Spring has sprung here in Central Texas. The wildflowers are blooming and that means one thing: Dad’s closet stinks like a old meat locker full of nesting skunks. The Season of Sweat is here, and for dads like me that are into running and fitness, it’s a time of year when I am annually threatened with eviction on the grounds of excessive stench.
Dealing with my own closet stink has led me to gathering a certain amount of olfactory wisdom which I shall now impart.
My feet stink. Ever since I started running longer distances, my feet reek like Roquefort. The fumes are compounded because as my fitness enthusiasm has grown, so has my athletic shoe collection. I’ve got two pairs of “active” shoes that I run in, one retired pair that I wear most days, other pairs for gym workouts or trail runs — all contributing to a symphony of phew.
My socks — simply unspeakable. I was afraid to take my shoes off anywhere near the children, for fear they might pass out.
In the past I tried to address the problem with anti-fungal sprays and a variety of medicated foot powders. These masked the problem somewhat, but had one embarrassing side effect. During boot camp sessions, my feet would become little white puffy clouds whenever I performed jumping jacks. Not good for CrossFit cred.
I won a supply of Lubriderm Men’s Sport Deodorizing Lotion at Dad 2.0 — and this stuff is amazing. It completely wipes out the stink. I take two seconds to apply a bit after I shower. In less than a week — smell-free shoes and socks, and the soles of my feet are much healthier. Amazing stuff. I’ve been looking for a solution to this problem for months!
The shoes aren’t the only problem. My closet is full of other athletic gear — jackets and tops, BRD knee braces, gym bags and towels — a variety of stuff that doesn’t get washed after every use (more on that later). All contribute to a general must that hangs over my closet. To knock that down, I hit the general area with a couple squeezes of Febreze Sport. That seems to do a nice job of making the general area less noisome without making my workout gear smell like old ladies.
My final issue is a bit unresolved — it concerns stench vs. laundry volume reduction. Your input is welcome. Since my wife does more than her share of the laundry and folding (I have other strengths), I feel very self-conscious about the exercise related increase in my contributions to the dirty laundry. Add to that three kids on sports teams, and my wife is having to deal with a lot of sweaty stuff.
Is it okay to try to reduce volume by selectively re-wearing certain workout items? My New Balance NBx Windblocker Half Zip features Polygiene NASA tech to prevent odor, so that’s good for multiple uses, as is the Smartwool running jacket I got on sale from REI — wool is odor resistant. But how about shorts?
After a run this time of year, my shirt is soaked — it gets hung on the edge of the laundry basket for a day before dropping in — but my shorts aren’t so bad. I hang them in the closet for a second use. Too gross? (Remember that I run alone.)
Do you have any tricks to mitigate sports gear stank? Or to reduce, reuse, recycle sorts related laundry? My family would welcome your suggestions.
Final thought: Don’t forget to wash your hats.