Kennedy was away at soccer camp last week and of course that meant packing up her cleats in her suitcase so that she could take them with her.
One sniff of our mudroom after a soccer game, and you’d know that it was not going to smell pretty in that suitcase. We’ve had quite a few rainy days on game and practice days this year and it’s just made the problem worse. Now, prevention is absolutely the name of the game when it comes to smelly sports gear, but I obviously didn’t do the best job of that this year, did I? Too many late games where we came home and I had to go and feed baby Jack right away and then completely forgot about airing out the soccer gear. Oops!
If you find yourself in a similar situation with some of the smelly gear in your house, here’s what you can do!
The hotter and sunnier the weather, the better! There’s nothing better to kill bacteria and get out smells than good ol’ fresh air! To be honest, this is really what you (OK, I) should have been doing all along. As soon as the sports gear comes off, stick it outside to let it air out if it’s a nice sunny day and you won’t have to worry about smells in the first place.
The idea is that you want to get the gear to dry out as quickly as possible. If it’s not quite as hot and sunny as you’d like, you can stuff newspaper into the shoes (or gloves, or whatever’s not drying out as quickly as you’d like) to soak up the moisture.
Now here’s a really neat trick. I’d heard about this before but then I forgot it before I got a chance to try it out. And then, well, I remembered it again, so that’s why I’m telling you about it now!
Put your sneakers, cleats, sports gear, what-have-you, etc. into big plastic ziplock bags, seal them up, and stick them overnight in the freezer! This kills off the bacteria living in them and helps get rid of smells. It sounds crazy but it really works! I’ve heard you’re supposed to do this with fancy jeans too to “clean” them when you don’t want to put them in the washing machine.
And there you go! Fresh, clean sports gear! And you didn’t even have to use any crazy scented chemical cleaners or get out the hazmat suit!
If you want to keep things from getting too stinky in the future, remember not to leave everything in your bag for a week after using it. You could even sprinkle a little bit of this homemade carpet cleaner in each shoe between uses to help absorb any smells that might be building up.
I hope this helps some other moms out there suffering with smelly sports gear all Summer long. I know I’m looking forward to a stench-free rest of the soccer season!
Find more of my best cleaning tricks in my cleaning archives!