Smelly Youth Sports Gear

Everyone has encountered smelly sports gear, shoes, and clothing. Sneakers whose odor carries across a room. The smell from an equipment bag that reaches from the trunk of your car to the front seat. Gloves that have the power to transfer their odor to your hands. Wet clothes left stuffed in a duffle bag that could stand up on their own.

Short of throwing them all away, what can be done? You can try to mask the odor with scents, but why not tackle the problem head on and go after the bacteria causes the odor? Besides, who wants them living there anyway?

Through an entirely natural process an athlete's body secretes perspiration, oils, and other residues during exercise. These residues are the source of the problem because they are food for odor-causing bacteria. They allow bacteria to live. You can kill the bacteria with harsh chemicals and anti-bacterial agents, but new bacteria will just move in because there is still food to eat. Look for a product containing natural enzymes to break down these residues on a molecular level, starving existing bacteria and making an inhospitable environment for new bacteria. These same residues also clog today's high-tech fabrics, so by removing them a product containing natural enzymes restores the fabric's moisture transport and wicking properties.


Ever notice how hi-tech fabrics develop a lingering odor that doesn't come out in the wash? Look for a product specifically formulated for theses hi-tech fabrics. Use it in place of ordinary laundry detergent, preferably with cold water and a soak setting. It will remove all odors and residues.

Sports Gear & Shoes

The padding in these items offers bacteria great places to live. For used equipment that already has a strong odor, a surface application will not reach all the bacteria, and the odor will likely return.  to clean the padding, washing the gear is the best way to do this.  First, rinse the gear with cold water, repeatedly squeezing and releasing the padding, until the rinse water is clear. Mix the cleaning product with cold water in a container and add the athletic gear to be washed. For several minutes, agitate the gear and repeatedly squeeze and release the padding to work the product in. This periodic washing is best done as an end-of-season treatment or initial treatment before beginning regular use to prevent future residue buildup and odor.

For sports gear with mild odor, look for spray products specifically forumulated to treat odor in gear and shoes, and use it regularly. Simply spray all interior and exterior surfaces after use and allow the item to dry.

For new sports gear, why wait for it to get smelly? Keep it clean and odor free with regular use of  an odor treatment .

Other Tips

Bacteria love moist environments. This is why drying your gear out between uses is so important. Pull your gear out from their duffel bags and hang them up to dry. Open items up to maximize the exposed area and shorten the drying time. For shoes, remember to loosen laces and remove innersoles. If it's warm and sunny, move the gear outside and let the sun help.

Wear a base layer that you can wash after each use. It will reduce the residues passing to your other gear and is easier to clean.

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