Ask the Gear Guy

Deodorize stinky gear


smell-200x148Q. I play soccer and football. I sometimes wear my cleats six days a  week. Is there any way to rid my equipment (cleats, shin guards, shoulder pads, etc.) of that everlasting smell of fresh body odor?

– Raffi the Odorous, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

A. Dear Stinky…uh, I mean Raffi. I’m actually a pretty athletic guy too — and, as it goes with the territory, equally stinky. So I hear you on the smelly gear.

There are a couple of things you can do. First, never leave your pads and cleats cooped up in your gear bag after practice. When you do that, tiny microbes grow on your gear, and the smell can be lethal. So, the first step to eliminating odors is properly drying out your stuff. As soon as you get home from practice, set your pads out to dry. Hang them. Put them on a drying rack. Whatever. If your cleats are wet, stuff them with old newspaper.

Once everything is dry, get a spray bottle of Febreze Antimicrobial ($5-$6; febreze.com). Give it all a good spray. Febreze does a good job of neutralizing odors and killing the microbes that cause smells. It’s a temporary fix — and definitely not a cure-all — but that should help cut down on your stench. Good luck!

Comments about “Deodorize stinky gear”

  1. swag life boys says:

    Thanks so much

  2. mental from mice says:

    How do you get rid of the smell left by mice, When you’ve killed them

  3. jrpatriot pack499 says:

    use lysol to clean football shoulder pads i know that because i play football

  4. Soccermom5 says:

    Use Skunkies they are a shoe deodorizer that helps to absorb moisture and prevents bacteria from growing; which helps the shoes and sport bags smell better!

  5. turtle12 says:

    I played soccer 2 hours in the pouring rain yesterday and my cleats smelled reall bad before that to. But now they smell even worse. What should I do? Put newspaper in them then a few hours later put baking soda in them. Then in the morning spray them with febreze.

    • Jenti says:

      We run a dehumidifier every evening so when my boys are done for the day they lay their guards and cleats in front of the exhaust side. My oldest boy plays or practices 6 out of 7 days so they get abused. His guards don’t smell and his cleats look bad but they too have no smell! I spray them once a week with Lysol or Febreeze just as a preventative.

  6. Red sunrise says:

    Yeah i play goal in hockey and my stuff smells terrible. The best thing I’ve done is air it out then spray febreeze on them.

  7. hungry for futbol says:

    i have stinky shinguards not cleats – can I wash them???

    • SoccerMom131313 says:

      Shinguards usually stink because of bacteria, you can throw them in the washer on delicate for general dirt cleaning, but for the smell, just brush them down in the kitchen sink with really warm water and dish soap, it will kill the bacteria and wah away build up.

  8. Wahiawa says:

    For super stinky stuff, spray with a solution of diluted white vinegar and wash like usual. Vinegar’s acidity makes it a natural germ killer, and it’s perfectly safe for people and the environment. You probably have some at the house – ask your parents.

  9. Sports Equipment Afield 335 says:

    One way to get rid of the stink of sweat from shoulder pads, football cleats and such that can’t be put in a washing machine and machine dryer is to hand wash the equipment in a five gallon bucket or a suitable washtub and following the directions on a bottle of Pine Sol Cleaning solution for washing walls, bathroom tile and latrine floor boards at summer camp. The Pine Sol Cleaning solution will replace the sweat odor with a clean pine scent on the sports equipment.

  10. big J says:

    In Florida it rains ALOT!!! I come home with wet, stinky football shoes. How can I dry them quickly as I need to use them 5 days a week??

    • SoccerMom131313 says:

      If you have a refridgerator, put the cleats on their sides faceing the vent over night, it uually does the job. Also, you can stuff them with newspaper to draw out the wetness

  11. zee says:

    I put my shin guards in a big baggie in the freezer. Try it…it really works

  12. 1st class scout says:

    Really? I should try that sometime, it would REALLY help, THANKS!

  13. kiddo says:

    yeah i agree with you put some newspaper in your shoes.it really does work .

  14. DA BeasT says:

    Put dryer sheets in your shoes.

  15. chexmix says:

    sprinkle baking soda in your shoes over night, and shake out before wearing

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