View Full Version : Breeches that STINK??!!

Mar. 21, 2012, 10:50 AM
Help - I'm getting ready to throw away several pairs of breeches that I simply cannot get to stop smelling! These are all nice breeches, and they are always washed in cold water and then hung to dry, but I've tried presoaking them, washing them in the Arm & Hammer detergent, but no matter what, they smell like sweat.

I always hang them when I take them off, so they don't go in the hamper wet, so I cannot figure out what's going on. It seems to be worse on breeches made of the newer, thicker, Schoeller-like fabric. One pair is Riding Sport Competitor breeches, another are Ovation Euroweaves, and a third are TuffRider Kashmere. The Ovations are less than a year old, and the other two less than three years old, worn maybe once a week.

Has anyone been able to figure out how to save breeches that smell like.....well.....crotch? *sorry* And is there some way to prevent it from happening in the future? I don't want to spend tons of money replacing perfectly good schooling breeches!!! TIA!

Mar. 21, 2012, 11:03 AM
Pre-soak them in warm water and vinegar. If your washer has a soak setting, add the clothes, and a cup or so of white vinegar.

Then when you go to wash them, add baking soda to the soaking water (plus your normal detergent, etc). If you had to treat the clothes outside of the washer, add the vinegar in the mix too. The vinegar/baking soda reaction will help get the smell out.

You might have to do it a couple of times for best results.

Dry the clothes OUTSIDE. Sunlight and fresh air does amazing things for removing smells.

Mar. 21, 2012, 11:06 AM
Lestoil takes most anything out of laundry. You only need a little bit, a couple of Tablespoons for a regular laundry load. The breeches will smell like Lestoil for a while, but it fades with the next washing. I would try washing them in warm water, too, it may get more out than cold does.
Good luck, it's a shame to throw away otherwise good breeches. But I have had a couple of towels that got like that, and I was never able to get them completely fresh :(

Mar. 21, 2012, 11:21 AM
Ditto the vinegar. Be careful about the vinegar/baking soda ratio, though- you could end up with a LOT of foam action temporarily!

Tide stain release tabs also tend to get some smells out for me as well.

Mar. 21, 2012, 11:39 AM
All of my horse related laundry (and my bathroom towels :) ) get a hefty dose of OxyClean powder and liquid fabric softener. It may take a few washes for the smell to dissipate but I have saved some formerly dingy-smelling towels this way.

This product is also amazing - I know it is for animal smells, but it really takes the stink out of anything and doesn't harm the fabric. http://www.amazon.com/Clean-Green-Upholstery-Remover-16-Ounce/dp/B001QE95QY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332344349&sr=8-1

Mar. 21, 2012, 11:41 AM
Also, using TOO much detergent can leave a musty smell in your clothes, so be sure you aren't trying to compensate with extra detergent.

Mar. 21, 2012, 11:56 AM
The soaking thing is a bit difficult, since I have a front load washer, so I can presoak, but I don't think I can add to it after the soaking. I usually use Tide, measured for the HE washers, so I don't think I'm oversudsing.

Good to know this might work on the towels too - I have bathroom towels that also get musty smelling, even when they are just out of the wash.

Mar. 21, 2012, 12:27 PM
Have you considered that the washer is holding on to the smell? I had to use washer cleaner and my clothes were much better.

Mar. 21, 2012, 12:34 PM
Have you considered that the washer is holding on to the smell? I had to use washer cleaner and my clothes were much better.

I've heard that front load washers can start smelling musty/mildewy because the doors seal so tightly , and there isn't any air circulation like with a regular washer. I second the washer cleaner, it's really easy to use!

Mar. 21, 2012, 12:45 PM
this happens to our front loader. We use a sponge to prop the door open when not in use, so that air can get in there. Otherwise the washing machine gives off a sulpher-y smell. Yuck! This may be contributing to the smelly breeches. We also use a detergent called Sport Suds and it's great. My SO is an avid cyclist so you can imagine the lovely scent of those bike shorts. It works!

I hang my breeches up inside out and give them a shot of Febreeze if I wear them more than once. I admit to recycling if it wasn't a particularly demanding ride ;)

Mar. 21, 2012, 01:09 PM
ditto on the front load issue - it might be all your clothes are smelling musty, but it's the sweat effect that makes you notice the smell. I keep a towel over the door so it doesn't close all the way and I pull open the door that you load th edetergent in - gives it another place to air out. Also 1xmonth or so I do a clean cycle with bleach (or "affresh"). My front loader actually has a "clean washer" cycle which seems to use more water, but I bet a heavy duty/extra rinse cycle would work too.

And of course nothing beats vinegar for getting out odor!

short strided
Mar. 21, 2012, 01:14 PM
If you really are about to throw them out, I would put a little bleach in the wash with them. My area of the country is basically like living in a steam room for most of the year, so my riding clothes get very very sweaty. I use bleach on colored clothing frequently and have not had a fading issue. Pick your least favorite pair to try it with and go from there.

Mar. 21, 2012, 01:32 PM
As far as the front loader, we have the washing machine cleaner, and we run that solution through the cycle a couple of times a month, just to make sure there is nothing stuck in the washer. We even replaced the rubber tub seal to make sure nothing was stuck in there, so I don't think it is that.

So should I just throw the vinegar in where the detergent would go? And then how do I get the baking soda in there?

Might have to try and borrow someone's top loader to do a soak load....

Mar. 21, 2012, 01:52 PM
The front loders are a pain to keep fresh, since mine is in the "mud room" I prop it open.

Are you ure that your clothes are fully dry before folding/putting away? If there is any moisture trapped inside the weave of those heavy breeches when you put them away, you'll pay for it later.

I garee with the vinegar solution, it usually works, as does Lestoil. I have not tried OxyClean for stinky horse related stuff but will give it a try. It works on my son's dirty stinky day-camp clothes.

Mar. 21, 2012, 02:36 PM
I always leave my washer door open while the load is drying and run it with bleach every month or so. Dilute the baking soda in water and pour in where the detergent goes before you add the detergent..

Mar. 21, 2012, 06:16 PM
Put the smelly clothes in a bucket with a scoop of oxy clean and soak overnight. All of our workout clothes that are high performance fabrics hold onto the sweat smell. I usually soak a load of workout clothes every month or so. It seems to keep the smell at bay.

Sing Mia Song
Mar. 21, 2012, 07:01 PM
I used to have the nasty washer problem (common with front loaders). I was religious about leaving the door open, and I switched to a powdered detergent after I read that liquid can contribute to the problem. The smell diminished but didn't go away until I bought this product that I found online. I went through the first bottle pretty quickly, but I only used part of the second before I didn't have to use it anymore.


Mar. 21, 2012, 09:26 PM
I'll second sunlight - even leave them on the line for a few days.
Downy has also come out with a new product - http://www.downy.com/en-US/product/unstopables-fresh.jspx
It isn't in all stores yet - it is that new. Wonder if it would help - and I think there are online coupons too :)

Mar. 21, 2012, 11:29 PM
Totally agree with the suggestion of adding vinegar--I put it in the bleach compartment, or you could just put it in with the detergent. We have a front loader too and it works wonders when you add it to the Tide HE. We also keep the door open all the time between loads due to humidity.

ps. Vinegar also works great on my husband's sweaty golf gear and when there are "cigars with the boys"!

Mar. 22, 2012, 12:31 PM
You could just soak the breeches in the bathtub in vinegar, then move to the washing machine...

Mar. 23, 2012, 07:22 PM
May try Tech Wash. I use that on my Underarmour when they get a funky odor. I got mine from Eastern Mountain Sports. I tried another brand from Dicks called Sport something wash and it does not work as well.

Mar. 23, 2012, 07:50 PM
Simple Green and a soak. You could try a vinegar soak, a wash, a Simple Green soak, and another wash. Warm for the first wash and soak, then cold. I love the smell of Simple Green, and it's got a Powerful effect on laundry.

Hunter Mom
Mar. 23, 2012, 09:01 PM
ScentAway, Dead Downwind, Sport Wash or other detergents that are designed for archery hunters are good. They must eliminate all human scent (or so DH tells me) during deer season. And I will say that it keeps the funk away.