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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-27-06, 06:54 AM   #1
tchazzard
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De-stink biking clothes at office

Hi; I hang my biking clothes when I arrive at the office. They dry out nicely by the time I ride home, but the stink like there is no end of tomorrow. I wonder if there is some home made solution one can spray on the clothes to neutralize the smell and not otherwise ruin or discolor the material.

I know there has been talk of this before, but have searched this forum and others, but not found what I was looking for.

Thanks.
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Old 07-27-06, 06:57 AM   #2
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Fabreeze.

But make sure you're washing your clothes regularly. And when clothes are constantly stinking no matter what, it's a sign that they need to be retired.

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Old 07-27-06, 07:03 AM   #3
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I always worry about using chemical deodorizing sprays ...

I use deodorant because I just have to ... I don't like to stink , however.......

I have a little phobia about it... All this aluminum and other junk they put in it...


Fabreeze... I wonder what the side effects of that are when you spray it on your clothes, then go out and ride and sweat like hell... your pores open up and then the chemicals in the shirt gets on your skin and absorbs into your body ...

Phobia.

Phobia.
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Old 07-27-06, 07:05 AM   #4
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Fabreeze and regular washing at home are probably the only real solution. If you're wearing light polyester stuff you could rinse and wring it out at work before you hang it up, that might go a long way toward reducing odor. On gloves and helmet pads I have used an odor/stain neutralizer designed for cleaning pet stains with great success. I simply wet my gloves or whatever down with the odor neutralizer and let the items soak for 10 min. or so. Then I throw them in the washer with the rest of the biking clothes. Without the odor neutralizer I could never get the smell out of my gloves.
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Old 07-27-06, 07:08 AM   #5
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Those stinky clothes

Even fairly new techwick stuff from EMS smells after my ride into the office. We always let our running/biking clothes soak for 20 minutes or so before continuing the wash cycle. They do not smell when I put them on in the morning, but are quite ripe, yet dry, when I put them on for my ride home. Not a big deal, but...

Also, I have to imagine there is some natural spray which would work, but coming up empty on my searches.
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Old 07-27-06, 07:17 AM   #6
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+1 on the ems techwick clothes. i recently bought a rapha sportswool jersey that is the jam. you could wear the thing for weeks and it doesn't smell.
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Old 07-27-06, 07:21 AM   #7
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Superfine merino wool is a stink free option. It can used pure or mixed with polyester (sportswool). It is cool in the heat and warm in the cold.
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Old 07-27-06, 07:41 AM   #8
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I'd like to expand this thread a little bit. I have some people in the work locker room that are getting upset with folks who leave their stuff in the locker all day....I think eventually I won't be able to hang dry my shorts, tshirt, towel, socks etc. in the locker. I currently do this and its pretty dry by the time I ride home. What do you guys do with your stuff during the day at work? Do I really want to hang it to dry at my DESK?! (I'm in a cube farm)
Any thoughts???
Thanks,
Roo
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Old 07-27-06, 08:03 AM   #9
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Vinegar-water solution in a spray bottle de-stinks. It does not smell like vinegar once dry, either. Use white vinegar.
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Old 07-27-06, 08:25 AM   #10
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wicking stuff natuarly smells more +1 for aloksacks or some other super duper ziplock bag and attribute the stink to commuting
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Old 07-27-06, 08:31 AM   #11
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aloksacks at ems
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Old 07-27-06, 09:15 AM   #12
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I take mine into the shower and stomp on them. Wring them out and hang them on a tree outside the back door.
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Old 07-27-06, 09:21 AM   #13
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Sea-to-Summit makes some ultralight sil-nylon drybags that do well for containing stank.
I sweat a lot, and my riding clothes get pretty ripe by the time I get to work if I don't wash them every single day. So what I do is have three sets of shorts (so I can swap them out on rotating days and have a clean pair, the pair I'm wearing, and one in the wash.) At work, I take my reekin' socks, shoes, and shorts and stuff 'em into the drybag after giving them an hour or so to dry out.
The drybag goes in my locker with my week's worth of clean work clothes, and my work clothes stay clean smelling and no one gripes that the locker room smells like a**.
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Old 07-27-06, 09:40 AM   #14
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OK...so people are saying they stuff their stuff into a small drybag...hmmm...I guess putting stuff on in the afternoon still soaking in the sweat from the AM commute is part of the price we all pay huh?
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Old 07-27-06, 09:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tchazzard
Even fairly new techwick stuff from EMS smells after my ride into the office...They do not smell when I put them on in the morning, but are quite ripe, yet dry, when I put them on for my ride home.
Don't make fun of this, but I apply [brand unnamed] hair conditioner to my "nether regions" after my shower. Believe it or not, it seems to fight odor amazingly well, including in my shorts.

Don't ask me again.
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Old 07-27-06, 09:57 AM   #16
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I've never used Febreeze on bike clothing. Wear clean stuff, hang it somewhere to dry (under a desk, best with a small fan blowing) and wear it on the the way home. Shouldn't be a big deal if you wash yourself and your bike clothes often enough.
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Old 07-27-06, 10:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW
Superfine merino wool is a stink free option. It can used pure or mixed with polyester (sportswool). It is cool in the heat and warm in the cold.
I'm not sure if it's just a US brand, but I wonder if this is like 'smartwool'?

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...Id=40000000226

I haven't seen that in anything but socks though.
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Old 07-27-06, 10:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oboeguy
I've never used Febreeze on bike clothing. Wear clean stuff, hang it somewhere to dry (under a desk, best with a small fan blowing) and wear it on the the way home. Shouldn't be a big deal if you wash yourself and your bike clothes often enough.
That's pretty much what I do. Well, I hang my clothes on my cubicle wall but otherwise... main thing is it involves an investment in multiple sets of clothes. I guess I have 5 pairs of underwear, 5 shirts, a few pairs of shorts. Find 'em all on sale ~$10 each tops.
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Old 07-27-06, 10:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooprect
OK...so people are saying they stuff their stuff into a small drybag...hmmm...I guess putting stuff on in the afternoon still soaking in the sweat from the AM commute is part of the price we all pay huh?
Egads, no! I said I give my gear about an hour to dry out first. If not, you're asking for all sorts of crazy mold problems and opportunities to let the stank grow stronger by leaving wet gear in a humidity chamber day after day.
There's few things less pleasant than putting on wet clothes. Wet and moldy would be one of them. Wet, moldy, and stinking like 8 tons of butt would probably top the list.
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Old 07-27-06, 01:37 PM   #20
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Of course, the best thing is a second clean pair.
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Old 07-27-06, 02:45 PM   #21
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My morning routine is to come in park the bike turn the computer on unstrap helmet gloves check email wait for the execisive sweat to stop and breathing to stop go to the bathroom and wipe the pits change clothes apply Axe body spray through shorts in one dry bag and shirt in another because shorts stink more then shirt in my experience then through in mess bag. I have heard baby powder in the undercarriage works never tried want to try baking soda in the dry bags to keep things smellin fresh
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Old 07-27-06, 03:01 PM   #22
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Natural cotton doesn't stink as much. Synthetics are great for wicking and heat transfer, but you do pay a price. Pick yer poison. Maybe on days when you have meetings, stick with cotton.

+1 on the vinegar. Another option is to soak your clothes in a vinegar-water solution before washing them.

This page says 1/2 cup added to rinse cycle helps decrease odor.

I've also heard that sunlight (i.e. hanging clothes outside) acts in much the same way as bleach to deodorize and kill bacteria on textiles. Of course, if that were entirely true, we wouldn't stink when we were riding our bikes out there in the sun ...
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Old 07-27-06, 03:19 PM   #23
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It helps if you shower before the commute. As your body gets used to sweating, it seems like the smell is not as bad....or is my nose just getting used to it???

Hmmm...might be an urban legend!
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Old 07-27-06, 05:51 PM   #24
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When I was fencing a lot, I would spray my fencing uniform with Febreeze between washings.

Sweating in the stuff never did anything, reaction wise. If your skin is overly sensitive, you may have a slight reaction. If you're unlucky enough to react to the Febreeze, just stop using it.
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Old 07-27-06, 09:58 PM   #25
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I was going to remind folks of the 'if they don't like your smell, challenge their patriotism' column, but now it seems like if you do that you just open yourself up to accusations of commute-enhancing drugs.
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