Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: DoubleD on August 18, 2014, 12:06:15 pm

 
Title: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: DoubleD on August 18, 2014, 12:06:15 pm
Yes, they stink.  After arriving home from a 1 day drive, a 3 day ride on the GAP and a 1 day return drive with clothes in plastic bags I unloaded them in the washing machine immediately upon arrival.  Riding clothes, shorts, undies, etc all went in the wash then the dryer.  Upon removal the worst offenders were the not the riding clothes but the civies.  They still smell sour.  The riding clothes do also but not like the civies, some of which were microfiber, some nylon/poly.  Is there a cure?  Do I have to toss them and start over?  They were washed in a name brand laundry detergent and cold water.  Would hot water help?  Maybe a quart of vinegar in the wash or rinse?  Help, some of the offending articles went beyond plain old stink all the way to OMG! before hitting the washer. 
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: DaveB on August 18, 2014, 12:16:55 pm
Well, putting damp clothes in a plastic bag for up to three days certainly made for a good mold/mildew growing environment.  If the colors permit, soak them in bleach and wash them again.
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: BikeFreak on August 18, 2014, 12:37:36 pm
Increase the temperature to activate the enzymes in the detergent.
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: staehpj1 on August 18, 2014, 03:03:00 pm
Hot water wash and liquid Tide (I like Tide Sport)
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: Pat Lamb on August 18, 2014, 04:59:44 pm
Most of the time just hanging things out will clear up the stink, but when it doesn't, Borax does the trick for me. 
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: geegee on August 18, 2014, 11:12:19 pm
Try OxyClean or a similar laundry additive. I've also been seeing a lot of laundry scent boosters in the store but have never used them. Don't know if they remove or just cover up odours.

There is a product called MiraZyme Gear Deodorizer which I use on sandals and helmets when they get a funky smell. Works especially well for neoprene.
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: adventurepdx on August 19, 2014, 03:27:11 pm
Baking soda works wonders.
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: DoubleD on August 20, 2014, 09:44:45 am
Thanks all for the help.  I tried hot water wash with Tide and it seemed to do the trick but I've been told that the next time I wear them and start to sweat the funk could return.  We'll see.  I have borax and baking soda on hand as we make our own laundry soap.  The homemade laundry soap with borax and soda didn't touch the stink but perhaps there wasn't enough in the mix to perform the task.  I intend to use all of your suggestions and thank you again for your help. 
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: adventurepdx on August 20, 2014, 05:13:56 pm
You can also try sprinkling some baking soda on just-dried clothes from the dryer and putting it back on for 20 minutes. I haven't tried it, but it's listed on the box of baking soda.

I also soak my clothes for 20-30 minutes to help get all the funk out.
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: bogiesan on August 20, 2014, 11:57:06 pm
To treat the smell you must identify the source. The list of recommended treatments presents means to attack several different causes or sources. Some odors are gases released by living organisms. Some are from the biproducts of dead and decaying organisms. Some fabrics hold onto these chemicals and gases  at a molecular level and nothing you can do will break those bonds. Some organisms will survive by going dormant and come back to life when presented with heat and sweat and create a new crop of odors. Sometimes you simply throw the garments away.

You can search sites like Martha Stewart for tested and approved odor treatments for a wide range of fabrics and possible odor sources. Many of these treatments are simple but multi-step and involve commonly available chemicals like borax, vinegar, bleach, soaps, detergents and sunshine. Just follow the directions carefully. For instance, more detergent does not do a better job than a wee bit of detergent. In heavy concentration, detergent cannot be rinsed away so it causes rashes or, since it resembles food to some bugs, creates a Petri dish for growing things that smell.

"Sour" is usually associated with mildew but you need to decide if it's mildew or mold or a yeast. 
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: imstillhere on August 21, 2014, 07:19:58 am
I have tried regular detergent, sport wash and a mix of detergent and hydrogen peroxide and none of these really worked in getting the stink out.  The sport wash is just expensive detergent and hydrogen peroxide.  I ran out of detergent and used Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap (peppermint) with hot water out of desperation and that worked the best.  My cycling clothes are clean and smell nice. 

No, I don't work for the company.  I just wish some of the guys in the pace line would use something.  I swear some don't use anything at all. 
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: indyfabz on August 21, 2014, 02:46:23 pm
Some fabrics hold onto these chemicals and gases  at a molecular level and nothing you can do will break those bonds.

Funny. Just last evening I pulled a junky old tee from a drawer because I had to do some dirty work around the house. Many years ago, I worked out in the shirt, got it really sweaty, put it in a plastic bag I got from the gym and forgot about it for a while. Despite being washed numerous times since then, it still has a funky odor. It's destined to become my next bike cleaning rag.
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: DoubleD on August 22, 2014, 10:32:36 am
I'm beginning to think that the recommendation for washing out at the end of the day and air drying is probably the best solution.  No more plastic bags loaded with unwashed clothes for me. 
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: staehpj1 on August 22, 2014, 03:59:20 pm
I'm beginning to think that the recommendation for washing out at the end of the day and air drying is probably the best solution.  No more plastic bags loaded with unwashed clothes for me.

Yeah, when possible that is the way to go.  If you have to bag wet clothes try not to leave them wet too long.

Not for everyone, but I find that I am OK with very little in the way of clothing.  That way there is very little need to stow damp stuff.  I take one set of on bike clothes and one each of any other clothing article.  My off bike shorts (1 pr) are running shorts with a built in brief, so no underwear needed.  I carry tights (1 pr) for cool weather.  One tech tee is sometimes my only warm weather shirt.  For cooler weather I use a windbreaker over a pile shirt or a puffy shirt.  If it might be really cold I may take both, but not usually.

I find that I don't mind putting things on while they are still damp when needed and also find that going a few days without washing clothing isn't that bad.  Turning things inside out and hanging them out for an hour of sun does wonders for killing whatever grows there.
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: yumadons on August 24, 2014, 02:00:49 pm
Tide with Febreeze
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: zerodish on August 24, 2014, 07:23:47 pm
Look into odor control detergent these can be found in hunting and farm stores. Hunters use activated carbon which absorbs odors and colloidal silver which kills bacteria. Fungus is a greater problem in shoes zinc oxide kills some fungus. Sweat is the biggest problem in shirts and hats it will not wash out with one washing however detergent is not necessary to remove sweat. Bacteria will refuse to grow on silk this is what I generally use for shirts. I never miss an opportunity to wash out clothes. Socks can be soaked in a plastic cup. Use super concentrated soap and don't rinse this will prevent bacteria growth as they dry. Try boiling shoes before a trip this kill everything and removes oil from your skin. Oxy clean is wonderful stuff and works cold if allow it to soak for 8 hours. Oxy clean also destoys  DNA preventing even spores from reproducing.
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: jrswenberger on August 28, 2014, 08:10:50 am
I'm beginning to think that the recommendation for washing out at the end of the day and air drying is probably the best solution.  No more plastic bags loaded with unwashed clothes for me.

This has always been our solution. We are currently 10+ weeks on tour. Each of us has 2 sets of riding clothes. Shirt, underwear and socks get rinsed or washed with shampoo/body wash (whatever we are carrying) daily and then air dried overnight and on the bike the following day. We may miss a day here or there but it is important enough to be part of our camp arrival routine - set up tent, shower/bathe as possible, eat.

Enjoy the ride,
Jay
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: bogiesan on August 28, 2014, 11:15:00 pm
I'm beginning to think that the recommendation for washing out at the end of the day and air drying is probably the best solution.  No more plastic bags loaded with unwashed clothes for me.

Oh, yeah, simple wins almost every time. Careful what you use as a soap and how much you use; more is rarely better. A few drop of Bronner's peppermint can do a whole day's laundry.

I don't do self-supported tours so I usually get into the shower truck wearing my bike clothes. If there's a line for the showers, I can soap my jersey and shorts and rinse them in about 90 seconds, strip them off and do another, more complete cycle on skin and hair under 2 minutes. I take much more time if there's no one waiting for a stall.

I have a mesh bag for the wet clothes. I stand where I won't spatter anyone and whirl the bag over my head. This spins out a lot of water. I roll up the wet clothes in a towel and wring it, expelling more water. the towel gives you more leverage. I have some line and a few clothespins. On Cycle Oregon we can have three days of stupid hard and horizontal rain and nothing gets dry.
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: driftlessregion on September 19, 2014, 08:46:45 pm
I find that Kookaburra Wash works pretty well. http://www.kookaburraco.com/
(in addition, it is all I use for my wool jerseys)
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: bogiesan on September 20, 2014, 10:41:05 am
I've done my own laundry since I was about 12. The idea that someone else should be cleaning my dirty underwear and cycling shorts is ridiculous. But the inability to properly and safely do laundry in the field may be genetic. Or men are just stupid.

Cycle Oregon's shower trucks always have a laundry area with a dozen Home Depot buckets and a supply of detergent. I watched in horror as men used a full scoop of this powerful laundry detergent in less than a gallon of water and rinse once. Do these guys live with their mothers? Has no one ever taught them to care for their own clothes? They can never get that stuff rinsed out! They'll wonder why their crotches are itchy or inflamed. Where did that rash come from?

A scant teaspoon or two of any soap or detergent is all that is required to get three days' kits completely clean. Rinse, rinse, rinse. You've got to remove the soap. And try to get things as dry as possible before packing them up.

If you don't know how to do laundry, ask someone who does. It's easy and liberating and an independent adult should be able to take care of his own underwear.
Title: Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
Post by: waynemyer on September 30, 2014, 10:51:08 am
Synthetics, especially polyester (CoolMax, and most "sport" fabrics) have a net positive charge, which is why they have tenacious stink.  A stronger positive charge helps to remove what is causing the stink, but this involves two wash cycles, one with acid (vinegar) and one with base (detergent).

Ammonia is strongly antimicrobial, so it is also excellent for clothes that may have sat too long while damp; don't use bleach at the same time. It is also moderately base, so it acts as a detergent booster. I am not sure of the exact chemical processes, but ammonia has been the only thing that has always worked for removing tenacious stink from all of my clothes.