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ALERT: Your gym bag is probably gross! Detox tips for your workout and gym bag.

Mar 24, 2017



Earlier today, I dropped by the office of ELLE Magazine in NYC to discuss detox tips for your gym bag and workout. The Facebook Live video is below in case you missed it. You can also read the detox tips further down.



1. Detox Cleaning of Your Gym Bag

My friend, Jen, was stopped and frisked by airport security after the swab of the inside of her gym bag appeared to be toxic! Her airport experience got her wondering how gross the inside of her gym bag must be, after tossing dirty shoes and clothing in her bag most days of the week. 

  • For conventional gym bags made of synthetic fibers (like polyester or nylon), wipe the inside of the bag with a paper towel that has been wet with Castille soap, water, and an essential oil that helps clean and fight bacteria and other undesirable things. Great essential oils to help break down grime and fight bacteria and odors include melaleuca (tea tree) oil or lemon oil. 
  • Even better, use a cotton canvas bag that you can turn inside out. And toss in the washer/dryer.
    • You can also steam clean the canvas bag to disinfect and help deodorize.
  • Nontoxic deodorizing options:
    • Throw in tea bags after your workout to help absorb odors and discard in the morning;
    • Sprinkle the inside of your gym bag with baking soda to absorb odors (if you don't mind the white powder, which you can wipe clean after an overnight experience); 
    • Steam clean if the materials can withstand the heat; and
    • Spray the inside of your bag, shoes, and dirty clothes with a mix of water and 100% pure essential oil (melaleuca (or tea tree) oil or lemon oil) that is diluted in water to help fight odors and bacterial and microbial growth.


2. Detox Your Personal Care Products

Ingredients in personal care products can be toxic or pose health risks. Below are tips to help detox your personal care products.

  • Avoid "fragrance"
  • Avoid "parabens"
  • Avoid "triclosan," "triclocarban," or products that claim to be antibacterial and antimicrobial. 


3. Detox Your Snacks/Drinks

Avoid plastic water bottles and avoid food packaging materials. Instead, choose the following:

  • Stainless steel water bottles
  • For food packaging, bring your own snacks from home and use stainless steel food containers, parchment paper or paper bags, or organic cotton bags.


4. Detox Your Workout Clothes

Clothes can be treated with toxic chemicals. Hints that you might be at risk are if the clothes are treated to be antibacterial, antimicrobial, and resistant to stains and water. 

  • Avoid when possible.
  • When it's worth wearing, then wash them inside out before you wear them.


5. Detox Your Workout

There is growing evidence that electromagnetic fields from things like cell phones may increase your risk to several things, including cancer. To be safe:

  • Avoid wearing cell phones and other WiFI/Bluetooth enable devices on your body.
  • Instead, you can download your music, videos, or books before you hit the gym, and then play these things while your phone is on Airplane Mode.
  • Try to not wear these things on your body when you don't need them.



Abbreviated List of Sources: EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics DatabaseEWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning; "Are there toxins in your fast food packaging?" By DENNIS THOMPSON HEALTHDAY February 1, 2017, CBS News; "The Harmful Chemicals Hidden in Your Workout Clothes" Jessica Teas | Jul 21, 2015, SHAPE; and Environmental Health Trust.




I hope you find these detox tips helpful! Do you have any tips you'd like to share? If so, share them on our Facebook page!


Deconstruct to reconstruct.

In 2020, we're deconstructing our home, habits, and things to reconstruct a practical nontoxic and healing lifestyle. We're bringing consciousness to unconscious choices.



This article is for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. Views expressed in this article by an expert are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Nontoxic Living or Ruan Living.

Jumpstart your home detox

Access Sophia's shopping list for her household staples. They're her favorite low toxic items that she can't live without. Also see which EMF protection products she uses. 




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