So how do you get rid of this smell that permeates your trunk to the car and even to your garage? First, unpack the gear and hang it up to let it dry after each use. A good drying rack, or even simple hooks on the garage wall can be used. This is important to allow the equipment to dry as much as possible before it is used again. Second, take all the gear, including the bag, outside on a sunny day and air it out. When you have reached the point that the smell is truly unbearable, take everything washable--pants, shoulder pads, shin guards, socks, hockey undergarments, practice jerseys, etc., and put it in the washing machine. Yes, this is a bit rough on your equipment, but chances are it will be outgrown much faster than it wears out. Wash it in the gentle cycle with one cup of vinegar. The vinegar helps disinfect it and remove the odor. Next, add a fabric softener to the rinse cycle. This really helps take out the odor.
When the washing maching stops, you will be so pleased with this clean smell. That is, until you take your equipment out of the dryer. Even on low heat, the heat of the dryer tends to recover the bad smells. Not as bad of course, but a fraction of the smell returns in the dryer.
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