Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who Stinks?

Stinky : A young man holding his nose because of a bad smell, isolated against a white background Stock PhotoWhew.  Did someone forget to shower?  Seriously, people there is a thing called soap and you use it to wash your body so you don't stink.  Oh, and you need to wash your clothes too.  Soap = not stinky.  Or does it?

Who am I talking about above?  I happen to be talking about myself.   First and foremost, I DO shower.  Daily in fact.  Yup, I also wash my clothes.  Why is it then that my workout clothes STINK!  Not just after an 8 mile run, of course, but even after I wash them.  I swear it has to do with the material.  I think the inventors of this so called "technical clothing material"  or this "moisture wicking capable" mumbo jumbo have a conspiracy against those of us who want to stay cool and dry.  I'm convinced at one time the executives of the companies that sell this type of workout clothing had a conversation that went something like this.
Fabric Engineer: "I've invented the next best thing since sliced bread.  Gym buffs with love it.  Bikers with previously chaffed sensitive spots will adore it. Runners will buy it by the truck load.  Cotton farmers will hate us, but that's beside the point."

Exec:  Touching a baby soft t-shirt, "Wow, this is great material.  What is it made out of?"

Fabric Engineer:  "100% polyester.  I have a technical name for it -- technical material.  Tech for short.   Unlike cotton which accumulates every drop of sweat until your clothes weigh 5 pounds, this material wicks sweat away from your skin but doesn't absorb it like cotton.  It's like running naked."

Exec:  "Think it would sell?"

Fabric Engineer: "Who wouldn't want to run feeling as if they were naked?  Of course it would sell.  One thing though that I can't solve is while this material doesn't absorb sweat it absorbs stink.  I'm talkin' BO -- body odor.  Even after washing it multiple times, there is a lingering stink to it."

Exec: "Is it noticeable?"

Fabric Engineer: "Not when you first put on a freshly laundered shirt.  It isn't until 5 minutes into your workout that you start to notice that something stinks.  By that time it's too late.  You think it can't be you because you just started your workout and you are wearing a clean shirt.  It must be the guy next to you. You question through your entire workout if it really is you that stinks.  By the end of your workout you DO stink so it doesn't matter anymore."

Exec:  "Are these results reproducible?   Pretty much every time one would wear a "tech shirt" they have 5 minutes before they question if they stink but it is too late to change into a 100% cotton shirt?"

Fabric Engineer:  "Yup, pretty much."

Exec: "Let's go with it.  I'll purchase 1 billion lots.  What the consumer doesn't know, until 5 minutes later anyway, won't hurt them.  HA! Us insiders will just buy stock in laundry detergent as those gym goers will spend oodles of money on detergent trying to launder their stink away."

OK.  Maybe the above situation is a bit far fetched.  But I swear all of my technical clothing does indeed hold on to the stench.  I feel the material microencapsulates the stink only to deliver it into the open air around me in a delayed release fashion.

Charlie you failed me.  But I still love ya.
It isn't practical for me to wash my workout clothes immediately after I wear them.  That would mean I would  be doing laundry everyday with just a few things in the load.  I am not about to do that.  It just isn't good for the budget or the environment.  I use a special order detergent called Charlie's Soap because my husband is sensitive to normal detergent.  I had high hopes for this not-so-wallet friendly soap in terms of ridding the stink, but even Charlie failed.  I'm getting to the point of wanting to buy all new workout gear, but I'm holding out for a better solution.

Am I the only one who has experienced this?

How do you wash your workout clothes?

Any advice?

As  a side note I want to wish all Surf City Marathoners good luck tomorrow.
 Sweet medal!

A special shout out to Surf City Marathon bib number 3117 Muddy Runner who is an absolute inspiration!  If you haven't read his story click HERE.  He will be kicking his 3rd marathon to the curb tomorrow.  Go gettem' Luis!


  1. Luis is definitely an inspiration!! I love his blog :) As for the smelly workout clothes, I think you are on to something!! My tech stuff definitely holds on the smell! Not sure what to do about that other than own the stink...yes, I smell but I am running and having a kick ass workout!! :)

  2. Thank you for your support! I'm off to rock Surf City!!

  3. If you can figure out a good soap - please share! I've bought a couple that are specifically for workout gear and my clothes still stink (as much husband loves to inform me). :(