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:
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.
- 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 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 that is 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 the 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 equipment 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 has been 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 recipe is made for sports equipment only as the essential oils are in high concentrations and may be irritating to 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 skin.
- 35 drops tea tree essential oil (find pure tea tree EO here)
- 35 drops eucalyptus essential oil (find pure eucalyptus EO here)
- 20 drops peppermint essential oil (find pure peppermint EO here)
- 1 oz. witch hazel* (find it here, or learn to make your own witch hazel)
- 2 oz. water
- In a 4 oz. spray bottle, combine tea tree essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil, and peppermint essential oil.
- Stir/swirl essential oils.
- Measure in 1 oz. of witch hazel. *(The witch hazel in this recipe is very diluted, and the small amount of alcohol found in most witch hazel should 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 equipment.)
- Measure in 2 oz. of water.
- Cap and shake.
- Spray down sports equipment after each use and allow to dry completely.
What equipment can be deodorized 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, you can get back to what’s really important: the game!