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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What is that foul smell?!?! - Washing derby pads.

Anybody that knows me personally knows how much I hate hate HATE BO. I have 10 sticks of deodorant laying around everywhere, take multiple showers in the summer, am constantly asking my fiance if I stink (he gets annoyed with this question), I hate to stink.

So when I joined derby, I didn't realize just how much I was going to start stinking. Holy crap!!!! My friggin gear smells worse than a landfill. Especially now that not only am I lasting longer in practice (more sweating), our a/c went out at the rink and we're enduring 100+ days until we get it replaced later this month (sh!t tons more sweating). My gear is smelling pretty friggin gross. I was also being pretty lazy and leaving my gear in my car (READ: BIG MISTAKE), even my fiance who knows how self conscious I am about stinking said to me "honey, you smell awful when you put your gear on". Oh crap! For Charlie (derby name: Moonshine) to say something to me about it means it really really really stinks. So I'm taking advantage of this holiday week since we have no practice, and washing these nasty things. But how?....

Good 'ol trusty google, you always come through for me. I came across this great blog post by Short Temper with Hellions of Troy on washing her gear (check out her blog here). Thankfully I have a mesh bag from the padded shorts I bought after I fell and broke my tailbone. Which no longer fit me BTW, whoop whoop! So if any followers need a pair of Triple 8 padded shorts in a size XL, hit me up.

Ok, enough with that crappy sales attempt and on to washing my pads.

So I couldn't find my mesh bag :(

Short says you can soak them in a tub of hot water with some color safe bleach, but I'm gonna go her route and chunk them the the washing machine. If you got a mesh bag, put them in it so they don't get tossed around too bad. and VELCRO your pads, so you don't have a stretched out pad train when you take them out. If you're like me and have the Killer 187 Pro pads, you can actually remove the plastic front of your knee pads (what are those things called anyways?) and put them off to the side.
Pretty neat huh?

Short says you can use your clothes detergent or color safe bleach, but in true crunchy mama fashion (shameless crunchy mama blog plug riiiiiight ... NOW), I decided to go with the cloth diaper detergent I use for my son's dipes and a few drops of tea tree oil (naturally antibacterial). If it cleans pee and poop, it should clean derby stink right? Make sure you wash in hot water and if you have the option for a soak, go for it.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT throw your pads in the dryer (pretty obvious in my opinion). Hang them up to dry, outside if it's warm and sunny. It'll probably take a couple days to dry, so don't do this the day before you need them. I simply placed them on the chest freezer in the sun room in front of a window.

And that's it! Yummy smelling pads so you can stink them up all over again :/

Welp, since I'm a cleaning mood, I figured I could clean my mouthpiece. Especially after seeing the links on Short's blog, yuck!

You could soak it in mouthwash, or just give it a good brushing like I did. No picture, sorry.

How do you clean your gear?


  1. Glad you tried out the tea tree oil! That's probably what I would've done too and now I know it'll work. I probably won't wash my pads for a while because I just bought them a couple of weeks ago, but I have been airing them out (when I remember).

    Also, I have never noticed you smelling bad. Maybe I can't smell you over myself? Ha ha. The first couple of times I came to practice and I borrowed the old pads, I seriously reeked! I am still a little afraid when I skate in front of the big fan.

  2. Hi, I'm not sure how i stumbled across your blog (pinterest i think?) But i'm glad I did. I'm kinda the same way when it comes to all think STANKY, so i'm pretty stoked i found your blog before I started up stinkin my pads and didnt know what to do about it.

    I just picked up skating again after years of not being on wheels, and i decided to sign up for Roller Derby (First practice is next Sunday, ohhhh gosh wish me luck) I just bought a bunch of gear, so i appreciate the post.

    Thank you!

  3. I laughed out loud when I saw your picture of the Rockin Green! Last time I washed my pads, I used some left over RNG from my 3 year old's cloth diaper days. I was having issues with our regular detergent where the pads would still reek of pad stink with an over-layer of detergent perfume. GACK! So I thought, well, if the RNG gets horrible toddler overnight pee stink out of cloth diapers and is gentle on the PUL, it should work on my derby gear without damaging them. I will be using RNG from now on for my gear and recommending it to my league mates. I also laid my pads outside in the sun to dry, which I always do.

  4. I use ODOBAN from home depot... hey whatever works!

  5. Anybody got a fix for a stinky helmet pad? My other pads clean up just fine, but my helmet is funktastic...

  6. Thanks for the tip :)

    Unfortunately I don't have access to those detergents in South Africa, so for those of us that could use alternatives, here you go:


    ** Put a little cheap vodka in a spray bottle and spray your gear straight after use. This helps to kill the smell and fights bacteria to some extent. Feel free to spray some vodka into your mouth as well :)

    **Bicarbonate of soda will remove any stink off anything. Sprinkle a little on your gear in between washes, then just shake it off before your next wear, or add some to your next wash. Works like a charm.

    Its not a great idea to wash your gear too often, so in between washes, use the bicarb, or try the vodka route to reduce stench.

    Happy Rolling

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