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cycling clothes still smells after wash?

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cycling clothes still smells after wash?

Old 10-11-11, 01:04 AM
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dleccord
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cycling clothes still smells after wash?

i was em with my regular clothes and the regular clothes smells good but not so much on the jerseys??
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Old 10-11-11, 01:22 AM
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Try washing with vinegar, I've heard that is supposed to help, but really WOOL is the only real solution to this problem.
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Old 10-11-11, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by dleccord View Post
i was em with my regular clothes and the regular clothes smells good but not so much on the jerseys??
I have been using Borax very successfully. I soak my jersey, bibshorts, baselayer and socks in Borax (with hot water) for about an hour, then wash. No sweat/polyester odors at all. I am impressed.

By the way, props to posters on BForums, as that's where I learnt this "trick".
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Old 10-11-11, 03:18 AM
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Wash separately, with plenty of water in the load, using Tide liquid (the scentless "Gentle" product) and hang-dry... no odors here.
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Old 10-11-11, 03:20 AM
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Try adding baking soda to the wash.

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Old 10-11-11, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
I have been using Borax very successfully. I soak my jersey, bibshorts, baselayer and socks in Borax (with hot water) for about an hour, then wash. No sweat/polyester odors at all. I am impressed.

By the way, props to posters on BForums, as that's where I learnt this "trick".
Yep ... I've been using and suggesting Borax for about 2.5 years now (since I moved to Australia), and it was Rowan who introduced the idea to me back in about 2005.

Interestingly, not all grocery stores stock it. The little grocery store in the town where we live does ... the much larger grocery store in the city doesn't. So it might take a bit of hunting to find it.
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Old 10-11-11, 03:39 AM
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Uh-oh.
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Old 10-11-11, 03:55 AM
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why should the jersey smell different from regular clothes? it's all sweat from the same body isn't it?
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Old 10-11-11, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by coasting View Post
why should the jersey smell different from regular clothes? it's all sweat from the same body isn't it?
Different fabrics trap things - some of the 'modern' sports fabrics start to really stink after a while.
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Old 10-11-11, 05:02 AM
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I had your problem, and tried SportSuds, which works. There are other detergents especially designed for activewear/polyester type clothing. Haven't tried Borax, but will once the SportSuds runs out.
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Old 10-11-11, 06:27 AM
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Raw apple cider vinegar and hot water; easily does it every time.
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Old 10-11-11, 06:51 AM
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We had excellent success with "Win" detergent, until our local Dick's Sporting Goods stopped carrying it. We're now experimenting with the (overpriced) Assos cleaner and "Soap Nuts".
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Old 10-11-11, 07:22 AM
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Vinegar works, but you end up going through a lot of it if you use it regularly. There is a Febreze Sport which I found to work very well. Spray it right after you take it off, then toss it in the hamper with the rest of the laundry. It's just hard to find the stuff sometimes.
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Old 10-11-11, 07:25 AM
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My vote goes to vinegar. I keep some in a spray bottle and spray the offending jerseys after I ride. No more funk! Inexpensive and it works.
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Old 10-11-11, 10:02 AM
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We eliminate residual smell by not crowding the washer and letting the clothes soak for a bit. I accomplish this by first setting the washer to a short (half) cycle and leave the top open so that it does not enter the spin cycle. Somewhere around an hour later I reset the washer, shut the cover and let it finish. I suspect it works by gving the detergent enzymes more time to work on the deeply embedded bacteria and dead skin cells.

It does not need to be done for each wash, just when clothes starts retaining a smell.
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Old 10-11-11, 10:28 AM
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I use Woolite, no liquid fabric softner, and low heat with no softner sheets in the dryer and or air dry my stuff. No odors at all after I started doing this.
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Old 10-11-11, 10:46 AM
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I think Tide makes an "active" detergent which is supposed to be formulated for nylon, polyester, and other active sportswear. I doubt it works though. I think laundry detergent is laundry detergent and they label it differently for marketing purposes.

Assos sells something that you wash your jersey and bibs with that's supposed to prevent this from happening, but I'm not sure if it gets rid of any odor that's already there.

I wash my bibs and jerseys the second I walk in the door from a ride. I throw them in the wash with some regular Gain liquid detergent and hang them to dry. They have that fresh Gain scent and no hint of odor whatsoever even after an entire season of riding. Then again, I practice good personal hygiene so odor isn't usually a problem anyhow. Some dudes just stank. I can smell the funk off some people just from passing them.
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Old 10-11-11, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
Then again, I practice good personal hygiene so odor isn't usually a problem anyhow. Some dudes just stank. I can smell the funk off some people just from passing them.
While this might be true, there are other factors. Sometimes washing machines can harbor residual chemicals from traditional detergents that cause odors. It has nothing to do with the individual, but rather the combination of hard water, type of washer, and type of detergent.

I was having that problem once. Not with cycling clothes, as this was pre-cycling days. It was with towels. No matter how quickly I got them into the dryer, they ended up with that smell that occurs when wet laundry sits around for a day or two before it's dried. I switched to using Charlie's Soap, and the problem went away. Same towels, same washer & dryer.
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Old 10-11-11, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by St_Pete_Speed View Post
My vote goes to vinegar. I keep some in a spray bottle and spray the offending jerseys after I ride. No more funk! Inexpensive and it works.
If that works, I bet I'd get much more mileage out of the bottle over just pouring some on every few washes.


Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
Then again, I practice good personal hygiene so odor isn't usually a problem anyhow.
I find that mildly offensive. Strong smelling sweat doesn't necessarily mean bad personal hygiene. I sweat a lot when I'm working hard on the bike, and that sweat has started to smell stronger after adding a lot of garlic, onion, and fish oil to my diet. I assure you there is nothing wrong with my personal hygiene, but my wife won't even touch me after a ride until I shower.
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Old 10-11-11, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
Then again, I practice good personal hygiene so odor isn't usually a problem anyhow. Some dudes just stank. I can smell the funk off some people just from passing them.
Bull! If you know anything at all about fabrics, especially technical fabrics and/or polyester fabrics, then you'll know it has to do with the yarn molecules in these fabrics trapping sweat and natural body odor that results in these kinda fabrics retaining odor. Other fabrics, like cotton etc, don't trap odor as much.

Do not profess opinions on things you have no clue about, please!
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Old 10-11-11, 11:54 AM
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Never let technical fabric clothing sit. Never toss cycling clothes in a hamper. I wash the cycling clothes very soon after finishing the ride. In fact when I am showering post-ride, I am washing my cycling clothes (drop trou/shed clothes while in shower). I use Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile soap on my shorts and jersey, as well as on me. Put the jersey and shorts on a hanger to drip dry, and viola! Tech fabrics do much better when washed by hand.
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Old 10-11-11, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
Bull! If you know anything at all about fabrics, especially technical fabrics and/or polyester fabrics, then you'll know it has to do with the yarn molecules in these fabrics trapping sweat and natural body odor that results in these kinda fabrics retaining odor. Other fabrics, like cotton etc, don't trap odor as much.

Do not profess opinions on things you have no clue about, please!
I know plenty about the properties of different fabrics, thank you very much. My mother is a seamstress and I've been able to spot a wool suit from a polyester suit since I was 5 years old. Jeez, I didn't know you boys were so sensitive! Didn't your mothers ever make you take a bath?
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Old 10-11-11, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I find that mildly offensive. Strong smelling sweat doesn't necessarily mean bad personal hygiene. I sweat a lot when I'm working hard on the bike, and that sweat has started to smell stronger after adding a lot of garlic, onion, and fish oil to my diet. I assure you there is nothing wrong with my personal hygiene, but my wife won't even touch me after a ride until I shower.
LOL. Cry me a river. Please.

*edit* Not saying this isn't true, but I find it hilarious that you really took "mild offense" to my comments. I wasn't attacking you personally bro. I don't know you or care to know how you take care of yourself. I'm just saying that I am "mildly offended" myself when I ride past people that stink.

Last edited by ilovecycling; 10-11-11 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 10-11-11, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tenzing211 View Post
Never let technical fabric clothing sit. Never toss cycling clothes in a hamper. I wash the cycling clothes very soon after finishing the ride. In fact when I am showering post-ride, I am washing my cycling clothes (drop trou/shed clothes while in shower). I use Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile soap on my shorts and jersey, as well as on me. Put the jersey and shorts on a hanger to drip dry, and viola! Tech fabrics do much better when washed by hand.
While I wouldn't personally shower with my cycling clothes on me (how are you washing bacteria and funk away from the chamois???), I do agree that funk happens from not drying clothing and/or towels soon enough after getting them wet. Bacteria and mold can start to grow deep in the fabric's fibers. For example, if you hang up your towel after a shower and reuse it for a few days in a row, you might start to notice how it will start to smell a bit musty and funky. Washing it and drying it immediately afterwards will get it fresh again for a few more days, but over time it will take less and less time for that towel to start getting funky. Eventually you are going to want to throw the towel away and get some new ones.

I agree that the right combination of detergents and hard water, etc can cause a funk that isn't directly related to a person's body odor, but you can still prevent it by not letting wet or freshly soiled cycling clothes sit in the hamper or in a pile on the floor. Wash them in a washing machine with detergent immediately after your ride and hang them to dry right after the wash is done. They won't smell regardless of what kind of detergent or water you have.

Last edited by ilovecycling; 10-11-11 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 10-11-11, 12:30 PM
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Woolite and OxiClean in the sink and hung up after my shower works for me. (every ride without waiting)
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