Stinky Sports Equipment /Padding/Clothes

batmikNovember 12, 2006

Help. My son's soccer bag, shin guards, and cleats stink really badly. I wash the shin guards about once a month but the stench still remains. I have tried Frebreeze and it does an okay job temporarily. The bag is made of nylon and can only be spot washed. I have heard this problems in common with other sports equipment, like all the padding for hockey and football. If he leaves the bag in the garage for a while the stench blows you away when you walk in there. In good weather I just put the stuff outside. Any ideas on what to do?

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My 10 yr old son is a hockey player. We have a hard and fast rule in our home. After each practice and game his equipment gets put on the drying rack. This is the first thing he does when he gets in the door. He cannot do anything else until this is done. Everything comes out of the bag and gets hung up to dry. He has a contraption that is basically a PVC person. It is called the ultimate sports fan. It is made of 4" PVC and has a place for the helmet, leg pads, gloves, chest protector and his pants. His skates go between the "legs" of the plastic person. There is a fan attached to the dryer that blows air through holes that are drilled in the PVC. Causing the equipment to be fully ventilated. He runs is for 45 minutes or so and this completely dries everything out. His clothes, jersey, and underarmour go directly to the laundry room. The bag is then empty and aired out as well.

I am a freak about keeping the equipment dry and bacteria free. There are machines that claim to kill the bacteria on sports equipment but they are quite expensive. Like $10 a pop and it is recommended to have your equipment sanitized twice monthly.

You can really smell the difference in the kids that air out their equipment and those that leave it in the bag. It's not just gross, but a health issue as well. There is a tremendous increase in the occurance of infection and rashes on athletes using dirty equipment. Yuck, yuck!!

There are some parents on our team who wash their equipment in the dishwasher. Haven't tried that myself, but it must be OK.

Good luck, it's a contant battle to keep sports equipment clean and fresh.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 4:44PM
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If you can't wash the stuff in baking soda, then sprinkle it with baking soda every time he wears it - before and after.

If you can wash it and the smell doesn't come out, then try washing it in Oxyclean or equivalent.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:26PM
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A couple of suggestions:

1. I put an old (clean) sock filled with baking soda and essential oil (tea tree or something potent). Tie it up and leave it in the bag. It *helps* with the odors.

2. I've seen (but not tried) a product by Unique? They make a carpet enzyme cleaner that I use and I remember seeing one specially formulated for sports equipment. I buy/saw it at Ace Hardware.

3. It's an expensive option, but I've been pretty pleased with the Lotus Sanitizer (NO I DON'T work for the company). It ozonates water so it's safe to use and it's actually worked pretty good on stinky shoes and my gym gloves that I thought were a total loss). The bad side is that it's expensive (over $150), so it may not be a good option for you.

Hope some of those help. My sister and brother-in-law both play hockey and I know how bad their hockey bags and equipment can stink -- especially in the colder months when you can't put it outside to air out!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 5:03PM
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Something like these.

The bags are for transporting CLEAN gear to the game, not for storing sweaty, filthy gear.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 3:01PM
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I've solved this problem by using odor eliminating laundry soap that's sold for hunters. Some brands leave a slight earth or grass smell in the laundry, others are more completely odor free. But it works. And it works on smelly towels, too.

You can find this in the hunting and sporting department of Walmart among other places.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 12:16PM
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My son plays baseball and I use Espro Sports Cleaner to clean his uniform. It's the only thing that works on baseball dirt!

Some of his friends play hockey, and they use this on the equipment and bag and say it works to eliminate the odor.

Also, the company is great to deal with.

Here is a link that might be useful: Espro Sports Cleaner

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 11:20PM
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I use Charlies Soap on stinky clothing, towels,etc. It is a marvelous cleaner, leaves behind a very fresh, somewhat- like-coconut smell of its' own. It's expensive, the only drawback, but you need very little-only one dry tablespoon for a load. And it leaves things soft, no need for fabric softener. I never see it in stores, only online. Sorry I can't post a link. I'm sure you'll be able to find it.By the way, I sound like a commercial, but I'm not. Just recommending something I find useful.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 8:14AM
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