Stinky, Sweaty, Smelly Sportswear

What is that smell?

With the arrival of the Summer, I've been skating a great deal of late, bathed in sunshine and rolling in the sweltering heat, which results in wet, sweaty, skate wear.

Even after a several thorough washes, I noticed my sports clothes still smell. This stuff should be clean, its just out the wash. No matter how many times I put them through the wash, my sports clothes still don't smell clean and fresh.

What's causing the smell? A quick Google search and I have my answer. Bacteria.

The problem is not caused by unclean sportswear, its related to synthetic fibers used in sports apparel. Cotton and other natural fibers are not affected. Odor causing bacteria lingers in synthetic fibers, after a wash. Natural body oils in sweat, stick to synthetic fibers, which ordinary detergents can't shift.  Sweaty clothes are a breeding ground for smelly bacteria. The bacteria provide the rank smell of unwashed sports wear, we all know and loathe. Regular wash powders don't kill the bacteria, which is re-activated the next time you use them.

How to deal with smelly sportswear

1.Hang To Air Dry

Take wet, sweaty, sportswear out of the bag, hang them up and allow to air dry. Don't leave them in a sports bag or dumped in a pile for washing later. The longer you leave your wet smelly sportswear in a bag or enclosed area, the more intense the smell. If you can't wash sports clothes straight away, hang and allow to “air out”. The sooner you get sportswear dry, the better.

2. Soak In Vinegar

An easy way to kill smelly bacteria and rid your sportswear of that rank odor, is to soak them in a white vinegar and water solution. 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water and soak for about 30 minutes then wash straightaway, as normal.

White vinegar has antibacterial properties and is a great odor remover

3. Machine Wash

Machine wash your sports wear as normal. Use the gentlest cycle the machine offers. Use the hottest water setting. If the smell persists, wash clothes more than once.

4. Drying

Thoroughly dry sportswear after washing and before storing away.

Sportswear Detergents

Sportswear specific detergents are now available. At present the products are only available in the US. If you can find these, give them a shot.

Tide Febreze Sport Detergent
WIN Sport Detergent
Hex Laundry Sports Detergent