Now that we are all home – a lot, there seems to be a never-ending laundry stream. Being super-concerned with bacteria and pathogens, it can be terrifying when the ‘clean’ laundry comes out a bit rank. Why does this happen? Bad news, friends – bacteria + sweat + oils mean that clothes will need special treatment. Dampness is the big culprit, and when left for hours or days (ewwwww), your items will need some TLC. Here are a few ways to get the stink out of typically stinky items like hockey gear, yoga mats, workout clothes and mattresses. We also have some great stain tips for red wine, grass, oil and dirt in this article.

Getting the Stink out of Workout laundry

Leaving sweaty clothes in a closed up gym bag, locker, or hamper causes additional odours. Turn clothes inside out before washing (since the sweat, oils, and bacteria from your body accumulate on the inside of the clothes).

  • Add 1 cup of baking soda, lemon juice or pre-soak with vinegar
  • If you still smell sweat, don’t toss them into the dryer! This will set the stains.
  • Use a store-bought additive specifically designed for stinky clothes
  • Sunlight is a natural miracle-worker
  • For whites, you can soak in a bit of lemon juice and then let dry in the sun

Cleaning Hockey Equipment and Mattresses

Hockey, police, military, and athletic gear can be too difficult to launder at home. It’s also worn so often, drying it out each time isn’t always a possibility.

  • Clean Gear is a mobile truck that cleans your gear right at your home. They use ozone, UV light, infrared heat, dry steam and then their crazy vacuum works its magic all in about 20min.
  • UV Light kills bacteria and pathogens.
  • infrared Heat maintains dryness in your gear so mold and fungus can not grow.
  • These processes kill 99.99% of MRSA, c. difficile, e-coli bacteria
  • UV light Also kills staph (staphococcus) which is probably most common infection athletes receive from  “dirty” gear.

Cleaning Stinky Shoes 

Moisture causes odour, and unless you’re a pixie, your feet probably get damp. Of all the personal items in the house, shoes can be the worst.

  • Place a bowl of oatmeal in the shoe closet, or little sachets of it in each shoe
  • Baking soda in coffee filters tied with an elastic band are easy to pop into individual shoes
  • I just washed the boys’ Nike Air Force Ones in warm water in the washing machine with added towels. We dried them in the dryer. They came out as if they were new! 

Cleaning and Disinfecting Stuffed animals, Pillows and Neoprene

Believe it or not, freezing kills odour-causing bacteria.

  • In the harsh Canadian winters, I throw the pillows into a backyard snowbank overnight. They can then go in the dryer.
  • Place stuffies in the freezer for 24 hours.
  • Stinky sailing booties and scuba wetsuits? Place in the freezer and then wash with a natural detergent before hanging to dry. (Dryer sheets will deposit an unwanted layer of film on the neoprene).

How to Clean a Yoga Mat

It’s the worst possible feeling when you are doing downward dog and all of a sudden, a stinky foot smell from last week’s class wafts up to your nose. Hot yoga can be the worst!

  • Mat spray is available for disinfecting and freshening yoga mats. Just be sure to let it dry fully.

Getting the stink out of laundry can be a bit more work, but you can be sure that the items are not only clean, but free of bacteria.

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Removing Odor from shoes