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Incredible Stinkfighter 1.0 - BETA TEST

Doing laundry on the road is one of the necessities of light, one-bag travel. You don’t need ten changes of underwear for a ten-day trip; you can get by with three. But, you must use synthetics to successfully wash and dry overnight in the hotel room or hostel. Therein lies the problem: Synthetics get stinky fast. One solution is to pay $18-$35 for high-tech underclothing which has expensive fabric with built-in anti-microbial (and, hence, anti-odor) properties.stinkfighter.jpg

I have discovered another, cheaper way: Sink wash your garden-variety synthetic (polyester/nylon) undies using my odor-fighting concoction. Here’s how you do it. Fill the sink about half way with luke warm water. Mix in a couple of glugs of clear Softsoap antibacterial handsoap and a couple of spritzes of Febreze Anti-Microbial. Handwash the undies, then rinse them out quickly - not too aggressively. Apparently enough of the anti-bacterial and anti-microbial stuff stays in the fabric to make it perform like the $25 hi-tech variety. My $10 Champions now finish a sweaty day as sweetly as my  more-expensive Terramar briefs (with Visaendurance wonder fabric). The hi-tech fabrics are probably still a little better, and they are definitely still preferable for backpackers who may have nothing more than a creek to wash in or who want to stick with green, biodegradeable detergents. But, for the cost-conscious light traveler my method may be just the ticket. This method works equally well for briefs or undershirts. I’ve used it on my ExOfficio Air Strip shirt, too.

I get this stuff through the carryon screeners by filling two 2-ounce hand sanitizer bottlew with the soap and a 2-ounce spray bottle (half-full) with the Febreze. This is enough for ten days or so.  I don’t mix it together until it hits the sink.

I haven’t been using this concoction long. Please let me know how it works for you.  Your input may result in an even better Stinkfighter 2.0,

DISCLAIMER: I cannot guarantee that this method will not harm or shorten the working life of some garments, but I have no reason to believe that the method is detrimental to any fabrics or finishes.

Reader Comments (8)

I use a similar method. Good to know I am not the only one without $30.00 shorts. However, I do use a different set of ingredients.

I use Scent-a-way laundry detergent to wash, then lightly rinse in a sink of water mixed with a cap full of X-O deodorizer. I agree with Brad the method works because the ingredients are not totally removed from the clothing.

Scent-a-way is used by bow hunters and is designed to remove human scent and X-O is made for animal use which means both are strong but will not cause skin rashes.
The only downside is I have a strong urge to urinate on fire hydrants ;-}.

An extra plus is that both ingredients are environmentally friendly.

August 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDan

I am delighted to find both these recipes, and will try them on my next trip. I'm a newcomer to one-bag travel, and my Ex-Officio briefs got disappointingly stinky washing with only terrible "environmentally-friendly yet expensive" green goo sold at the store.

Thanks for the tips,

August 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohnny A

Does the softsoap really work as well as say woolite or even just a regular powdered detergent?

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlordhamster

There's an old saying - "Soap is soap." That may be oversimplifying but it works fine for travel. I wouldn't propose that you use it all the time. A Tide stain pen will help out nicely.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

Ladies, try the 100% silk panties from WinterSilks.com. Took them on a three-week trip to Europe and just washed them in the sink with a Woolite packet or with shampoo and they always smelled clean.

June 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLori B
My favorite is to use a Lush solid shampoo bar for all my washing, self, hair, clothing. Spent three weeks in Europe and washed all my ex-officio clothing with it then hang dry. It seemed to work quite well. My clothes always smelled fine and felt clean.
July 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
I really like Penguin Sports Wash for all of my synthetics...it totally gets rid of the funk! I just saw that they make travel packs which I'm going to try out on my next trip!
March 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
I second the lady above who suggested silk panties for ladies. I travel with two pairs of ExOfficio's expensive nylon travel undies, and two pairs of WinterSilks silk MESH undies. I am more comfortable in the silk pairs (they breathe better) and, even with a cotton crotch panel, they dry overnight just like the synthetics do. As a side benefit, the silk mesh is invisible under clothing, so no visible panty lines. The Ex Officio bottoms are okay--I really like their styling and fit--but they aren't breathable enough for me to wear them all day every day at home. The silk ones are hard to resist rotating through my regular daily wardrobe because they are comfortable, beautiful, and breathable. I believe they retail for LESS than the Ex Officio as well.
July 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwillo

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