Smelly Youth Sports Gear

Everyone has encountered smelly sports gear, shoes, and clothing. Sneakers whose odor carries across a room. The smell from an equipment bag that reaches from the trunk of your car to the front seat. Gloves that have the power to transfer their odor to your hands. Wet clothes left stuffed in a duffle bag that could stand up on their own.

Short of throwing them all away, what can be done? You can try to mask the odor with scents, but why not tackle the problem head on and go after the bacteria causes the odor? Besides, who wants them living there anyway?

Through an entirely natural process an athlete's body secretes perspiration, oils, and other residues during exercise. These residues are the source of the problem because they are food for odor-causing bacteria. They allow bacteria to live. You can kill the bacteria with harsh chemicals and anti-bacterial agents, but new bacteria will just move in because there is still food to eat. Look for a product containing natural enzymes to break down these residues on a molecular level, starving existing bacteria and making an inhospitable environment for new bacteria. These same residues also clog today's high-tech fabrics, so by removing them a product containing natural enzymes restores the fabric's moisture transport and wicking properties.


Ever notice how hi-tech fabrics develop a lingering odor that doesn't come out in the wash? Look for a product specifically formulated for theses hi-tech fabrics. Use it in place of ordinary laundry detergent, preferably with cold water and a soak setting. It will remove all odors and residues.

Sports Gear & Shoes

The padding in these items offers bacteria great places to live. For used equipment that already has a strong odor, a surface application will not reach all the bacteria, and the odor will likely return.  to clean the padding, washing the gear is the best way to do this.  First, rinse the gear with cold water, repeatedly squeezing and releasing the padding, until the rinse water is clear. Mix the cleaning product with cold water in a container and add the athletic gear to be washed. For several minutes, agitate the gear and repeatedly squeeze and release the padding to work the product in. This periodic washing is best done as an end-of-season treatment or initial treatment before beginning regular use to prevent future residue buildup and odor.

For sports gear with mild odor, look for spray products specifically forumulated to treat odor in gear and shoes, and use it regularly. Simply spray all interior and exterior surfaces after use and allow the item to dry.

For new sports gear, why wait for it to get smelly? Keep it clean and odor free with regular use of  an odor treatment .

Other Tips

Bacteria love moist environments. This is why drying your gear out between uses is so important. Pull your gear out from their duffel bags and hang them up to dry. Open items up to maximize the exposed area and shorten the drying time. For shoes, remember to loosen laces and remove innersoles. If it's warm and sunny, move the gear outside and let the sun help.

Wear a base layer that you can wash after each use. It will reduce the residues passing to your other gear and is easier to clean.

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Smelly youth sports gear

As a mother of 2 sports crazy boys, I wanted to reply to this post as this is what I do...I have created a line of silver lined products to stop the stink of sports gear, since silver prevents the growth of bacteria and bacteria is what causes the odor (yes ugh, it's bacteria on their gear!) . Check us out at and see our line of products and our reviews on our website at . Best of all, they are all made in the USA. Thanks!

Found an AMAZING product just had to share!!!!

As a mom of triplet boys who are all very active in the sporting world, I have bought and tried it all!!!! It's very difficult to find a product that treats these kinds of gross odors. I overheard someone on a very crowded beach this summer talking about this product called, Smell Guard and how they were using it because their new puppy was having accidents all over their home and it was starting to smell like urine. They were raving about it so I thought, if it can treat one of the strongest smells, urine, then it should surely work on my sons sports gear! I went home, googled the product and immediately purchased a 8oz bottle. My life has changed forever lol...this product is music to my nose!!! I highly recommend it!! Best part is….it’s an organic; all natural product!!!!!! It’s also inexpensive, 100% guaranteed, non toxic, and it does exactly what it says it does. Soooooooo many uses for the product too!!!! -------> GET SOME!!!!

smelly hockey gear? this stuff works!!

check out
This odor killer really works...I oen the company and am biased but in a nutshell, the natural spray "fixes the nitrogen, eliminating the off-gassing smell.
We also do sales as fundraising for teams and associations!

Found THE answer!

I've been using two highly effective products that are currently used by professional sports teams. I figured if it was good enough for them, I'd give it a try. (And YES, the new fabrics are part of the problem so conventional solutions haven't been as effective.) is the website I go to, but I think sends you there too. Beek's is the brand and the two products are ReekOut (a spray for gear and shoes) and GameOut, a sports laundry detergent (new) and both are amazing.
I started using ReekOut on my kids gear (son plays hockey, daughters play soccer). I'd have to open the car window in the dead of winter because I couldn't take the smell from my son's hockey gear. Beek's ReekOut ELIMINATES the odors. I've tried so many products (wasted so much money) and so happy I have this on hand. I keep the big 32 oz bottle handy and just spray the gear down when it's wet (from sweat) I use it on all kinds of stuff including my dogs and their bedding, shoes the kids have funked up, etc. The stuff really works. Smells nice too.
Regarding GameOut (laundry detergent) I had a bunch of towels and jeans (soured- too long sitting in washer) and funky workout clothes (left in plastic bag too long) that I COULD NOT get the smell out of. I tried to wash them a billion times and the smell was there when you wore the jeans or got the towels a little wet, drying off. So frustrating! But GameOut worked, granted it took 2-3 washings, but I got my towels and expensive jeans back. I seriously thought I was going to have to buy new ones.
Both great products and they've got this mom's "seal of approval"!