Does self-cleaning workout gear really work?

Great fitness gear involves the perfect mix of science and sport. It doesn’t make outrageous promises. Instead, in some small way, it helps make a workout more rewarding or challenging, more fun or less repetitive, or – in the case of SilverSport – much, much cleaner.
By Alanna Glassman

silver-towel SilverSport

Great fitness gear involves the perfect mix of science and sport. It doesn’t make outrageous promises. Instead, in some small way, it helps make a workout more rewarding or challenging, more fun or less repetitive, or – in the case of SilverSport – much, much cleaner.

The Silver Clean Zone collection from SilverSport is a chic, easy solution to the less fragrant side of working out. The eco-aware company has rolled out a line of sweat-activated sports equipment – a towel, yoga mat and Pilates roller cover – that uses intelligent technology to kill hundreds of different types of odour-causing bacteria.

The secret is nanosilver, woven into the fabric of the towel and manufactured in the design of the mat and the roller cover. When small amounts of nanosilver come in contact with moisture (like water or sweat), they become lethal to bacteria.

For centuries, we’ve known about silver’s stealth abilities. The ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates believed it held disease-fighting properties, and he encouraged storing liquids, like water and wine, in silver bottles to keep them from going stale. Similarly, out on the high seas early explorers found that tossing a few silver coins into barrels of water and wine extended their shelf life.  


Now the creators of SilverSport have harnessed the metal's powers and made them exercise-friendly, establishing, as the say, Silver Clean Zones – “area[s] of protection in your home, at the gym, or wherever you choose to workout.”

During a workout, the more you sweat, the harder SilverSport’s gear works to keep you clean and odour-free.


And after a workout?

We've all had those moments, where we come home after the gym and just want to throw the towel in...our bag.  We could give it a quick hand wash, or put it in the laundry machine. But common sense is cast aside in favour of a hot shower. And into the gym bag our towel goes, only to resurface before the next workout, setting off the most malodorous encounter with the nose. If smells could talk, this musty scent would say, “You knew better. What would Mom think?" 

With that pungent memory in mind, I conducted a small science fair project in my hallway.


Question: Could I forgo washing SilverSport’s towel for a week?

Method: Workout after workout  – four in total – I threw my towel in my gym bag.


Result: With the start of each new exercise session, my nose and I confronted a towel smelling as clean as the day I received it.

Conclusion: This nanosilver technology works.

SilverTowel is slim and sleek. At the gym, it provides the perfect barrier between me and the workout bench, and is just as convenient thrown over the handles of a cycle in spin class. Made of sustainable bamboo materials, the towel is wonderfully thin and super absorbent. Over my past few workouts, I’ve noticed that the nanosilver technology keeps more than my towel clean: my face is visible clearer. In fact, I’ve almost forgotten about the embarrassing little breakouts that once threatened my post-gym glow.


SilverMat came with me to a hot yoga class, and I was surprised with its impressive no-slip surface. The yoga mat revealed its superstar status during one of the final poses, where the instructor asked us to lay down with the sides of our faces on the mat. Here was a surface that had absorbed perspiration and whatever else might be floating in the air. And instead of slightly cringing while engaging in the stretch, I took comfort knowing that any moisturebetween me and SilverMat had already activated its army of bacteria-killing nano-soldiers.

As for the SilverShaper Pilates roller cover – what a breath of fresh air. Not only is the roller free of any smell, it’s one of the best pieces of equipment for an after-workout cool down. I lie with the roller under my back and let all my worries and minor aches melt away. The SilverShaper works in two ways: it’s a great balancing tool that activates the core and back, and it’s handy for a quick massage.

I like that if I wanted to clean any of SilverSport's equipment, a quick swipe of water is all that's required. It’s refreshing to not always rely on antibacterial sprays for cleaning.


SilverSport's collection is the ultimate germ-free hall pass. Knowing my gear is spotless makes me feel indestructible at the gym.


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