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  1. #1
    Austin, Texas
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    How do you folks keep it "clean"

    Really, how do you keep your hydration packs from reeking on the straps...you know from being under your armpits for hours, in 100 degree heat, etc...? Do you wash the straps almost everytime after you ride. I'm not a stinky dude, but it doesn't take long before there is some serious aromatics going on there. Is there a product that I am not privy too?

  2. #2
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    I can't say that I have ever really noticed an issue with that. I certainly get stinky clothes fairly quickly, but my pack straps have never bothered me or anyone else that I am aware of. What kind of pack are you using? Do you let it fully air dry out after you're done riding or do you stuff it away in something else?

  3. #3
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    I spray mine down with febreeze from time to time

  4. #4
    SANCTUS
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    It does not bother me, however when I was in the Navy I went ten day without a shower how far away can you smell the stench?
    BUSTELO

  5. #5
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    Do you guys know the wonders of Baking Soda? I used to be a motorcycle nut and it is what I use for my helmet and other stuff that would get smelly.

  6. #6
    Austin, Texas
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    Shoot, I'd be happy to try anything. My first bag was a small camelbak copy "Swiss Army" which I actually still have. I wear it for the shorter, faster things. I've had it probably close to 5 years. In all that time, I've probably washed it twice. I bought an Osprey Raptor 14 about a year ago. I really like the Osprey's. I started thinking that I was just reeking, but then I would take off my shirt and my underarms weren't funky at all. It turned out it was the straps. I've washed them with dishwasher liquid in the sink many, many times, and I've taken it apart and washed it in the clothes washer twice. In the interim, I've sprayed shoe deodorizer on it. That actually worked fairly well, but before too long it is seriously funky. Maybe it is adjusted wrong or something, I don't know. My wife just told me to get a new one. Well crap, guess I'll just have to do that. . I don't know why my red one was never that bad, and the Osprey is horrible after only a few rides.

  7. #7
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    very diluted bleach.

    but I also have a couple of jerseys that nothing will help. as soon as you heat up, it stinks. I just make sure to wear them on solo rides.

  8. #8
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    Make a baking soda solution (baking soda + water). Wipe it hard on your linings until the cloth or sponge you are using doesnt collect any dirt. If you want (optional), you can make another stronger baking soda solution and dab it unto your lining, then dry it in front of an electric fan.

    If you dabbed a stronger baking soda solution unto the lining, when it dries you will see a white powdery build up on your lining. This will act as a deodorizer next time when you use your helmet. It should protect your stuff and even your helmet (used to be a motorcycling nut) from odor for the next few months.

    Enjoy!

  9. #9
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    Oh wait, here's a better instruction for using baking soda from my friend who gave me this tip:

    Keeping Helmet smell away--
    I have tried in the past all sorts of things, the vilest being spraing the helmet liner with Lysol.
    Soap kind of works but leaves a waxy deposit.
    What I do is to use baking soda.
    Wach liner by giving it a sponge bath with a mild solution of baking soda and water. Once clean-- no more grey goop getting absorbed by the sponge, go over the liner with a very very strong solution of baking soda and water and do not sponge off the excess. Dry in front of and electric fan. The baking soda will show itself as white powder on the helmet liner.

    1. Baking soda is a mild cleaning agent that was popular in the past for general household use.
    2. Baking soda is a known deodorant usually used in closets and refrigerators
    3. Baking soda is a popular ingreedient in skin tonics and is known to be good for the skin.

    Therefore a residue of baking soda in the helmet after cleaning and electric fan drying gives:
    Deodorizing Action
    Additional Cleaning Action
    some benefits to the facial skin

    Because of the above, I only need to clean my helmet maybe once in 6 weeks (and I ride daily)-- the helmet only begins to smell past the 2 month mark!

    Note:
    I have found that any other deodorizer such as Ozium or fragrances that mask the smell of stinking helmets make it even worse-- it hurts the eyes.

    Most of the smell is because of moulds and bacterial growth thrving on the moisture and protein content of the sweat plus dead skin particles. Baking soda impedes the growth and proliferation fo moulds and bacteria by presenting an adverse pH level.

    Mild is +/-1 to 2 teaspoons per cup of water. Strong is a super-saturated solution-- dissolve so much baking soda in the water that any more does not dissolve and just settles at the bottom-- that is something like 3-4 tablespoons per cup.

  10. #10
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    I wash it in a front-loading washer with Penguin Sport Wash and white vinegar using warm water. Air dry or tumble dry on very low heat.
    I'm enjoying my childhood way too much to ever give it up.

  11. #11
    LightJunction.com
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    Baking soda works pretty well. I ride in the rain every now and then too...not on purpose, but it definitely has it's benefits.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightjunction View Post
    Baking soda works pretty well. I ride in the rain every now and then too...not on purpose, but it definitely has it's benefits.
    During my motorcycling days, I ride in the rain too. Not on purpose too because I used to live in a country with only 2 seasons (wet and dry). I also did long rides in the rain on purpose because I find it fun!

    I am very glad with the wonders of our cheap baking soda. Heck, you can even brush your teeth with it!

  13. #13
    Chubby Chaser
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    I've never had an issue with my straps smelling bad from being under my pits, but if I were you I would fill up my sink with hot water, mix in some laundry detergent and scrub it with a brush or even just hand wash. Then leave it out in the sun to dry.

  14. #14
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    Smelly straps? First time I hear of that ... seriously.

    I will help you with how I deal with smells in other bike gear (shoes and inside of helmet). The smell is produced by bacteria eating your biological products, sweat, skin flakes, etc. What kills bacteria? Medicinal alcohol. I have a small pump-spray bottle and after each ride I spray some of that inside my shoes and inside my helmet. They smell like brand new just opened.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokehouse4444 View Post
    Really, how do you keep your hydration packs from reeking on the straps...you know from being under your armpits for hours, in 100 degree heat, etc...? Do you wash the straps almost everytime after you ride. I'm not a stinky dude, but it doesn't take long before there is some serious aromatics going on there. Is there a product that I am not privy too?
    My pack straps are nowhere near to being in my armpits.
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  16. #16
    inexperienced at large
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Goes Boing View Post
    I've never had an issue with my straps smelling bad from being under my pits, but if I were you I would fill up my sink with hot water, mix in some laundry detergent and scrub it with a brush or even just hand wash. Then leave it out in the sun to dry.
    Mmmm, I would have to disagree with the use of hot water. I feel that the general census on washing gear is cold water as directed or mildly warm water. Beyond that, it's ink fade and material damage. After all, the process of washing is, outside the realm of sports gear, the hardest part on its durability.

  17. #17
    Chubby Chaser
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    Mmmm, I would have to disagree with the use of hot water. I feel that the general census on washing gear is cold water as directed or mildly warm water. Beyond that, it's ink fade and material damage. After all, the process of washing is, outside the realm of sports gear, the hardest part on its durability.
    The main thing is that laundry detergent doesn't activate in cold water. I've actually washed shoes and my old camelbak in hot water (not boiling hot, but hot enough where it burns your hand) and I never damaged any of my gear.

    Personally for me unless it's my delicate clothes, everything else such as underwear, socks, gym shorts, anything that I sweat in I wash it in hot water.

  18. #18
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    Well, so long as your experience supports your theory, go on practicing it. Personally, I tend to wash my bike shorts, the liner, my gloves, and all that sports gear by hand in cold to warm water. The ink fades less and it works well for me, but I guess it just goes to show we've all got different approaches.


    Quote Originally Posted by MrPretty View Post
    I spray mine down with febreeze from time to time
    tarpeous anthill, cat pee stink
    dirty until
    febreeze
    I think
    Last edited by ehigh; 03-29-2012 at 12:19 PM.

  19. #19
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    enjoy the smell. you made it, you should be proud of it.

  20. #20
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    Woolite and delicate cycle in the washing machine, air dry afterwards.

  21. #21
    gran jefe
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    find whatever roller derby girls spray on their pads. if it works for them, it ought to work for your straps.

  22. #22
    Austin, Texas
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    Lots of good suggestions here, thanks. I think the problem is akin to d365's shirts, you can clean, clean, clean, but the second you heat up, here comes the funk again. I just had one of those really fun, but inevitable mountain bike moments the other day. You know, the one where you land on your head on Texas rock, rip out the palms of your favorite gloves, have scratches and apple sized hematomas on several parts of bod, and your watch gets ripped off of your wrist... then you mutter,"darnit". The good part about it was I also ripped the clip in half that holds the front strap and magnet. I called Osprey and they are kindly sending me another clip. The guy had never heard of the odor problem, particularly since I have worn others for a longer amount of time. He suggested some stuff called Tech Wash, I think... So, I'll take the time before the part gets here to wash it in diswashing liquid, then soak the straps overnight in a baking soda concoction, then full on wash it in the washing machine. Maybe that onslaught will take care of it! If not, well hell, I'll just buy a new one since the wife says, "Buy a new one, it stinks".

  23. #23
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wryknow View Post
    Woolite and delicate cycle in the washing machine, air dry afterwards.
    x2 This works pretty good.
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  24. #24
    ouch....
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    Mine goes in washer and dryer. looks and smells new after.
    Riding.....

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    find whatever roller derby girls spray on their pads. if it works for them, it ought to work for your straps.
    Which pads?

    Going on 5 years now and I've never washed my camelbak.

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