Athletic Gear & Sports Equipment Really Stinks
If you’re moving, you’re generating heat, and heat means a notorious stench as far as shoes, gear, and sports equipment is concerned. How do you deal? If you’re involved in sports or have multiple family members on teams, it’s even worse. Managing the odor can be a literal headache made worse if you’re dealing with the many pads of hockey or lacrosse gear. It doesn’t really matter which sport: cross country skiing, basketball, baseball, softball, football, fencing, or ski racing, all athletes and outdoor lovers have stinky gear. Thanks to the combo of bacteria, heat, and confined spaces, the problem is a tough one to combat.
With the help of GearDryer and a few additional tips, your home will be a more pleasant place for sports enthusiasts to return after practice.
Why Do Feet & Sports Gear Stink?
First, we need to know our enemy. Why do feet, shoes, and sports gear stink? Blame the millions of microbes who are busy metabolizing the dead skin cells and proteins sloughed off while running, dodging, ducking, and dunking. The byproduct of these bacteria are acidic molecules that humans detect as a smelly, acrid odor. Add sweat glands to the mix and this combo fuels the metabolism and reproduction of the microbes. A warm, moist environment is where they thrive. To remove the smell, you need to battle the bacteria. Humans have between 2-5 million sweat glands on average and each foot can produce up to a pint of sweat in one day! It’s hardly a fair fight.
Bacterial growth is further enhanced by the fact that many of the areas where we sweat the most are prone to poor ventilation. Your feet, armpits, and groin area also contain a different type of sweat produced by apocrine glands. These glands secrete more proteins with sweat, which is why these areas often produce the greatest stench (we’re looking at you, jockstrap). The remainder of your body has eccrine sweat glands, which produce sweat with a higher water concentration. When sweat can’t evaporate at a quick rate, bacteria begin to thrive.
How To Deal With Smelly Shoes, Gear, & Sports Equipment
The antidote to this smelly situation is ventilation, this halts the bacteria’s activity. Luckily, GearDryer is designed to do just that. The timed cycles and versatile fittings can be mixed and matched to dry nearly any piece of gear. GearDryer is the best weapon against bacterial odor in shoes and sports equipment.
Immediately after practice, you should remove gear and shoes from your duffel or bag. For shoes, attach the 45-degree fitting and then a straight section to the GearDryer. This position will maximize airflow and dry your shoes quickest. Mix and match the other fittings to dry out pads, gloves, shin guards, helmets, etc. The worst thing you can do is leave wet gear in an enclosed sports bag or duffel overnight. Get your equipment dry as soon as you can.
Tips for Fighting Bacterial Odor in Sports Equipment & Shoes
Always start with clean socks. This is crucial for kids, who may not realize that wearing dirty socks is a bad deal. Socks with synthetic fibers provide less ventilation than organic fabrics because they do not transfer or wick moisture away from the skin as quickly. Consider sticking with moisture wicking fabrics, merino wool, or cotton to maximize the ventilation to your feet.
Feet should be washed daily with soap and water to minimize bacteria. Another great trick is soaking your feet in a hot Epsom salt bath after practice. This will this kill the bacteria and helps revive weary muscles.
When purchasing shoes and gear like gloves, consider options manufactured with leather and breathable features such as mesh. Natural leather is far more breathable than plastic or rubberized materials.
If you have any inserts or insoles in your shoes, remove them before placing your shoes on the GearDryer to ensure all nooks and crannies are well ventilated.
If things are out of control, try sprinkling ¼ to ½ cup of baking powder in the shoe for 24-72 hours to eliminate old odors. Use a vacuum to remove the powder afterwards.
A vinegar spray can help to eliminate bacteria colonies and odor. Mix a 1/1 solution of water and vinegar and spray on any pads, shoes, jerseys, or gloves. Let the shoes and gear dry out before your next sports practice. Note that this may discolor some dyes, so be sure not to spray any leather directly.
To prevent stink in your sports duffel or hockey bag, always remove any gear that is wet. Rub the interior down with Lysol or the vinegar spray described above.
If you need a hard reset, try placing offending gear in large Ziploc bag and place in the freezer overnight. The cold snap will kill any bacteria or fungus that is producing odor. Be sure to dry all your gear on the GearDryer immediately after practice to avoid the issue in the future.
Try capping unused dryer ports on the GearDryer to maximize
airflow into the gear or equipment you need to dry.
We hope these tips help you keep your family and home smelling fresher. Drying out sports equipment and shoes is a lot more important than folks realize. Should bacterial growth on gear or shoes get out of hand, it can be a real issue if these microbes come into contact with any cuts or abrasions. The risk for infection is added motivation for controlling the stinky and sweaty odors from active athletes. GearDryer can speed that process making storage and stink-free gear a cinch.