Our usual Question of the Week format is limited to multiple choice only. But we got so many good comments last week in response to Coach Rick Schultz’s review of Odorklenz that Rick suggested we should ask more readers to comment and tell us about their favorite laundry solutions to keep cycling apparel and other athletic clothing fresh and clean.
What works best for you?
Leave a comment on this page, below and tell us.
We’ll turn it into a master list of solutions after the responses roll in.
Even if it’s as simple as using a particular brand of detergent that you have success with, we’ll get a better idea of what’s working the more comments we see.
Don’t be afraid to post the same solution that someone else has already mentioned, because it helps to see that it’s working for a large number of people.
Best Laundry Detergent Options: By RBR Newsletter Subscribers
- Baking Soda
- Rocking Green Active Wear
- Dr. Bronners Castile Liquid Soap
- Win Sports Detergent
- Chamois Butt’r Kit Wash
- Drying Prevention
- Domol Sport
- Detergent/ Wash Bags: Costco Brand Detergent, All Free Pods, Seventh Generation Free and Clear, Cold Water Tide, Ariel
Gregg: I use Woolite on “hand wash” cycle then hang to dry.
In the summer (I ride every day) I rinse and spin one set and use a second while the first drys. Then wash both at the end of my week.
Mark D.: WOOLITE, delicate cycle, cold water, air dry.
Robert I.: I agree. Woolite for Darks, cold, always air dry on a clothes rack. I include all synthetics and wool.
Paul: Woolite. Workout Wear setting. Drying rack.
John G.: Woolite, with the washer on the ‘delicates’ cycle…
Michael: “Ecover” for the wool I wear in cold temps(tights/shirts/socks/hats).
Otherwise, I use anything wife buys for my cottons (tshirt/sweat shorts) for 22 mile commutes in warm weather.
Michael: Wear wool year round. You can ride it three days straight and it won’t stink. Wash in Ecover detergent on gentle cycle. Lay flat to dry.
Robert M.: I use “defunikify”, which was recommended by RBR. It works great!
Ralph B.: Vote #2 for Defunkify.
Jeff: Most of the time I just use Seventh Generation Free and Clear detergent and things are fine. But I second the recommendation of Defunkify. When things are really stinky I use that and press the “auto-soak” button on my washer (adds a soak period) using a warm wash/cold rinse cycle and voila. One tip to help abate the problem ahead of time is to hang your kit up so that it can air and dry if you aren’t going to wash it right away. I find this helps a lot.
Charlie J.: Defunkify reviewed by John Marsh does a great job. I soak my kit in the sink with about ⅛ tablespoon of Defunkify, rinse, wring out and air dry.
Glenn A.: defunkify with a little Tide or Arm and Hammer liquid, keeps my bike clothing clean and odor free
Scott: Oxy-clean and tide, keeps things fresh
Kim: Cold Water, Oxy-clean, Kirkland brand detergent pod.
Greg P.: Arm+Hammer with Oxi Clean regular wash + Vinegar as a rinse agent. Goes in with regular clothes I am a no muss no fuss kind of guy.
Coach Schultz reviewed Odorklenz in detail here.
Johan M.: Some white vinegar in the final rinse.
Doug F.: I pour white vinegar in the Bleach cup in our HE washer to get rid of odors. If something is extra stinky, I spray the vinegar directly on the item before washing.
I have yet to smell any vinegar odors after washing.
Dsquared: I wash my gloves with soap and then soak them in Apple Cider Vinegar for about 30 minutes. The odor of apple cider vinegar is not as strong as white vinegar. I’ve never noticed a lingering vinegar odor in my gloves.
Joan O.: Vinegar, about a 1/2 cup for large load, in the wash cycle. I use Tide or All ‘Free’ (but that’s because I seem to be allergic to whatever is in the scented stuff, causing itchy rashes when I sweat).
John M.: Tide HE plus white vinegar in place of fabric softener
Jim: Norwex and a little white vinegar
Rick G.: Soak it in baking soda and then wash in Costco and add softener.
Mack: Arm and Hammer liquid fragrance free, 1/2 scoop (The scoop comes in the box.) of Oxyclean, and 1/2 scoop (using another scoop that came in the previous box of Oxy.) of Arm and Hammer baking soda. The Oxy and baking soda come in large amounts from Sam’s. Hang to dry. Works great!
Rocking Green Active Wear
Tom S.: Rockin Green Active wear detergent. Works great for all my cycling clothes. No perfumes and removes all odors.
Dr. Bronners Castile Liquid Soap
Bryan: At home;
Cold water and Tide on delicate cycle.
On the road;
Dr Bonners Castile liquid soap. I can use this stuff for all kinds of washing!
Win Sports Detergent
Peter: Win Sports Detergent (fragrance free). I ride six days a week year-round, and that’s a lot of sweaty clothes. This does a fabulous job on riding kit (and regular clothes, too).
Roy: WIN detergent,..air dry…works for me
Chamois Butt’r Kit Wash
Sheri R.: First make sure shorts are inside out. Want to get the max exposure to water/detergent. I use Costco’s Kirkland Ultra Clean…no dyes or perfumes. Wash on Athletic Wear setting in cold water. Never ever dry.
On the road use Chamois Butt’r Kit Wash. Reviewed it in a past issue of RBR.
Sasha: As soon as I can after my ride, I hang the clothes in a dark well ventilated area (my garage on a clothes rack). Let the Kit dry out really well (a day or more) before I toss them in a mesh laundry hamper. Regardless of soap or detergent, this makes a big difference if drying out the odor causing bacteria.
Doug F.: Yeah, I never toss sweaty gear in the hamper, but hang it in front of a fan to dry for an hour.
al0: Domol Sport (2,15 EUR per 26 washes) – while I doubt it is available outside Germany.
Detergent/ Wash Bags
DAN A.: Costco brand detergent works better than anything for me.
Kenneth M.: Cold Water Tide / Machine Wash: Gentle
Never any lingering odors
Bill H.: Put it in the washing machine. 59 minute cycle with Ariel washing liquid and hang it up to dry.
Rick: After trying many ‘specialty’ detergents for athletic clothing, especially cycling, I have settled on Costco’s liquid without dye or perfume. No residual odors, everything wicks great.
Rick A.: I use All Free Pods. No perfumes and other additives.
John P.: Wash with regular colored clothes , but place bike shorts in a mesh bag. Hang to dry.
Paul: I put everything in wash bags, cold water Tide, 10 minute cycle, hang to dry. No stink, kit remains like new longer because the items aren’t agitating against each other.
Bob: Nothing fancy. Cheer high-efficiency detergent and delicate cycle on horizontal – load washing machine. Doesn’t get absolutely all the smell out but is acceptable.
Bruce N.: I just live with any remaining odor after my kit comes out of the laundry. It’s just going to get sweaty again shortly after I leave on my next ride.
Dave: Machine wash, cold water, Tide Free & Gentle, double rinse cycle, and hang to dry.
Anonymous: Not fussy about what my wife uses for washing. Zip you jerseys up all the way; it may extend the life of the zipper. I used to wash the shorts inside out to make sure they really get clean and then dry them the same way. Bad idea; I found the padding would really crimp and when you put them on it looks like you have a horrible wedgie!!
Roger: Tide (regular) liquid detergent and Borax. Gentle cycle in washer. Air dry. Never a lingering odor.
Mike E.: I use clear / no perfume All or Tide and wash on delicate cycle, works for me.
Andrew K.: No special detergent choice. They all seem to do the job. Just do it, seems to be he main thing.
Be it for the extra detergent effect or aroma, I still put some PineSol in the wash as I’ve been doing for about 30 years.