If smelly cycling gear plagues your rides, read on for awesome advice on the reasons why, and how to combat the odors. Ever wondered why your gear smells funky even when it is fresh from the wash? Do you dread biking with friends because they might catch a whiff and realize you stink?
The truth is we all smell a bit after a good, long ride, but no one wants to experience smelly cycling gear throughout the ride. There are many reasons your gear might smell less than fresh, and I will address them in the tips.
Smelly Cycling Gear Elimination Tips
- Mildew and mold are souring your clothing. Have you ever left clothes in the washing machine for a day or so, only to find that they smell sour and funky? As clothes sit wet, even clean clothes, mold and mildew form on them. This creates a sour stink that is often difficult to eliminate. To avoid this specific odor, wash your clothes immediately after your ride. Do not leave them to sit in a sweaty pile, and bacteria, mold, and mildew will grow.
- Your gear is not washed well, and odors remain. Do you notice that you have smelly cycling gear even after washing it? You may not be using the appropriate laundry detergent. There are some detergents, like Sport Suds, Nixwax Basewash, and Halo Proactive Sports Wash, that are made to tackle tough sports-related odors. In addition, these detergents are gentle on fabric fibers, which can deteriorate with other detergents.
- Your washing machine smells funky. Over time, the gunk and odors can even build up in your washing machine, so even if you are using the proper detergents and washing your gear correctly, you are plagued by smells. Each season, take a few minutes to clean out your washing machine. The biggest culprit is the rubber areas where the machine seals. Run a hot, wet towel around and underneath these seams. You might be surprised by all the smelly gunk you find!
- You wash and dry your clothing right away, but it still has a lingering, not-so-fresh odor. If your smelly cycling gear continues despite steps one through three, it could be that your clothing is not getting sufficiently dry. Much like damp laundry festers and grows bacteria and mildew, freshly cleaned (but not sufficiently dried) laundry can do the same. Make sure your drier is drying your clothing completely before you fold it and put it away. Newer driers have settings that allow you to select the level of dryness before the cycle ends. Use this feature for best results.
- Particularly pesky odors in clothing and shoes can continue, despite your newfound laundry techniques. For smelly shoes, use an antifungal or antibacterial powder, and spritz with some rubbing alcohol after each ride. Try spritzing your clothing with a mixture of baking soda and water and put it in the freezer in a Ziploc bag. Allow it sufficient time to freeze, and then rewash it.
- If smelly cycling gear still troubles you after following the steps above, it may be time to invest in new workout clothing. Settled in odors can be quite difficult to remove.
Remember, too, that your armor can become rather malodorous. Armor is rarely cleaned often enough, and can become very smelly! Fill a plastic tub with water and laundry detergent and allow your body armor to soak. Use a gentle scrub brush to thoroughly clean and then set it out to dry.
Following these steps will keep you smelling fresh and clean. Let smelly cycling gear plague you no more!