), so I threw a week's worth of our sportswear into the washing machine and gave Hex a shot.
After washing and drying my clothes, I took a huge whiff of my now-full laundry basket and found that all of our respective shorts, leggings, and run belts smelled fresh. Plus, there's no artificial, super floral smell; it's just clean and odorless.
I've been using Hex for just over a month now, so TBD on whether it actually extends the lifespan of my beloved bike shorts. In the meantime, as I put my newly Captain America-d workout clothes to the test, I have plenty of stink-free workouts to look forward to.
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