Keep Sports Gear Smelling Fresh (and Get Rid of the Smell…For Good!)
Working out, sports, they’re awesome! Not only do they keep us healthy and teach us about teamwork, self-discipline and strategy, they also help us blow off steam. But with that comes the stink. The relentless, gag-inducing, stubborn stink! It’s everywhere — our gym bags, cars and closets, and it seems like nothing is able to get rid of it. But there are some simple tips to get rid of the smell for good and to keep sports gear smelling fresh — whether it’s your workout clothes, gym bag, or your kids’ football, baseball, soccer, hockey or lacrosse gear. And these tips involve natural solutions that are nontoxic and chemical-free. No hazmat cleaners or deodorizers required 🙂
1. Keep Workout Clothes and Athletic Uniforms Smelling Fresh
Body odor is caused by a combination of bacteria that lives on your skin, the oils your body produces, sweat, and dead skin. Workout clothes and athletic uniforms are made of fibers such as spandex and other stretchy materials which keep us dry by repelling sweat. Unfortunately, this means that these fibers repel water too and so they don’t ever get thoroughly cleaned in the wash. To get rid of the smell from your workout clothes and athletic uniforms you need to:
- Wash them right away or at least air them out — Leaving your damp athletic clothing in your gym bag or throwing it in the laundry basket after a workout, Pilates class or sports practice only encourages bacteria to grow on the still-moist fabrics, causing all kinds of stink. Don’t do it! To keep sports gear smelling fresh, take it out of the gym bag right away and get it in the wash. If you’re planning to do a wash later, at least hang the clothes someplace to dry and air out.
- Spray down your washable clothes — Spraying your clothes with an antibacterial body spray like Refresh in a Flash Antibacterial Refresher before tossing them in the wash or laundry basket stops body odor stink by getting rid of bacteria in the fibers, something that your detergent can’t manage to do. Give them a good soaking then wait 2 minutes before throwing them in the wash or laundry basket.
- Get rid of sweat stains — Getting rid of sweat stains on clothing helps keep workout clothes smelling fresh. Rinse the affected areas in cold water or dab white vinegar on harder-to-get-out stains before each wash. And be sure to wash the clothes as soon as possible after wearing them. If the odor persists, try soaking the clothes for thirty minutes in cold water with 3 ounces of sodium bicarbonate. Wash again and air dry.
- This may go against your instinct, but use LESS detergent — You may think that it makes sense to use extra detergent in stinky sports gear loads, but resist the urge! This just makes them smell even worse. Your washing machine is designed to handle a certain amount of detergent. Any more than that just builds up in the fibers as residue, doesn’t get washed or rinsed out, and creates an ideal environment for smelly mildew and fungus. Yuck!
- Stay AWAY from fabric softener — Fabric softeners aren’t good for stretchy workout clothes and athletic uniforms. Not only can they damage the fibers, they make the odor worse! They lock in stinky odors by leaving a coating on the fibers, preventing them from getting completely clean.
- Use low dryer heat— You may think that it’s a good idea to use high heat to dry your clothes as it’s faster, but it also sets the lingering smells into the fibers. Also, workout fabrics are plastic based, which means they don’t hold up well in high heat.
2. Keep Gym Bags Smelling Fresh
Does your gym bag smell funky? If you keep your sports gear or athletic clothing in your gym or yoga bag all day until you get home, you’re just inviting in stench. Gym bags don’t usually fit in washing machines, so spray your bag regularly with a natural antibacterial refresher like Refresh in a Flash that stops the stink at the source and prevents it from coming back. Also, placing a few dryer sheets inside your gym bag will help keep sports gear smelling fresh longer (just remember to change them occasionally).
3. Keep Skates, Cleats and Sneakers/Shoes Smelling Fresh
Whether it’s sweat, puddles or the rain, wet athletic shoes will start to smell if you don’t dry them out as soon as possible. And you’ve probably realized that air fresheners and dryer sheets only mildly cover up the problem without getting rid of the odor. This is because the source of the odor (the bacteria) is still there, and the air fresheners and dryer sheets are just attempting (unsuccessfully) to mask the odor. Not only that, these products contain toxic chemicals. For a chemical-free, nontoxic alternative, like with your workout clothes, don’t leave sneakers, skates or cleats festering in your gym bag. When the odor festers for a long time, you need something to stop it at the source so it doesn’t come back. Refresh in a Flash Antibacterial Refresher gets rid of old, set-in musty odors by getting rid of odor-causing bacteria. Naturally. You just spray the shoes and let them air dry. Do this after each use to keep sports gear smelling fresh and odor free.
4. Keep Pads, Guards, Helmets, and Gloves Smelling Fresh
Pads, guards, helmets and gloves can also get stinky as the other sports gear. If you’re familiar with the phrase “hockey hands”, then you know what I mean. Sweat and natural oils from your body contribute to the musty stench. Like with athletic clothing and shoes where the odor is set in, covering up the odor isn’t going to cut it. You have to tackle the odor at the source. Just spray the pads, helmets plus straps, guards, and gloves with a natural antibacterial spray. Use Refresh in a Flash spray after each use to get rid of odor-causing bacteria and stop the stench at the source. Let air dry. Don’t forget to also spray after each subsequent use to keep sports gear smelling fresh and to make sure that the gag-inducing, stubborn odor is GONE. And since this spray is also used to get rid of body odor, it’s safe to spray ON the skin.