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unexpected winter commuting issue - smelly wool

Old 12-19-12, 12:27 PM
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arsprod 
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unexpected winter commuting issue - smelly wool

This is my first year for cold weather commuting and it's going great, but I have an unexpected problem. When I get to work I change from cycling clothing to civies and hang my wet gear behind my office door. I've noticed an occasional whiff of wet wool (jersey is merino). So far none of my colleagues have noticed (or said anything) but I'm pretty sensitive to keeping the environment clean. Short of burning candles or getting some kind of air filter I'm at a loss. Any clever ideas?
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Old 12-19-12, 12:44 PM
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Wet wool just has a smell.. Other than buying non-wool gear, find a more ventilated place to hang them where they will dry faster and not be as noticeably smelly.
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Old 12-19-12, 01:45 PM
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I doubt if anyone would object to the smell of wet wool. It just seems to be a part of winter. Plus there is a wide variety in how sensitive smell is. A lot of people probably won't even notice it.
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Old 12-19-12, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Closed Office View Post
I doubt if anyone would object to the smell of wet wool. It just seems to be a part of winter. Plus there is a wide variety in how sensitive smell is. A lot of people probably won't even notice it.
Really? I think it stinks and they're my clothes!?
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Old 12-19-12, 02:00 PM
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Wet wool or wet + very stinky synthetics... I'd prefer the wool. I don't know if there's much you can do about it. Has it ever been washed?
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Old 12-19-12, 02:19 PM
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You could remove odors with activated charcoal or sodium bicarbonate by spreading it on clothes or putting your wet wool jersey in a garbage bag with anti odor coating allowing mold to develop in it and wash it at home or use a small UVC lamp at the office (dangerous for the eyes)
Prevent odors from happening with vapor barrier like putting a raincoat under the wool jersey or using baby powder on yourself just before the ride.
Or my solution by using an odor resistant synthetic jersey instead of wool

Last edited by erig007; 12-19-12 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 12-19-12, 02:41 PM
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yeah, it's been washed and the stink ain't me, it's the wool... you know, that musty wet wool smell! One of the great things about merino is doesn't hold body odor like synthetics
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Old 12-19-12, 03:13 PM
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Fabreeze?
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Old 12-19-12, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
merino doesn't hold body odor like synthetics
some synthetics not all synthetics.

The way the fabrics are designed is important too not only the kind of fibers used.
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Old 12-19-12, 07:15 PM
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my current base layers are Smartwool merino or UA Coldgear. the merino has virtually no odor after multiple commutes.
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Old 12-20-12, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Fabreeze?
Febreeze, genius! Based on comments I actually polled a couple co-workers yesterday... none of them smell anything so I'm just paranoid. Still gonna get some Febreeze so I don't have to smell it
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Old 12-20-12, 02:53 PM
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I always wear a base layer under wool and never have an issue with odors. My wool jersey is drying on top of the monitor as I type this. As long as it's clean, wool should remain stink free for several wearings.
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Old 12-20-12, 03:18 PM
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eliminate to odor generator. lots of techniques to research. I used to have a bolier room to hang my stuff to dry during the day, it was wonderful.
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Old 12-20-12, 03:22 PM
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I wear a wool base layer (actually, it's a thin wool sweater.) I can wear that thing 5 days in a row and it still smells much better than after 1 hour in sweat-wicking super capilene base layers...
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Old 12-20-12, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I wear a wool base layer (actually, it's a thin wool sweater.) I can wear that thing 5 days in a row and it still smells much better than after 1 hour in sweat-wicking super capilene base layers...

The mesh carbon tee from louis garneau is as efficient as the merino sweater from icebreaker. I have both and can easily compare them

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Old 12-21-12, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
The mesh carbon tee from louis garneau is as efficient as the merino sweater from icebreaker. I have both and can easily compare them
Depends what you mean by efficient. Lots of materials wick sweat but I've found nothing but Merino that holds heat in when wet. Synthetics are great for warm weather but gimme wool in the winter even with the stink
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Old 12-21-12, 08:09 AM
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Personally I love the smell of wet wool...but then I love the smell of wet sheep too! If you're worried about the smell, but don't want to subject your stuff to the washing machine too much, I recommend soaking it in a no-rinse wool wash, like Eucalan (available in Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, or Lavender) or Soak. I prefer Kookaburra Wool Wash (I swear I picked my internet handle before I found out about this stuff), but it has a lot of lanolin in it, and preserves that lovely sheepy smell. (But the lanolin does help water resistance!)

https://www.eucalan.com/
https://www.soakwash.com/
https://www.kookaburraco.com/wash_buynow.htm

If you're in the US, it won't be a big deal to find some Eucalan in a yarn shop (a REAL yarn shop, not a big box craft store with a yarn section) to sniff the different scents and see if there's one you like. (Eucalyptus is my favorite.) Soak offers sample packs of several different scents.

Last edited by kookaburra1701; 12-21-12 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 12-21-12, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
Depends what you mean by efficient. Lots of materials wick sweat but I've found nothing but Merino that holds heat in when wet. Synthetics are great for warm weather but gimme wool in the winter even with the stink
Yeah! I should have specified.
I meant in terms of smell. It is as odor resistant as the merino due to the coconoa fiber in it.
It is better as moving the sweat away and with the T3 hoodie from MEC, warmer and not much more thick.
There are at least 2 ways to deal with sweat. Stays wet and as warm as possible like the merino does or move the sweat away like synthetics do especially polartec power dry

Last edited by erig007; 12-21-12 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 12-21-12, 09:22 AM
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Why does your wool jersey get wet?
If you are sweating heavily in winter, then you are wearing too much or wearing a shell that is impermeable to water.
I wear a merino T shirt and it may get a little damp but never wet and never smelly. I once toured for about 5 days wearing the same T shirt, through days of torrential ran where washing was not possible. It really didn't smell bad.
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Old 12-21-12, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kookaburra1701 View Post
Personally I love the smell of wet wool...but then I love the smell of wet sheep too! If you're worried about the smell, but don't want to subject your stuff to the washing machine too much, I recommend soaking it in a no-rinse wool wash, like Eucalan (available in Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, or Lavender) or Soak. I prefer Kookaburra Wool Wash (I swear I picked my internet handle before I found out about this stuff), but it has a lot of lanolin in it, and preserves that lovely sheepy smell. (But the lanolin does help water resistance!)

https://www.eucalan.com/
https://www.soakwash.com/
https://www.kookaburraco.com/wash_buynow.htm

If you're in the US, it won't be a big deal to find some Eucalan in a yarn shop (a REAL yarn shop, not a big box craft store with a yarn section) to sniff the different scents and see if there's one you like. (Eucalyptus is my favorite.) Soak offers sample packs of several different scents.
Wow...you know your wool! IIRC you also knit sweaters. It would be so cool to knit your own baselayers.
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Old 12-22-12, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Wow...you know your wool! IIRC you also knit sweaters. It would be so cool to knit your own baselayers.
I haven't actually knit any sweaters yet, mostly socks, hats, scarves, and mittens. I have my first sweater on my needles, but it got shoved aside for a month and a half by Christmas Knitting.
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