/ Getting odour out of clothes

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Pb-climb-up - on 13 Feb 2019

Does anyone know of good products/secret homemade recipes that can get odour out of clothes? I cycle commute and whilst I do wash my kit as it sits in a locker all day it sometimes has a bit of a nasty whiff. 

Any suggestions be appreciated 😊

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Dave B on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Pb-climb-up:

My feeling is that they need to dry a s quick as possible to avoid the niff, then wash with detol anti vac. 

Ciculating air is the answer I feel .https://www.amazon.co.uk/EasyAcc-Rechargeable-Protable-Handheld-Traveling/dp/B07352KD2Y

Battery powered fan in the locker with an in car  drying pack ()https://www.amazon.co.uk/Apalus-Dehumidifier-Automotive-Fog-Free-Condensation/dp/B077QDTJFS ?

Put the clothes  on hangers.. 

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captain paranoia - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Pb-climb-up:

White vinegar is the classic remedy. Add to the wash.

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mik82 - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Pb-climb-up:

I've found soaking synthetics in Dettol laundry cleanser works well. It doesn't seem to be as effective when added to the wash.

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Thugitty Jugitty on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Pb-climb-up:

Halo Sports Wash. Available from Tesco amongst other places. It managed to get the stink out of some old synthetic base layers which had hummed for years. 

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marsbar - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Pb-climb-up:

Shove a good glug of this in the washing machine with the detergent.  Cheaper than the laundry stuff and it works.  https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/285024357

Post edited at 22:24
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Fruitbat on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to captain paranoia:

> White vinegar is the classic remedy. Add to the wash.

Best thing is to add about a tablespoonful of soda crystals in lieu of the same amount of washing powder - also helps prevent limescale forming in the machine. Really helps get stuff clean and fresh.

White vinegar, as suggested by Capt Paranoia, is actually best used as a substitute for fabric conditioner, with the advantage of being able to use it on towels and things on which you'd not normally use fabcon. No smell of vinegar left, in case you're wondering. 

Have a look on the Dri Pak site http://www.dri-pak.co.uk loads of tips and uses for this sort of stuff, better and cheaper than any specifically-marketed products.

We need a Domestic God(ess) Forum...

Post edited at 22:29
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captain paranoia - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Fruitbat:

> No smell of vinegar left, in case you're wondering

Industrial laundries use ethanoic acid (vinegar). You can smell it on hotel towels.

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deepsoup - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Pb-climb-up:

I've got nothing to add to the laundry advice being given by domestic god(desse)s here, but perhaps it might also be worth looking at replacing synthetic base layers with merino wool or bamboo?  Somewhat less prone to getting niffy in the first place..

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gethin_allen on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to deepsoup:

A sensible suggestion but I've found that even my merino wool base layers build up a perma-pong eventually.

I'm not sure what effect the disinfectants listed above would do to merino?

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AlanLittle - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Pb-climb-up:

Pah! Kids today. If you haven't worn polypropylene hellys for a week or more at a time you haven't lived.

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Fruitbat on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to captain paranoia:

White vinegar is fine for use as fabric conditioner, so the OP will be ok as long as he doesn't give his washing to any hotels or industrial cleaners.

I was recommending the soda crystals rather than vinegar for use in main wash but if you find that's what works for you, that's cool.

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I like climbing - on 13 Feb 2019
In reply to Pb-climb-up:

Apart from the good advice that has been mentioned get advice on your diet.

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Toerag - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to I like climbing:

> Apart from the good advice that has been mentioned get advice on your diet.


Care to elaborate? What things in diet make sweat smell more /less?

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Rigid Raider - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to Toerag:

Garlic and curry spices for a start. Haven't you even noticed the smell of your armpits the day after a curry?

The problem with sportswear is that it's made from polypropylene and polyester, which have very good retentivity of aroma molecules. It's all to do with the affinity of long-chain carbon molecules for other molecules. Once the odour is absorbed it's quite difficult to get it out and washing at 30c doesn't help because that doesn't kill bacteria. So the only options are to increase the wash temperature, mask the malodour with a perfume (those use in detergents and fabcons are loaded with synthetic musks making them extremely retentive and those with micro-encapsulated perfumes are even more stinky) and take care to dry the material fast and air it off so as to limit the time when bacteria can multiply and hopefully, to allow those malodour molecules to evaporate. 

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smally - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to Pb-climb-up:

Soak items in a basin of Milton Fluid (diluted as per instructions). Great sterilizer of stinking, synthetic thermals.

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Rigid Raider - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to smally:

Bit Milton is just weak bleach so will contribute to ageing and degrading of the textile.

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Toerag - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to Pb-climb-up:

so, the UKC hive mind has given us a choice of

White vinegar, Dettol laundry cleanser, or soda crystals.  Dettol obviously works by killing the bacteria that makes the stink, but what about the other two?

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Toerag - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> Garlic and curry spices for a start. Haven't you even noticed the smell of your armpits the day after a curry?

My missus notices it more. I'm not allowed in the marital bed after a night out on the piss with curry eating involved!  I just wondered if there was any differences in sweat from 'normal' (non smelly) foods in terms of bacteria feeding e.g. does someone who eats wheat breads suffer more than someone who eats rye breads (assuming all else is equal).

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Rigid Raider - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to Toerag:

I'm not a Dr and my cycling buddy who is a gastroenterologist is half way up Kilimanjaro today but I would guess that your digestive system deals with most of what you swallow and it's the bacterial flora of your skin, which affects body odour.  Frequent changes of clothes and showering, especially with a anti-bacterial product, probably do more to affect your long-term body odour than eating a different kind of bread. 

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krikoman - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> a anti-bacterial product,

are currently contributing to resistance to anti-biotics, try using something else

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Wee Davie - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to Pb-climb-up:

I’ve been using Napisan along with normal washing powder for years ago. https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/273643086

You add a small amount of the powder to the wash. Works really well. As you can probably guess it’s designed for washing reusable nappies so it has to be! 

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Dave B on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to Wee Davie:

I think it ruined elastic...  Can't prove it, and don't know the chemical reaction that would do it... But I lost a few pairs of lycra after using it to rid the smell. Any thoughts  From others

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mik82 - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to Toerag:

Some things that you eat definitely do end up in sweat. The main aroma chemical of fenugreek from curries being one of them (interestingly the same chemical that's in maple syrup, just at a lower concentration).

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mik82 - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to Dave B:

It's an oxidising agent like chlorine bleach so will presumably degrade things like lycra/elastic. 

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marsbar - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to krikoman:

I'm not a biologist, but as I understand it disinfectants aren't an issue but anti bacterial products are.  

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marsbar - on 15 Feb 2019
In reply to Dave B:

I wouldn't use napisan or Milton or other bleach as it's not great on fabric.  

I haven't noticed any problems with the one I use. 

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krikoman - on 21:38 Sat
In reply to marsbar:

> I'm not a biologist, but as I understand it disinfectants aren't an issue but anti bacterial products are.  


You might be correct there.

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