Are you tired of smelly knee sleeves ruining your workout experience?

You have just landed on the right blog post!

In this article, we’ll be sharing some simple yet effective tips on how to properly wash your knee sleeves and keep them smelling fresh and clean. 

From hand-washing with mild detergent to soaking them in vinegar or even boiling them with essential oils, we’ve got you covered. 

By following these tips, you can ensure that your knee sleeves not only last longer, but also provide a more hygienic and enjoyable workout. πŸ›€πŸΏ

So, let’s get started and learn how to wash knee sleeves.

#1 Get Sudsy with Your Sleeve

Purple infographic with an image of a wizard cleaning knee sleeves The text displays: #1 Get Sudsy with Your Sleeve

What you need:

  • Mild detergent or dish soap
  • Cold water
  • Sink or basin
  • Flat surface in order to air dry

First things first, you want to avoid hot water at all costs. I learned this the hard way when I accidentally threw my knee sleeve in with my regular laundry. 

The hot water turned my once-perfectly-sized knee sleeves into teeny-tiny knee pads, potentially causing shrinkage that even my cat couldn’t use.

So, I recommend you hand wash your knee sleeves inside out in cold water. Trust me, it’s the way to go for your knee sleeve, lifting grips, and other workout essentials.

What you need to do
  1. Fill a sink or basin with cold water and add a small amount of mild detergent or dish soap.
  2. Avoid machine-washing the knee sleeves on a gentle cycle if they contain heavy-duty knee pads inside.
  3. Scrub the inside of the knee sleeves to remove all sweat and grime buildup.
  4. Rinse the knee sleeves thoroughly with cold water to remove any excess detergent or soap.
  5. Gently squeeze the excess water out of the knee sleeves, avoiding any wringing.
  6. Air-dry the knee sleeves in a well-ventilated area. Avoid putting them in the dryer, as the heat can damage the fabric and potentially cause shrinkage.

#2 Vinegar: The Magic Odor-Killer

Purple infographic with an image of a wizard cleaning knee sleeves. The text displays: #2 Vinegar_ The Magic Odor-Killer
  • Warm water
  • Basin or sink
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Laundry detergent or dish soap
  • Baking soda (optional)

Now, you might be wondering, “What’s the secret sauce to tackling those especially stubborn odors in my knee sleeves?” Well, I’m glad you asked. 

I discovered this little gem of a trick after a particularly intense workout that left my knee sleeves smelling like they’d been marinating in a wet gym locker for weeks.

The magic ingredient is none other than distilled white vinegar. 

Yep, you heard me right! 

Vinegar, that miracle worker that can tackle everything from cleaning your coffee maker to washing your windows, can also rescue your smelly knee pads. Who would’ve thought?

What you need to do
  1. Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a cup of distilled white vinegar.
  2. Submerge your knee sleeve inside out in the water-vinegar mixture, making sure they are fully covered.
  3. Let the knee sleeves soak for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Gently squeeze out the excess water without wringing the sleeves.
  5. Machine wash on gentle cycles with laundry detergent or hand wash with dish soap.
  6. Skip the spin cycle to be gentle with the knee sleeves.
  7. Lay your knee sleeves out on a flat surface to air dry. Sprinkling baking soda on the insides before drying can help absorb any lingering odors.

#3 Boil Those Sleeves and Add Some Spice

Purple infographic with an image of a wizard boiling knee sleeves. The text displays: #3 Boil Those Sleeves and Add Some Spice
  • A large pot
  • Water
  • A few drops of the essential oils of your choice

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Boiling your knee sleeves? With essential oils? Is this some kind of witchcraft? But trust me, it works like a charm.

And who doesn’t love a little aromatherapy while washing their workout gear?

What you need to do
  1. Fill a pot with enough water to fully submerge your knee sleeves.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and add a few drops of essential oil. Any scent can be used, but lavender is especially soothing.
  3. Turn off the heat and carefully add your knee sleeves to the pot. Make sure they are fully submerged, and let them soak for about 30 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove your knee sleeves from the pot and rinse them under cold water until the water runs clear to ensure all excess water and soap or oils have been dissolved.
  5. Note that hand washing is still recommended if possible, as the machine wash cycle setting can be too rough.
  6. If boiling is needed, avoid direct sunlight when drying the knee sleeves to prevent fabric breakdown and loss of elasticity over time.

Washing Machines are for Clothes, Not Sleeves

Purple infographic with an image of a washing machine. The text displays: Washing Machines are for Clothes, Not Sleeves

I know how tempting it is to toss your knee sleeves into the washing machine with the rest of your gym clothes. 

It’s convenient, it’s easy, and it gets the job done, right? 

Well, not quite. Let me tell you from personal experience that the washing machine is not the place for your precious knee sleeves.

Sure, the gentle cycle setting might seem like a safe option, but it can still be too rough on the delicate fabric of your knee sleeves. 

Plus, if you’ve got some heavy-duty knee pads inside those sleeves, the machine can cause them to shift and bunch up, potentially causing damage or even rendering them useless.

And let’s not forget about the hot water. It’s the perfect temperature for breaking down sweat and grime, but it’s also the perfect temperature for causing shrinkage in your knee sleeves. 

Believe me, I learned this the hard way when I accidentally threw my favorite knee sleeves in with a load of hot laundry. They came out looking like they belonged to a toddler.

Smelly Sleeves are for Losers – Keep Yours Fresh

Purple infographic with an image of a woman. The text displays: Smelly Sleeves are for Losers Keep Yours Fresh

We’ve all been there, You finally find the perfect pair of knee sleeves to support you during your workouts, but then, after a few uses, they start to develop that dreaded smelly odor…

So how do you actually prevent this iin the first place

#1: Don’t be a Slacker – Wash Regularly

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth emphasizing. The best way to prevent smelly knee sleeves is to wash them regularly. 

I recommend washing them after every use if possible, but at the very least, wash them every few uses. 

This helps to prevent the buildup of bacteria and sweat that can lead to that funky odor. πŸ¦¨πŸ’¨

#2: Sleeves Need Air Too – Give Them Some Breathing Room

After a tough workout, it’s tempting to just toss your knee sleeves into your gym bag and forget about them until your next workout. 

But this can actually contribute to the development of odor. Instead, try to air-dry your knee sleeves after each use. 

This can be as simple as laying them out on a towel or a flat surface in a well-ventilated area.

#3: Get Baking with Soda

Baking soda is a natural odor absorber and can work wonders in preventing smelly knee sleeves.

After washing your knee sleeves, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the inside of the sleeves and let it sit for a few hours before shaking it out. 

This helps to absorb any lingering odors and bacteria and leaves your knee sleeves smelling fresh and clean.

#4: Store Like a Pro

Storing your knee sleeves properly can also help prevent odor. 

Avoid leaving them in a damp or humid environment, such as your gym bag. Instead, make sure they are completely dry before storing them in a clean, dry place.

Wrapping Up

By following these simple steps, you can easily wash your knee sleeves and keep them smelling fresh and clean. 

Whether you prefer hand washing them with a mild detergent or dish soap, soaking them in vinegar, or even boiling them with essential oils, there are several effective methods to get the job done. 

Just be sure to avoid the washing machine and hot water, as these can potentially damage the fabric and cause shrinkage. 

So, next time your knee sleeves are starting to get a little smelly, remember these tips and give them a good wash to keep them in top shape.


It depends on the material and manufacturer’s washing instructions. Some compression knee sleeves can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with mild detergent, while others may require hand washing. Always check the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

To prevent knee sleeves from smelling, wash them regularly, air dry them, use baking soda, and store them properly.

No, it is not recommended to dry knee sleeves in a dryer, as the heat can damage the fabric and potentially cause shrinkage.

Yes, knee supports can be washed, but the washing instructions may vary depending on the type of support. Some knee supports can be machine washed, while others may require hand washing. Check the label for specific hand wash instructions.