Way back in December the Runners' Lounge had a free stuff giveaway. The deal? It was called the Get the Stink Out Challenge. Confess to the Lounge just how stinky you are and you might be rewarded with some Penguin Sport Wash.
Up until semi-recently I didn't even know there was a special way to wash your tech fabrics. No fabric softener? Really? And yeah...I sweat... As we can see here in Exhibit A:Gawd, that picture is completely embarrassing. What's up with the swoob? Not only do I sweat, but I stink. I have a couple of shirts that smell all the time, clean or not. Come on, you know you guys have one of those shirts in your laundry pile too... I actually started using a sports wear specific wash a few months ago. I think it works okay, but it hasn't done too much to get out the perma-stink from some clothes.
I got two single use packs of detergent to try out. That was enough for a load of lights and a load of darks. Check out the Sport Wash website to see all of the benefits with this detergent. It is even supposed to restore factory applied waterproofing.
My favorite tech shirt is this white long sleeve top from Nike. I'm not sure really why it is my favorite, it just is. I think it was actually the first tech shirt I bought. And sadly it has this ingrained smell in it, even before I put it on for a run. The challenge would be to see if Sport Wash could get rid of the perma-smell. I give you Exhibit B, my favourite tech shirt:
I did my full load of tech wear laundry - some stuff super stinky (more stuff with perma-smell, stuff from hot yoga), bike shorts (I was not willing to investigate how stinky), and swimsuits (very chlorine stinky).
I washed in cold water. Despite the small size of the sample, it is high efficiency stuff, and it foamed up in the machine.
I will admit that I did not have high hopes for the detergent's ability to get out the perma-smell in my clothes. When I sniffed them between the washing machine and the dryer...it smelled...not good...
Imagine my surprise, but the perma-smell stuff? It doesn't smell that bad. It doesn't smell 100% fresh either, but it doesn't stink of sweat. I think that with a few repeated washings that it might actually smell pretty fresh. I still have to try it out on a run to see if the stink comes back after a mile or so, but it looks pretty positive so far.
My bike shorts? They look clean. We'll assume they are...
My swimsuits? This was where Sport Wash didn't really hold up because they smell just as chlorine-y as before.
Will I buy it? Maybe. I'm going to try WIN first, just since it is a wee bit cheaper (and, uh...I already bought two bottles). Sport Wash is available at the Running Room in a 20 oz bottle for $11.99 and gets 20 loads clean. I believe I've seen it at the Tech Shop here in Calgary as well, but couldn't tell you how much it is. But it definitely seems to work a lot better than the previous sportswear specific detergent I was using!