Here’s a gross fact for you: your laundry could actually be DIRTIER after washing it! Traditional detergents were created for traditional fabrics like cotton and linen but these days 60% of laundry is made up of synthetic fabrics (thank you athleisure!). So while detergents like Tide may get what we see (aka stains) out of clothing, most aren’t formulated to clean what we don’t see out of today’s fabrics (aka odor-causing bacteria).
Basically smelling clean, doesn’t mean clean. We’ve been trained to think that “clean” smells like a fragrance or a strong chemical, but truly clean laundry has no smell. Most traditional detergents include a strong fragrance to mask the smell of the bacteria that they aren’t getting out. So what should we do? Well first off, stop buying Tide! It’s totally outdated. Instead check for brands like Hex Performance. Science-backed, it was started by a former 9-year pro-athlete Lacrosse player (basically someone who knows a lot about smelly clothing…). Hex gets rid of the residues left behind by most other brands to actually clean clothes. You might not notice the difference right away, but you will notice that after a few months your clothes don’t start to smell (a common problem with activewear that gets drenched in sweat and washed often). In my experience I’ll have an item, wash it a half dozen times or so and it will be fine and then the 7th, 8th, or 9th time it will get a smell that won’t go away. This shouldn’t happen with a product like Hex.
Another innovation worth singling out is SmellWell, which is designed to help sneakers stink less and last longer. I just started using these after getting caught in a storm. My sneakers were disgusting! They looked like they were going to grow mold they were so drenched. SmellWell is basically an iPhone-sized pouch that you slip into your sneakers and it absorbs moisture and odor particles. You could also use it for things like boxing gloves. It really helps make sneakers feel fresh again and dry more quickly.