Dear Gear Guy, I’ve been skateboarding on my friend’s ramp a lot. I always wear my elbow and knee pads and helmet, but they are starting to really stink. I guess I’ve been sweating in them a lot, and the pads are super-smelly. What can I do?
— Stinky Stanley, Charlotte, N.C.
Thanks for the question, Stinky. Here’s the thing: Your stuff is smelly because tiny microbes grow on your pads when they’re wet with sweat. You can do a couple of things to minimize the stench.
First, dry your stuff. Leave it in the sun or hang it to air-dry. And once it’s dry, spray it with Febreze Antimicrobial ($5 to $6, febreze.com). That will neutralize the odor and kill some of those pesky microbes.
Also, occasionally wash your pads. Throw them in the washing machine on the delicate cycle with about three-quarters of a cup of washing detergent. When the washer fills up with water, pause the cycle so the pads can soak in the soap for about 30 minutes. Then, unpause the machine and let if finish. Let them air-dry (don’t put them in the dryer!), and you should have un-stinky pads once again!