HEX Performance Laundry Detergent Review 2020

As an immensely hygienic person, the amount of personal care products I have is astonishing, and also a little concerning. Ever since we started working—and working out—from home, I’ve continued to shower frequently, wear natural deodorant, and launder my clothes in a timely manner. I also adhere to the cardinal rule of workout clothes: Never re-wear before you wash. So you’d think that my gear smells pretty okay, right? Wrong.

I was a field hockey player for about six years during school. I dealt with sweaty shin guards, gross mouth guards, and team uniforms I accidentally left in my gym bag for a week. Once my days of being an athlete were behind me, I thought my smelly clothes were too. Nope! I’ve kept up an active lifestyle, and with that comes continual loads of smelly sports bras, leggings, and shorts.

I tried normal detergent, “sport” detergent, heavily-fragranced detergent, extra spin cycles, an extra rinse cycle (all causing me $$$ at the store and the laundromat), and was almost ready to throw in the sweaty towel until I came across HEX Performance detergent.

HEX Performance is a brand that aims to solve the problem of stinky, sweaty clothes through a little bit of chemistry. Most laundry detergents work thanks to surfactants, which are chemicals that break down and help separate things like oil and dirt from your clothes so they can be washed away easily, SELF explained previously. The surfactants in most detergents also happen to be anionic, meaning they have a negative charge, Rigoberto Advincola, Ph.D., professor of macromolecular science and engineering at Case Western Reserve University, tells SELF. But according to HEX, its detergents are cationic, meaning they have a positive charge.

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“Most living organisms have a negative—or anionic—charge,” Advincola says. “The cationic surfactant destroys the surface of bacteria, and removes bacteria and dirt. In that way, cationic surfactants are also antibacterial.”

So it can all kind of be chalked up to the way opposites attract: The cationic molecules in this detergent work to pull out the anionic sweat and bacteria particles in our clothes like a magnet. I can’t confirm exactly what’s happening behind the scenes, but I can really tell a difference in how clean and non-smelly my clothes emerge after I wash them with HEX, compared to detergents I’ve used in the past.

I started using the HEX laundry detergent when I became a professional indoor cycling instructor about two years ago. I was doing workouts five days a week and teaching between two and four cycling classes each week, so I needed a detergent that was going to get the job done. My mom told me about HEX, and I trust her with my life, so I tried it out and never went back.

My favorite HEX laundry detergent, oddly enough, is the fragrance-free option. I have sensitive skin; even non-synthetic fragrances like essential oils often leave me with rashes and irritation. With the fragrance-free formula, I don’t have to worry about irritation, and I also know that there aren’t any added fragrances masking the sweat smell. In other words, I know that it actually works.

The detergent is pretty concentrated and pours like water, so you only need about a capful for a normal-size load. Although I use cold water for activewear, HEX works with any water temperature. And if you’re environmentally conscious like me, it’s worth knowing that the detergent is biodegradable and comes in a recyclable bottle.

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It also helps preserve the life of my favorite activewear. I’ve been using this detergent every week for years and my workout gear is still just as bright and stretchy as the day I bought it. What’s more, it’s safe and effective to use on all other fabrics too, so it's perfect during the summer when I’m sweating profusely in my cute sundress.

HEX also came out with my new favorite laundry product, the Stain and Stink Remover ($20 for two). It comes in spray form, and it’s a concentrated blend of water, ethoxylated alcohols, proplyene glycol, glycerin, enzymes, and preservatives. It has helped to fade the yellow stains on my white tees, release the odor from even the sweatiest high-impact sports bras, and nip smoothie stains in the bud. It’s like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce—I put that sh*t on everything.

If you’re dealing with the stinky fallout of sweaty activewear, I implore you: Buy this stuff! If you’re as active as me, it’s the best $10 you’ll ever spend.

HEX Performance Fragrance-Free Laundry Detergent

Related:

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