Antimicrobial Bamboo Shirts Can Prevent Foul Odor

Does your workout gear smell? If so, you’re not alone …

When it comes to working out and exercising, equipping your body with the right gear is necessary to feel both comfortable and cool. Sometimes with all the new technology that companies put into designing a shirt for exercise performance and comfort it may seem a little bit daunting as to which type of garment you should choose. Should you get a shirt that’s comfortable and made out of cotton, or go for something that is light and thin like Dri-Fit (polyester)? Decisions … Decisions.

While synthetic shirts (i.e. Dry-Fit/Polyester) are well known for their excellent moisture wicking capabilities they are also known to easily stink after only a short period of usage.

Why is that?

As it turns out, the very attributes that make technical synthetic fabrics such winner at wicking away moisture from the body is what can makes them such a prime destination for bacteria and odor too. Synthetic fabric is constructed with tiny microscopic notches that collects sweat and moves it from the inner layer of the garment (next to the skin) to the outer surface, where it can evaporate more easily. The problem is that these microscopic nooks and crannies are also a perfect place for bacteria to collect

So it’s true that synthetic fabrics are great for running because they wick away your sweat but, unfortunately, bacteria (which causes the smell) easily gets trapped in the fibers and can be very hard to get out. Even after washing! Unless the synthetic fabric is treated with some type of odor block technology you will find that your shirt can quickly start to stink. Also, keep in mind that many brands claim that their garments have “odor block technology” since their garment has “wicking properties.” However, “wicking” should not be confused with technologies that actually prevent odors by eliminating bacteria on contact. 

Here’s a quick summary of Polyester:

  • Pros
  • Extremely strong and are built to last forever
  • Good at wicking sweat/moisture from the skin
  • Hydrophobic (doesn’t like water) and allows for quick drying.
  • Cons
  • Quickly smells since bacteria can easily breed in all the micro holes in the fabric.
  • Not nearly as comfortable as natural fabrics (i.e. cotton or bamboo)


What’s the point?

Synthetic polyester is widely used in a variety of sportswear garments today. However, polyester is not a miracle fabric and certainly has its limitations. Therefore, consumers need to consider the tradeoffs between all the fabric choices today. In the end it all comes down to personal preference, but there are lots of new odor-fighting clothes on the market. They may sound too good to be true, but these tech garments do actually help keep you both dry and odor-free.

Stay Fresh!

-The Singlo Sport Team

about the author



  1. littleleers

    I have many workout tops and pants that are wicking fabric. I wash them in cool water and always add some powdered color safe bleach. Make sure it is dissolved and then add your clothing. I always line dry my stuff as it keeps everything looking new for a long time. I generally take a shower before my workout or at least a sponge bath prior to heading out. It goes without saying that your clothing is to be worn only once, then wash! Some peeps haven’t figured that one out yet.

  2. mglashen

    Interesting post. I love my dri fit shirts because they are light and great for wicking sweat, but MAN do they stink when i get sweaty. None of my other workout shirts give off that smell and i wash the exact same way.

  3. admin

    Try adding a bit of vinegar to your laundry cycle. The acid in the vinegar will effectively break down many odors and act as a disinfectant.

  4. Judi Gaither

    There are many polyester excercise clothing that contin some type of odor control properties. For example, at least some Hot Chillys Base Layer Tops and Pants contain “Bio Del Mar” antimicrobial and odor control properties. the yarn fibers are permanently treated with antimicrobial properties that are dervied from proteins in crustacean shells. These proteins naturally inhibit the growth of fungi.


  1. Antimicrobial Bamboo Shirt | Top Reasons to Consider Bamboo Shirts |
  2. Antimicrobial Bamboo Shirt | Five Reasons Why Bamboo Shirts Are Great For Winter |
  3. Antimicrobial Bamboo Shirt | Bamboo Shirts: 3 Tips For Working Out in the Cold |
  4. Antimicrobial Bamboo Shirt | Bamboo Shirts | Gym Etiquette. Bamboo Shirts Can Help |

leave a comment

“As a professional athlete it gives me peace of mind that Singlo Sport bamboo shirts keep me both fresh and safe. On top of all that, the fit is amazing and the fabric is super soft. I just love working out in this shirt!” Angela Durazo, Professional Triathlete, San Diego, CA “I really love these bamboo shirts! I think it’s a great product and I recommend it to everyone out there!” Joe Decker, Guinness World Record Holder "Fittest Man", San Diego, CA “I reached out to Singlo Sport when I needed a sport tech garment that would protect me from odor while I was spending 30 days straight rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. I ended up wearing this shirt 25 days straight and it never once let me down!” Bryan Fuller, Professional Rower, Boston, MA