Clothing Odors

After a recent article in the Wall Street Journal titled “The Dirty Secret of Yoga Pants: They Smell” authored by Ellen Byron we at Bibbentuckers are propelled to further inform and enlighten our Dry Cleaning and Laundry fans about cleaning Yoga Pants!

Yoga pants ‘make up’ a large part of a huge ‘athleisure’ category (‘athleisure’ made it to the Miriam-Webster dictionary in 2015). There were $67 Billion in sales of athletic wear in 2015 in the US alone.  That is up about 40% from the previous year. Furthermore, new types of fabrics and many combinations enhance the form-fitting look. These new fabrics ‘grab away your sweat’ and wick it away from your skin. The problem is that it also ‘holds on’ to odors and smells when not laundered and dried properly.

New technological advances made in the last several years by famous purveyors of fitness and work-out clothing have created odor problems with athleisure wear. The addition of silver nano ‘microsopic’ particles is the cause. Silver is a major anti-bacterial element that kills germs that are present on your skin. Killing germs before they grow and proliferate on your skin and grow ‘odorous’ and offensive is key. Modern fabrics are not just cotton but man-made such as lycra and nylon and other stretchy fabrics. With the addition of silver, the threads become infused with silver’s anti-bacterial properties. Remember the anti-wrinkle properties of ‘wash and wear’ fabric from the 1970s? They were coated and ‘baked’ with Teflon in them.

The Odor Problem

We sweat daily; so it’s necessary for our bodies to cool off and rid our waste product and cellular debris with bacteria and proteins. Sweat itself doesn’t smell it’s what happens to the bacteria and proteins when it is excreted on to our epidermis that starts to make the smell. The problem may be that we don’t properly dry and then launder our garments in time before the foul odors set in.

Odor Solution:

Bibbentuckers takes care of your athleisure and many other fine garments with the utmost care.  We completely understand and are the experts when it comes to Commercial laundering processes. We have the right laundry equipment and supplies!

“Our industrial strength washing machines are finely tuned to wash delicate athleisure wear by calibrating the right drum rotations by timing the wash and spin cycles correctly as well as controlling the wheel rotation and wash times” says Greg Toombs, CPD/CPW from the R R Street and Co. a major purveyor of dry cleaning and washing supplies to the trade since 1876.

Other major components of washing specialty items are the temperature of the water, the pH, and the detergents and solutions. The water temperature should be warm depending on the fabric as the enzymes work best. However, if the water is too cold the enzymatic reaction slows; at high temperature, the enzymes become denatured and stop working.

We monitor the actual content of the water at each Bibbentuckers’ location. “City water contains iron and other solids from soil and rocks. Using city water without treatment can stain certain materials, shorten their serviceable life, and alter the way in which water reacts with soap and other chemicals. Testing water hardness on a regular basis is very important. We use chemicals to treat the city water coming into our plants.” Mohamed Kabrane, Senior Director of Corporate Operations at Bibbentuckers.

Processes to Eliminate Odors

Enzymes based agents in the Bibbentuckers special laundering formula “break down proteins, starches and fats by breaking up the large insoluble molecules into smaller, more soluble ones” [Source: The Chemistry of Stain Removal from CompoundChem]

Using the correct timing on all of the laundry processes prevents the odorous culprits from reattaching themselves to the threads, and thus, ‘baked’ back into the fabric when dried at high temperatures. At Bibbentuckers we use these industrial strength enzyme-based detergents to thoroughly remove and prevent the ‘re-blooming’ of odors in your yoga pants.

The drying process (where the heat and humidity are carefully controlled) are also important and that is why cleaning yoga pants and other athleisure wear is best left to professionals like Bibbentuckers, the Dry Cleaner!

When it comes to odors, Bibbentuckers knows how to make your Dry Cleaning and Laundry smell Beautifully.  Give us a call today.


Thanks to Craig Campbell at FRSTeam, Mo Kabrane Sr. Director of Corp. Operations at Bibbentuckers, Arely Pineda at our Plano store location and Greg Toombs of RR Street & Co.

Written and researched by Mark A. McKenney.