How to Get the Smell Out of Sports Gear…for Good.

chemical free deodorizer

Aren’t sports awesome for teaching kids lessons about team work, self-discipline and strategy?  And for both parents and kids, sports are critical for helping us blow off steam & stay healthy.  But why oh why must sports gear and clothing relentlessly stink up our closets, cars and gym bags?  And why does nothing seem to be able to get rid of that stubborn musty, gag-inducing stench? We are here to help with some simple tips to finally stop that awful sports stink in gear & clothing for whatever sports you love – whether it’s football, lacrosse, hockey, yoga, soccer – you name the sport.  And get ready: none of these tips involve breaking out the hazmat cleaners and deodorizers. You’ve probably already tried those anyway and realized they don’t work.  Plus, who wants toxic chemicals touching your kids’ skin, or lurking in your running shorts? Instead, we’ve got fool-proof tips & a toxic chemical free deodorizer to green up your game.

How to get odor out of athletic clothing & uniforms

Sweat, the oils your body produces naturally and dead skin all contribute to the rank odor that afflicts gym clothes and athletic uniforms. Spandex and Lycra, which make athletic clothing more comfortable because they stretch and repel sweat, repel water too, which means that the fibers don’t ever get thoroughly rinsed in the wash.  Here are 5 big things you can do to eliminate the stink in athletic clothing:

  • Air out that stuff  – We know how it goes, you get home from the gym, yoga class or sports practice, jump in the shower and then let your damp clothing stew in the gym bag or hamper.  Don’t do it!  You are just rolling out the red carpet to all kinds of must & stink. Get it in the wash pronto or at least hang it someplace to air dry until you have time to do a wash.
  • Put AWAY the fabric softener – You may think a softener’s fragrance will help, but in reality it’s making the problem worse! Instead of helping to remove the odor, fabric softeners are actually locking in the stink by leaving a coating on the fibers that prevents them from getting completely clean. Plus fabric softeners can damage the fibers in stretchy athletic clothing.
  • It’s counterintuitive, but use LESS detergent – Your instinct is probably to put extra detergent into your loads of stinky athletic clothes, but resist the urge!  It’s making that stench worse.  Your washer is set to handle a standard level of detergent, so any more than that causes a residue that won’t get rinsed out. Instead it builds up in your clothing which creates an ideal environment for fungus and mildew, which of course smell.
  • Use low dryer heat – High heat might dry your clothes faster, but it also cooks in any lingering smells. Another reason to use low heat is that often technical workout fabrics are plastic-based, which means they don’t hold up well in high heat.
  • Before you throw them in the hamper or wash, spray down those smelly clothes (as long as they’re washable!) with a toxic chemical free deodorizer like Force of Nature.  It will stop the stench that your detergent can’t handle. Just saturate them and wait 2 minutes before putting the clothing into the wash.

How to get odor out of skates, cleats & shoes

You’ve probably tried air fresheners and dryer sheets and discovered they only mildly cover up the problem without eliminating the odor.  The reason is that the source of the odor is still there, and the dryer sheets and air fresheners are just attempting (unsuccessfully) to mask the odor.  Even more important, these products are filled with toxic chemicals that you don’t want touching your skin or wafting through the air your family breathes. Did you know that almost 80% of all air fresheners tested for safety by EWG receive a D or F rating? And that 88% of dryer sheets get the same terrible safety ratings? So what’s your chemical free deodorizer alternative? First, like with your gym clothes, don’t leave shoes, cleats or skates festering in a gym bag.  With odors that have been festering for a long time, you’ll need to treat them to stop that odor at the source so it can’t come back.  Your treatment plan is this:

  • With old, set-in musty odors, spray with a chemical free deodorizer like Force of Nature until it’s soaked and let the item dry.
  • Then on-going, spray into the offending footwear after each wearing & wait 30 seconds.

If you use a non toxic deodorizer like Force of Nature, you can have your kids do the dirty work of spraying their own shoes, cleats or skates because it’s free of any harmful chemicals.

How to get odor out of gloves

Does the phrase “hockey hands” send chills down your spine? If your kids play a sport with gloves, you have already experienced the terror of hands that take on and hold onto that stink despite multiple washings! Like with footwear where the odor is set in, you have to remove the odor at the source vs covering it up.  For the first treatment, just spray the gloves with a chemical free deodorizer like Force of Nature until they’re soaked, then let dry.  On-going just spray those gloves after each wearing and we promise that stench will be GONE. It won’t harm or discolor leather. And it’s safe enough to spray ON hands.

How to get odor out of pads, guards & helmets

Pads, guards & helmets suffer from the same affliction as all the other stinky sports gear.  The sweat & natural oils from your body cozy up to each other and create that musty stench.  Spray helmets, pads & guards down with a toxic chemical free deodorizer like Force of Nature after each use to stop odor at the source.  The first time, spray until the item is soaked and let dry. On-going just spray after each use. Don’t forget to spray the straps too.

How to get odor out of gym bags

We know it’s tempting, but you should never use a gym bag or yoga bag as storage for sports gear or clothing, because you’re just inviting in stench.  Gym bags often won’t fit in washing machines, but you can just spray your bag regularly with a non toxic deodorizer that can stop the odor at the source & prevent it from coming back like Force of Nature.

A chemical free deodorizer: learn more

Besides these tips, you might want to learn more about the real MVP in helping you get rid of sports odor – the new potent yet non toxic deodorizer called Force of Nature.  Force of Nature is a tiny appliance that makes a substance called electrolyzed water by changing the chemical composition of salt, water & vinegar into an all-purpose cleaner & deodorizer.  This technology has been used in the industrial space for over 50 years, but it used to require a $10,000 piece of huge industrial equipment. Force of Nature has miniaturized this technology into a little appliance that sits right on your countertop.  The best part is that not only does it deodorize, it’s also an all-purpose cleaner for virtually any surface in your home that gets greasy, grimy, sticky or dirty.  You can learn more about Force of Nature here.


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