How to Keep Your Sports Equipment Odor Free

Does your gym bag stink? You are not alone, but it doesn’t have to be. With proper care, you can protect your sports equipment from bad odors. Just do yourself a favor and start taking care of everything before it starts to smell. (But even if you’ve already let things get bad, we’ve got some advice for you.)

Rinse your sportswear as soon as you take them off.

A lot of sportswear these days is made from synthetic fabrics because they provide stretch or moisture-wicking properties to keep us comfortable. The downside is that bacteria can cling to synthetic fibers in a way that makes them nearly impossible to wash off. So it’s important that we don’t let these microbial colonies grow in the first place.

I’m talking about the bacteria that digest your sweat and sebum. I know it’s rough. But that means it’s not the sweat itself that causes the stink, but the bacteria that thrive while your sweaty shirt is in the laundry basket.

Nip this problem in the bud by rinsing sweat off your synthetics as soon as you take them off. I do this in the shower, wringing out every single piece of clothing and hanging it up to dry. A set of extra shower curtain hooks will give you room to hang them, especially if you install a second rod just for drying clothes . If you shower at the gym, wring out these clothes and wrap them in a towel until you get home.

By the way, there is no such problem with cotton clothes. If you wear cotton socks or T-shirts, you can toss them into the wash anytime, anywhere.

What to do if things have already gone bad : You may not be able to completely remove the smell, but you will have the best luck with detergents that contain enzymes or are marketed as suitable for “sports” or “functional” fabrics. . I had a good experience with Hex .

Air out shoes, knee pads, and other hard-to-wash items.

What about things that can’t be rinsed and dried quickly, like shoes and the gym bag itself? Or, even worse, your neoprene knee pads?

These items smell best when left damp and warm. If you wanted your duffel bag to smell as strong as possible, I would advise you to lock it in the trunk of your car and forget about it until your next sports day. So, if it has already become your habit, stop . You need to air these suckers.

If your bag has a mesh compartment for sweaty items, use that. And if you can tie items to the outside of the bag—like hanging your shoes by their laces—that helps too. But ultimately, what you really want to do is open the bag as soon as you get home. I always make sure that if my knee sleeves are deep inside the bag, I lift them up to make sure they can fill with air. And my shoes are in a mesh compartment, but if I have an extra minute, I will open this compartment and loosen the shoes so that they get as much air as possible.

What to do if it’s already gone : Most of the stuff in your gym bag is washable, but check out the manufacturer’s instructions for the best ways. For example, SBD advises hand washing knee pads with soap or wetsuit detergent, but not tumble dry or heat dry.

Don’t spray things with vinegar (I’ve never found this to be effective), alcohol (decomposes some materials, so check with the manufacturer), or vodka (unnecessarily expensive, just buy rubbing alcohol and then see above why you might not want to use alcohol).

Another effective solution, but dependent on the weather, is to hang or lay out your belongings in the sun and outdoors for a few hours. Sunlight will kill some bacteria, and good ventilation never hurts.

Rinse your shaker cup as soon as you finish your shake.

Finally, we come to the bane of the existence of many brothers in the gym, the stinky shaker. If you leave the leftovers of your shake there, especially a milk-based shake like one made with whey powder, it can go rancid and odors can seep into the plastic where they never go away.

To prevent this, rinse your shaker cup right after you drink your shake. Don’t tell yourself you will when you get home because we all know you won’t. You don’t need to wash it completely at this stage, just rinse it in the bathroom sink. Or do what I do: drink a cocktail at home, over the sink, and wash the cup while it’s still in your hand.

What to do if it has already gone bad : your hope, Hail Mary, is to wash it really well . Use soap and hot water. Soak it for a bit if you like. Clean all the little nooks and crannies (like where the spout meets the lid) to make sure there are no marks left. Air it out to dry for a few days; You can even try the sunlight trick above. But if that doesn’t work, buy a new shaker and treat it right.


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