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Old 03-24-05, 04:37 PM   #1
oldskoolboarder
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Washing the B.O. out of clothes...

OK, so I stink. Well, at least my cycling clothes do: shorts, jerseys, gloves (wow), HRM strap, etc. I wash 'em in the machine right away but the smell returns shortly after wearing the clothes. What's the best way to get rid of the stink once and for all? BTW, all the clothes are synthetic materials, no cotton.
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Old 03-24-05, 04:40 PM   #2
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Some soaps will react with your body chemistry to produce a horrible smell when you sweat.

Try washing in a different brand of soap. Rinse your clothes extra well.
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Old 03-24-05, 04:41 PM   #3
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My sheila will be home soon, I'll ask her then
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Old 03-24-05, 04:54 PM   #4
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Vinegar.... Add some plain old white vinegar which you can pick up at a grocery store or Wal Mart or something and add some into the water while washing.

Also - make sure your cycling clothes dry quickly and thoroughly. I don't suggest throwing them in a dryer on high and ruining them. However, don't leave them hanging in a damp basement or somewhere that it might take extra time to dry. If you do this, you'll notice the stink returning as soon as you start to break a sweat.
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Old 03-24-05, 04:57 PM   #5
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Some fabrics are much worse than others at this. Synthetics vary widely. Try a different brand of jersey using a different fabric. Wool
is very reluctant to stink. Snag an Ibex at Sierra Trading Post.
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Old 03-24-05, 05:36 PM   #6
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Never ever wash your bike gear!! That could bring on bad things man.
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Old 03-24-05, 05:41 PM   #7
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Why wash your bike clothes? The worse you smell, the more likely that other riders will give you more room.

But seriously... I wash mine with a couple of towels (for scrubbing effect), then run the rinse cycle twice... the last time with a good bit of fabric softener.

Also, it's a good idea to wash them as soon as you come in from your ride. This reduces the bacterial buildup. If the problem persists, a little bit of houshold ammonia detergent should do the trick.
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Old 03-24-05, 06:04 PM   #8
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Soak in warm water with a few drops of mild washing-up liquid.
Should do it. Can't say I've used it to remove BO, but it works for almost anything - grease, fat, grass, ketchup...
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Old 03-24-05, 06:10 PM   #9
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How old are your clothes? If they're a few years old, you may need to get new clothes.

I also second the vinegar. Continue to wash your clothes after every ride, but include 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar with the wash.

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Old 03-24-05, 06:12 PM   #10
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The solution is reputed to be a dose of borax added to the wash. I would use it, but I have trouble finding it at the supermarket. Someone posted a source once.

Anyway, it apparently does a good job of killing off the bacteria that causes body odour and seems to thrive in artificial fabrics.
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Old 03-24-05, 06:27 PM   #11
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throwing synthetic clothes in the freezer (clean, dry and in a sealed ziploc bag) apparently will get rid of the smell too.
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Old 03-24-05, 06:30 PM   #12
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... add half a cup of plain flour and continue to bake ...
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Old 03-24-05, 06:35 PM   #13
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Most of the clothes are 1 to 1.5 years, used weekly. Never in the dryer, always hang dry in a dry garage. So they're not that old.

I'll try the vinegar idea.
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Old 03-24-05, 07:08 PM   #14
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If you can hang dry them outside in little sunlight, turned inside out, it will kill off some of the bugs...Assuming your dog doesn't bury them in disgust
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Old 03-24-05, 07:30 PM   #15
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I recommend.... wool.

I'm serious, it does _not_ stink and you can wear it several times before needing to wash it. I also use it for running. I swear by the ibex cycling stuff-- the really fine merino wool.

There is something about the wool fibers that just kills baterial growth. My synthetic windbreaker smells like a corpse before my wool base layer even starts to get funky.
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Old 03-24-05, 07:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H23
I recommend.... wool.

I'm serious, it does _not_ stink and you can wear it several times before needing to wash it. I also use it for running. I swear by the ibex cycling stuff-- the really fine merino wool.

There is something about the wool fibers that just kills baterial growth. My synthetic windbreaker smells like a corpse before my wool base layer even starts to get funky.
Almost true. I had two thin merino wool jerseys that I wore into the ground, but after two years of constant use, even they took on the personna of artificial fabrics.

I still like wool. I don't like the price wanted for most of the cycling stuff.
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Old 03-24-05, 09:25 PM   #17
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I've never had a problem with polyesters, but with polypropelene, the sweat dries out but the funk stays in. Are you, perhaps, wearing a polypro base?
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Old 03-24-05, 10:35 PM   #18
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vinegar and lemon juice. You don't need a lot, just a few tablespoons in a basin of water. Well, unless you're really stinky, then you might need more.
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Old 03-24-05, 10:50 PM   #19
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Vinegar? Won't that just make matters worse? I am a skeptic. Oldskool--I think everyone's gloves stink. I always thought that was one of the best parts about riding w/ friends--trying to guess why our gloves are so rank.

But no one can smell your gloves unless you're doing something really weird. As for the rest of your clothes, just try wearing lots of sunscreen. One of my friends does that. He swears he stinks, but all I smell is sunscreen with musky undertones. Kinda nice...
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Old 03-24-05, 11:14 PM   #20
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Has anyone here mentioned baking soda?
Arm & hammer baking soda powdered detergent does wonders...
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Old 03-24-05, 11:41 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBar
I've never had a problem with polyesters, but with polypropelene, the sweat dries out but the funk stays in. Are you, perhaps, wearing a polypro base?
Polypro is reputed to be the worst. A youth hostel with a group of bushwalkers just in from a big trip is a smell you won't forget!

But polyester gets that way, too, in my experience.
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Old 03-24-05, 11:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Washing the B.O. out of clothes...
Wow. Hmmm. If it's anything like washing the BS out of BikeForums, then you're better off burying them in the back yard and starting with new.
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Old 03-25-05, 07:13 AM   #23
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Something we scuba divers have been known to use...

Link: Sink the Stink

It's available online and at fine local dive shops everywhere.
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Old 03-25-05, 07:56 AM   #24
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damn, I was gonna say Sink the Stink. . .
I was also gonna say buy wool, it doesn't stink.

you guys are just too quick.
vtjim where do you dive?

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Old 03-25-05, 08:07 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Has anyone here mentioned baking soda?
Arm & hammer baking soda powdered detergent does wonders...

Yeah.....That's my choice too....I always bury my nose deep in the warm polyester as comes out of the dryer.......Deep breathing!.....
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