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Tips on Getting the Stink out of Synthetic Team Jerseys

How many of you have, or know someone who has “that” jersey that seems no matter how much you wash it, it never smells good? Or it smells fresh when you put it on, then 15 minutes later its starts to stink again? The good news, it’s not you. More good news, there is something you can do about it. 

You see, synthetic clothing has very tightly woven fibers. The tight weave makes the clothing rugged and lightweight, and contributes to the fabric's stretchiness as well as durability. However, this tight weave has a many small spaces that promote bacterial growth.  With that said, we can kill those dirty little bacterial varmints, and/or at least inhibit their growth. 

A couple of easy preventive solutions are, don’t leave your jerseys or gym clothes in a workout bag for a long time, and wash immediately after wearing and line dry (the high heat from dryers can break down the fibers of the clothing)

Now if you can’t do the above, or it doesn’t seem to help, then here are…

Tips on How to get the stink out of Synthetic Team Jerseys

  1. Baking Soda and Washing Machine
    Baking soda has great absorption capabilities, and can remove the bad smelling odors from your clothes. Add your clothes and detergent to the washing machine (see below for tips on using a washing machine for synthetic clothing).  Let the water fill halfway then add a half-cup of baking soda to the wash. This will insure that the baking soda will not *technical term alert  “clump and cling” to your clothes.

    *Using a washing machine.

    It’s best if you can hand wash your synthetic clothing, but if you are like me, and don’t have the patience and/or time, throw in the machine. If you do, here are some tips:
    - Use the gentle cycle
    - Use a garment bag; it will help protect your garment from zippers, Velcro and other abrasive items that can damage the fabric.
    - Use cold water washing to protect the color.
    - When drying, line drying is the best, but if you use a dryer, use low heat, and don’t use dryer sheets, they will break down the fabric of you synthetic clothing faster.

  2. White Vinegar and Washing Machine
    The natural acid in the vinegar breaks down the wonderful aroma of a well-worn jersey. Just add a cup of white vinegar to the normal washing cycle and detergent, and let it do its thing. Upon taking it out of the machine, the clothing will smell slightly like vinegar, but no worries, the smell will go away once the clothing is fully dry.

  3. Hydrogen Peroxide Soak and Washing Machine
    Hydrogen peroxide *technical alert (hydrogen peroxide has the chemical compound H2O2 and is the simplest peroxide with an oxygen-oxygen single bond) works great, but has a slight bleaching effect. Therefore, its best used on light colored jerseys. Grab a bucket and add one part hydrogen peroxide to five parts water. Dunk jersey repeatedly, then let soak for an hour. After a good soak, run through the wash, and say good-bye to the stink.

  4. OxiClean and Washing Machine
    OxiClean is similar hydrogen peroxide in its capability to remove the stink. Mix OxiClean in a bucket and let soak for an hour. Since it is similar to Hydrogen peroxide, maybe reduce the time for darker clothes. Once soaked, toss in washer, and wash away.

  5. Let the Sun do its Thing
    Running your clothing through dryer could assist in the return of those nasty bacterial visitors. Therefore, for best results, and if possible let line dry in the sun. The fresh air and UV rays will help remove any remaining odors.

In the end, if you have ever owned a synthetic jersey, then you know the stink. It can be a real drag, so hopefully these few tips can help with renewing that favorite jersey or piece of workout clothing to it’s original fresh and wonderful smelling self.