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05 October 2008 @ 12:56 pm
Stinky Athletic Gear  
I play roller derby and have practice four nights a week. Unfortunately, my wrist pads, elbow pads, and knee pads also smell like it ( I won 'Stinkiest Roller Girl' last year at the league's awards dinner, haha). I tried washing them, but it doesn't completely get a rid of the odor. I can't put them outside because I live in an apartment without a balcony. Any other ideas for getting my gear to smell fresher? I don't want to use Febreeze because I hate the smell of it and it doesn't disguise the odor much. Thanks!

-C.N. Red-
Queen City Roller Girls

Edit: Thanks to everyone who has replied so far! Unfortunately my gear is rather expensive, so buying a spare set isn't an option right now. I'm going to try putting some vinegar in the wash with it and hope that helps.
Current Mood: embarrassedembarrassed
End of this: fruity hatthe_living_end on October 5th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
wash with vinegar? vinegar is amazing.
i hate fabreeze too. it smells like chemicals.
if you can put your stuff in a washer just throw some vinegar in with it. i never measure so i guess use your best judgment!

p.s. i always wished i was tough enough to do roller derby. sadly i would probably break a hip.
SDimyourbob on October 5th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
my ex-girlfriend played (Texas Rollergirls), and we never figured out to really unstinkify the pads. and hoo boy. that is some pretty nasty stuff!

what worked best was washing them and letting them dry in the sun. maybe you can comandeer a friend's porch every once in a while?
Jennifermethebee on October 5th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
don't know if you wash them but if they are just sitting in a bag-- what about a box of baking soda in there? might absorb some of the smell!!
.+.Wendy.+.that_redhead on October 5th, 2008 05:16 pm (UTC)
There isn't room in my bag for a box of baking soda, unfortunately. Besides, I think I might start taking my pads out of my bag so they don't marinate in their juices between practices, haha.
termofarttermofart on October 5th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
You absolutely need to take your gear out of the bag between practices.

Dirty, wet gear sitting in a bag is the cause of part of the smell.

That smell, by the way, is bacteria. Sort of just gross if you're lucky, cause for a staph infection if you're not lucky.

You can sprinkle baking soda in the padded parts and let them air dry between uses. Wipe off the rigid bits with a tiny bit of alcohol.

Also, with the exception of your helmet, most of the protective gear should be able to handle machine washing.

lora! she can't swim.starsinmybelly on October 5th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
i do a pre-soak in white vinegar. it helps with the odor, a lot. it also helps to air our pads out in-between practices. leaving them in a zipped up bag wet and sweaty overnight or for a few days just adds the funk.
Brennatwistdfateangel on October 5th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
Try wrapping them in a plastic bag with some odor-eaters, in between practices. I used to stick those in my dance bag and those made the smell less severe. After which, I used Febreeze, but as you said you hate the stuff. Also, when you wash them, do you use Oxi-clean or baking soda in the wash? Oxi-clean has saved just about everything I use.
rubyspirit: runnerrubyspirit on October 5th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
Rinse well after each use and hang dry.
madeyou_lookastragali on October 5th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
Cheap vodka acts as Febreeze without the smell. Wash them, spray them with vodka, and let them dry well.
stacystacyanne09 on October 6th, 2008 02:18 am (UTC)
Yes. Vodka and water in a spray bottle. Mist. Let dry.
That's what they use on theatrical costumes full of sweat that can't be washed.
Dangerous Beansdanger0usbeans on October 5th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
Hang them up somewhere in the bathroom or an otherwise empty closet, then light a bunch of incense directly underneath (obviously making sure there's plenty of room between the burning incense and anything flammable). I'm a bellydancer, and this is how I keep my non-washable coin bra from getting absolutely foul.
shan_a_rama: aughshan_a_rama on October 5th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
I'm going out for the Detroit Derby Girls in about a month. Nice to know that I'll have stinky pads.

I find that diluting some vinegar with some water in a spray bottle works very well for killing the stank. Do that (1/4 vinegar to 1 water) and spray on your gear. Vinegar loses it's scent when dried, and it takes stinkies with it. Heck, I have a small bowl of it sitting on my coffee table right now killing the smell of sweated onions & garlic.
Jensobriquet42 on October 6th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
I just read their article in some hotrod magazine. Sounds like a fun bunch.
queenp71queenp71 on October 5th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
Go to the local pet supply store and find the product "Simple Solution." In my local Petsmart, it can be found with both the cat and dog supplies. It is an enzymatic cleaner that gets out organic odors and stains. I've used it before on my bras to get out sweat odor and stains. You can buy it in either a spray bottle or a concentrate.
Taking it one day at a time...jodys_wife on October 6th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
I was going to suggest this or Nature's Miracle as well (same thing). I thinkit might work!
queenp71queenp71 on October 7th, 2008 12:24 am (UTC)
I know that it has worked on sweaty teenager so it should work on roller-derby sweat, too.

christinecme2694 on October 5th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
I don't know how expensive the gear is, but is it possible to buy a second set and alternate which ones you use? That way, they get a break to 'air out' in between practices?
.::.meesha.::.meeshaphrenic on October 5th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
my son washes his TKD pads with a lysol wipe once a week and i make sure he leaves them out of his gear bag to dry before putting them back. it definitely helps.
Someonebananacrunch on October 5th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
Clorox wipes might work. I use them on my soccer shinguards when they get super smelly and then air them out. I second not leaving them in your bag.
KTvenowyn on October 5th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
I have nothing useful to say, but I've been to one of your matches before, and you guys rock!!
.+.Wendy.+.that_redhead on October 6th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
Thanks!! :)
Super Square and Squeaky Cleanassiram on October 6th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
i play derby, and i wash my pads w/ detergent and oxiclean. sometimes i throw some baking soda in the washer, too. works pretty well to get the stink out. then just hang to dry- they dry out overnight (surprisingly quickly). don't put them in the dryer.

i can't tell you how important it is to air out your gear in between practice! just open up your bag, lay the knee and elbow pads out on the floor so they get maximum air flow.

i don't think its really good for your pads to be washed too often, so try to minimize it. a lot of gals on my league wear cut socks under all or their pads. it absorbs the sweat, and the socks can be washed after every practice in the sink. it can also help prevent eczema, which a lot of gals get from pads. otherwise, get used to being stinky, it comes with derby!
unmadecanodiva1 on October 6th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
If you can handwash, use some borax.
Jensobriquet42 on October 6th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC)
Our league swears by using vinegar and baking soda. I use arm and hammer detergent and it helps. I just make sure the velcro is attached and toss them in the washer and pour in the vinegar/baking soda.

We also febreze them and use socks with the toes cut out to slip between our pads and elbows/wrists. Don't leave them in your bag overnight after practice. It helps to lie them out somewhere to dry so they don't fester. :P

The roller_girl yahoo group has a thread on all this too.