Non-Toxic Product Guides:
The Non Toxic Way to Get the Smell Out of Yoga Gear
Have you ever noticed how impossible it is to get the odor out of yoga clothing & mats? You are not alone! There are good reasons for this related to the typical fabrics used in yoga clothing and the way laundry detergents & fabric softeners work. And those mats – they are the perfect cozy home for not just gross musty odors, but also microscopic little friends that thrive in warm, moist environments like yoga mat materials. Research has shown that unwashed yoga mats frequently harbor bacteria, viruses & fungi. And if you are like most yogis, you’ve probably been on the hunt for a toxic chemical free deodorizer & detergent to free yourself from NamaSTINK. After all, you’re putting in the worthy effort to do yoga in order to be healthy, so it seems counter-productive to expose yourself to toxic chemicals just to get your yoga gear clean. Not to worry, we are here to help!
There are plenty of deodorizers & detergents on the market promising to be extra tough on athletic clothing odor. The problem is that most of them contain unsafe toxic chemicals, allergens and irritants that aren’t safe on your skin or safe to be inhaled or touched. Sure there are some claiming to be “natural”, but the problem is that even these products commonly contain dangerous chemicals like fragrances, preservatives & surfactants because there are no federal standards for what makes a product “natural”. With odors in particular it’s tempting to load up on fragranced deodorizers and detergents, but here are some facts that may make you think twice about fragranced options:
- Fragrances are classified as allergens, hormone disruptors, asthma triggers, neurotoxins and carcinogens.
- Manufacturers are not required to list their fragrance ingredients on product labels. Often only one word, “fragrance”, is used on the label and can hide a cocktail of more than 100 toxic ingredients.
- “Natural” fragrances aren’t necessarily any safer than synthetic ones.
- Most all fragranced products contain phthalates, which aren’t listed on ingredient labels either. They have been banned for use in the European Union, but the United States still permits their use despite the fact that research has shown that these chemicals cause hormonal disruption as well as developmental and reproductive toxicity.
So how do you eliminate the smell that plagues your yoga stuff without exposing yourself to nasty toxic chemicals that are even scarier than the smell?
Why yoga clothing stinks
Sweat, the natural oils your body produces and dead skin all contribute to the body odor that won’t seem to budge from your yoga clothes. Most yoga clothing is made out of Spandex and Lycra because these materials stretch and help repel sweat. Repelling sweat is great, but it means that these fabrics also repel the water that you want to clean your clothes when they are in the washing machine.
5 things you have to change to really stop that stink:
- Wash after one wearing and as soon after as possible. We know it’s temping but don’t let them sit because that’s exactly how odors can fester.
- Use LESS detergent – Your instinct is probably to put in extra detergent, but stop yourself! It’s making the smell worse. Your washer is set to handle a standard level of detergent, so any more than that causes a residue that can’t get rinsed out. And you guessed it – that residue leads to odor.
- Put AWAY the fabric softener – You may think the nice fresh fragrance will help, but it’s making the problem worse. Why? Fabric softeners leave a coating on the fibers used in yoga clothing that prevents them from getting completely clean – so yes, they actually lock in the 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 the fabrics used in yoga clothing 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 washable clothes with a chemical free deodorizer like Force of Nature. It will stop the stench that your detergent can’t handle. It stops the most tenacious odors at the source without harmful chemicals.
Gross yoga mats
The worst thing you can do is sweat all over your mat and then roll it up to fester until next time. Instead, spray a chemical free deodorizer like Force of Nature onto the mat, wait 30 seconds and wipe with a clean cloth or towel. Force of Nature is made by a little appliance that turns salt, water and vinegar into a natural deodorizer as effective as bleach and Febreze. Because there are no toxic chemicals in it, it won’t irritate your skin (and won’t discolor or harm the material of your yoga mat). Then feel free to roll up your mat and know that it will be fresh, clean and ready for your next practice.
Stinky yoga bags
We know the last thing you want to do when you get home after yoga class is laundry, but you should never use your yoga bag as long-term storage for your sweaty yogawear – you’re just inviting in odor. Your bag might not fit into your washing machine. You can, however, spray your bag regularly with a chemical free deodorizer like Force of Nature to prevent odors.
A chemical free deodorizer that stops yoga stink
You might not have heard of hypochlorous acid before, but it’s the natural deodorizer Force of Nature makes by using electricity to change the chemical composition of salt, water & vinegar. This science is actually pretty simple and 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. To learn more about how Force of Nature, click here.