Deodorizer Spray for Sports Equipment: A Natural DIY Recipe

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Deodorizer Spray

This homemade, natural deodorizer spray for sports equipment helps keep gym bag smells at bay so we can focus on winning, teamwork, and fun!

As summer winds down to a close, it is time to start thinking about back to school, which also brings one of my favorite things:

Football season!

I absolutely love to go see my local high school football team play on Friday nights. There’s just something about fall sports that I adore.

But there are a few things about fall sports I dislike, like the scary smells that come from sports equipment. When I smell the gym bag, I just can’t help but cringe.

Seriously, what kind of bacteria causes stink like that?!? And more importantly, how do I get rid of it?! 

Well, let’s dive into both of those questions before we get to our Deodorizing Sports Spray Recipe.

Types of Bacteria in Sports Equipment

There are a few of these bacteria lurking around in gym socks, sports pads, helmets, and other equipment.

Before you deodorize, you need to know your enemy!

  • Staph (Staphylococcus aureus) – Believe it or not, most of us have some form of Staph bacteria on our skin. It is quite harmless unless it gets into the skin through a cut or other route as it can cause skin and bloodstream infections.
  • MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) – MRSA is a Staph infection resistant to antibiotics, specifically those in the methicillin family (Penicillin, amoxicillin, etc.).
  • Strep (Streptococcus Veridans and Streptococcus Faecalis) – The strains of this bacteria are found in several places on the body and can cause things like sore throats, pink eye, bacterial pneumonia, and other illnesses.
  • Yeast – Yeast is actually a fungus, but is pretty common on sports equipment. It is often a source of odor and can be spread quite easily.

How to avoid bacteria on sports equipment

  • Shower thoroughly with soap after each practice
  • Do not share equipment
  • Allow gear to air dry
  • Wash equipment after each use

Homemade Deodorizer Spray

The essential oils chosen in this recipe are anti-fungal, antibacterial, and deodorizing. For more information check out these articles that are full of anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and antiviral essential oil cleaning ideas.

In many studies, tea tree proven to remove bacteria and yeast from even the most stubborn surfaces. It is well known as a cleaner and deodorizer.

Both eucalyptus and peppermint pack a punch when it comes to deodorizing and cleaning. I use them to help clean my kitchen and bathroom and to keep my laundry smelling fresh.

Note: This deodorizer recipe is made for sports equipment only as the essential oils are in high concentrations and may irritate the skin. The essential oils are at a 5% concentration, meaning that they comprise 5% of the total liquid solution. At this dilution, they are very effective against killing bacteria and odors, but not as kind to the skin.



  1. To make this deodorizer spray, combine tea tree essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil, and peppermint essential oil in a 4 oz. spray bottle.
  2. Stir/swirl essential oils.
  3. Measure in 1 oz. of witch hazel. *(The witch hazel in this recipe is a high dilution and the small amount of alcohol you find in most witch hazel will be fine on most equipment. However, if you’ll be using this spray on very delicate sports equipment I suggest using alcohol-free witch hazel as it will be less likely to have a drying effect on the equipment.)
  4. Measure in 2 oz. of water.
  5. Cap and shake.
  6. Spray down sports equipment after each use and allow it to dry completely.

What equipment can you deodorize with this formula?

I like to keep a bottle of this deodorizing spray in my gym bag so that I can spray my sneakers. It is also super handy in the car so you can spray equipment as it enters your trunk. Lightly spritz helmets, shoulder pads, soccer shinguards, athletic braces, hockey gear, yoga mats, volleyball kneepads, and even the inside of gym lockers if you want to kill germs and odors.

If you don’t care for the essential oils in this blend, try one of the other deodorizing essential oils. Now that your sports equipment is clean and deodorized, you can get back to what’s really important: the game!


About Katie Vance

Katie is a wife, mother, aromatherapist, and lover of all things DIY. She offers consultations and gives simple aromatherapy advice at Katie Vance, Aromatherapy Simplified. You can also find Katie on Facebook.

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