If you follow me on Instagram you know my boys started their Fall sports this past weekend. I have one playing soccer and another playing baseball. I’ve been spending my afternoons running around, getting all the required equipment and shuttling kids to practices and games. Whew! Being a Sports Mom is not for the faint of heart!
We had so much fun last weekend at our first round of games, cheering on the boys and watching them make plays. The not so fun part? The drive home! I know my boys are still pretty little but goodness they stink! When we get home they peel off their sweaty uniforms and toss them in the hamper which spreads the stink to everything! My husband plays in a men’s league so I’m very familiar with stinky clothes. I just didn’t realize how early it started!
If you are struggling with stinky clothes I thought I’d share my method to make them smell nice again. I use this on my husband’s clothes and have now started using it on the boys’ with great success. Say goodbye to the stink!
:: Hang Them Up
As I mentioned when the boys peel off their uniforms or practice gear, they toss it in the hamper with all their other clothes. This just makes the smell worse and makes it harder to clean their everyday clothes. Plus sweaty, damp clothes can actually start to breed mold. And even grosser than moldy clothes? The mold spores can actually stay on your clothes after washing. Ew! If you aren’t doing laundry the second they come home from games or practice, hang the clothes up until laundry day.
If you have stained clothing, you should pretreat them. Spray the stain with your favorite stain remover and let it sit on the stain for 5 minutes or so. I like to use Dreft Laundry Stain Remover. It’s formulated to tackle diaper accidents so you know it’s strong! Just a few quick sprays and let it sit for a bit before tossing in the washer.
If you have deep set-in stains you might want to do a little pre-soak before you wash. I find this is especially helpful for grass stains. I’m lucky enough to have a sink in our laundry room but if you don’t, the 5-gallon Home Depot buckets work great for soaking. To pre-soak clothes, I fill the sink up with the hottest water the clothes can handle. If it’s white baseball pants I use hot, hot, hot water. The bright colored, dri-fit jersey, I might soak in warm water.
Before you add the clothes to the water, dump a small amount of detergent into the sink and swirl it around. I let the clothes soak for 30 minutes to an hour. I do this while another load is going. Then drain the water and wring out any excess.
If you’ve pre-soaked your items, wring them out and toss them into your washer. I usually don’t even bother rinsing them. Add your detergent like usual. Then I like to add an odor eliminator like Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator. It goes right in with the detergent. Using an odor eliminator in addition to detergent usually does the trick to make the smells disappear. I usually use a “sport” variety of detergent and find that the Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator really goes the extra mile to get the clothes smelling fresh with the first wash.
Next I set the water to the hottest heat the fabric can handle. Remember, heat is your friend when it comes to stains and odors – especially for cotton fabrics. If you pre-soaked your stains, you may want to do an extra rinse cycle just to be sure that all the detergent residue is out of the clothing.
You’ll see below I line-dry our athletic gear so this makes fabric softener a little tricky. I can’t use dryer sheets or dryer balls since I don’t use the dryer. I don’t like to use liquid fabric softener because that’s even more residue to be rinsed off the clothes. So I add some vinegar to the fabric softener section. Vinegar is a natural fabric softener and also pulls double duty and helps a little with odor elimination.
I like to line dry our athletic clothes. We only have one uniform shirt for baseball and soccer and they go through the wringer at games. I find that line drying is better for preserving the often delicate fabrics and screened numbering. Also, if the clothes still smell you can repeat the process above without setting in any stains with the dryer heat.
Follow these steps and your stinky sports gear will smell better than the day you first received it. And the moms who help you carpool to practice each week will be amazed at how nice your kid smells! Well…at least until practice starts!
I mentioned in the post that I use the Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator. If you’d like to try it and see how it will tackle your toughest smells, you can save $2 off a bottle with the coupon here. I also noticed that many of the bottles at both my local H-E-B store and Walmart had $2 coupons hanging on the bottles. Sweet!