4 Stink-Causing Laundry Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)
- You’re using too much detergent. This is counterintuitive, but instead of dousing your dirty duds in loads of suds, consider this: your washer is designed to handle a certain amount of detergent. If you use more than the recommended amount, it won’t be able to rinse the extra away, leading to a build up residue that turns into the perfect environment for fungus and mildew. Yuck!
- Your dryer heat is too high. High heat seems like it would be a natural deodorizer in that it would kill bacteria and get things super-dry, right? Unfortunately, a lot of our magically quick-drying and sweat-wicking athletic clothing is made of performance fabric (read: plastic based) that breaks down at high heat. Using the lowest setting possible preserves the fabric and helps its technology act the way it should.
- You’re letting dirty clothes sit too long. Even if you don’t have time to get a load of laundry going, resist the urge to let athletic clothing sit in gym bags or hampers. Letting these items air dry before you can get them in the wash will cut down on the moist environment that leads to stink-causing bacteria.
- You’re using fabric softener. Fabric softener is the worst and, you don’t need it. That “soft” feeling you get from using fabric softener is actually a greasy coating that locks odors into the fibers of fabric. You may have noticed the effects of this residue on athletic clothing not performing as well over time or towels becoming less absorbent. You’ll be better off saving the cash and ditching this product completely, because just a laundry detergent and a natural deodorizer can easily handle your stinkiest gear!
Okay, so now that you know what not to do, how do you say namaste to that locked-in yoga pant stink? Here’s how to use our natural deodorizer, Force of Nature, to combat odor in all kinds of athletic gear and clothing.
A Natural Deodorizer That Can De-Stink Pretty Much Anything
The key to choosing a deodorizer that will actually work is to choose one that kills the bacteria causing the odor. Sweat, the natural oils your body produces and dead skin all contribute to the rank odor that afflicts athletic clothes because it creates the environment where bacteria and fungus thrive. Of course we suggest using one with no toxic chemicals – like Force of Nature! Force of Nature is as effective as bleach, but gentle enough to spray on your yoga mat. Then the trick is to fully saturate the clothing or equipment and let it sit for 2 minutes or let it dry. Here’s how to optimize your de-stinking strategy further:
Clothing: for your washable gym clothes and team uniforms, spray with Force of Nature to saturate, focusing on areas where sweat concentrates like armpits and seams. Wait 2 minutes and then wash as normal. If you get in the habit of doing this when you get back from the gym, you’ll be able to eliminate that set-in stink issue for good. Remember to do a test in an inconspicuous spot the first time to be sure the dyes used are truly colorfast. And if you’re looking for a sustainable non-toxic laundry detergent checkout our laundry detergent sheets.
Shoes, skates and cleats: toxic air fresheners (we’re looking at you, Febreze) and dryer sheets simply mask odors instead of eliminating them. They’re also filled with chemicals that you really don’t want leaching into your skin and respiratory system. With already stinky shoes and cleats, the best strategy is to fully saturate their interior (until totally soaked) and allow them to dry completely. Don’t rinse. Once you’ve done this, you can give them a quick spray and allow it to set for 30 seconds after each wearing.
Gloves, Pads, Guards & Helmets: These are undoubtedly the worst offenders, but the treatment plan is the same (and will work!). The first time, you’ll fully saturate them and allow them to dry. After that, a preemptive spray after each use (including straps, foam, etc!) will help keep that stink at bay for good.
Bags/Carriers: Don’t forget to give your yoga mat bag or gym bag a routine spray down with a natural deodorizer like Force of Nature. A lot of gym bags are awkward to wash in a machine, so this is an easy and convenient way to ward off odors without creating a complicated cleaning situation.
If you’re interested in a natural deodorizer, you’ll love that Force of Nature is a gentle, yet super-effective cleaning system with tons of uses for cleaning your home, clothing, athletic and camping gear and much more. Find out more about the science behind our revolutionary cleaning system and natural deodorizer here!