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Tackling the Stink: Essential Tips for Soccer Parents

There is nothing I enjoy more than being a soccer mom, but the stench that comes with sweaty cleats, goalie gloves, and other gear can be overwhelming and make that drive home unbearable. Today’s post covers practical tips and top-notch products we use in our home to manage and eliminate those persistent odors. Be sure to check out our bonus tip at the bottom.

Why Do Cleats Stink?

Let’s start with understanding the stink, it all has to do with moisture. Soccer cleats can stink because sweat, mud, grass and moisture in general create an environment for bacteria and fungus to thrive. These organisms produce organic acid waste that smells bad. 

Top Products for Odor Management

The number one ingredient all of these products have in common is silver, I don’t pretend to understand the magic that goes into how it works - I just know all of these products use “silver”. We have affiliate relationships with Amazon and Salt Athletic so we do get a commission for some products purchased through these links.

The Aercase Cleat Bag is a game-changer for keeping soccer cleats odor-free. Its permanent technology kills bacteria and blocks odor, ensuring that your child's cleats stay fresh. Plus, it's machine washable, making it easy to maintain.

All of that information above came from the Salt Athletic website. What I can tell you is, when my kid puts his cleats in the bag, I don't smell them in the car and his soccer bag no longer stinks.

We have a 10% off discount code for anyone interested in one of these bags. This is an affiliate code and we get an additional 10% for every bag purchased with this code: OSMD10

As seen on Shark Tank, Stank Stix are perfect for goalie gloves and cleats. Here’s why they stand out: The Silver Seal technology fights glove and shoe odor better than any shoe deodorant balls or other deodorizers. They contain replaceable deodorizing and moisture-absorbing bags, lightly scented with plant-based essential oils. These can be replaced as needed. They are all-natural, non-toxic, and a safe alternative to harsh chemicals.

Defunkify Spray is your go-to for anything stinky. It can be used as a fabric spray, shoe deodorizer, foot odor eliminator, and more. It's perfect for soccer bags and car seats, ensuring you can remove funky odors quickly and effectively.

Preventative Measures to Keep Cleats from Stinking

Knowing how to clean soccer cleats that stink is essential, but preventing them from getting to that point is equally important. Here are some preventative measures:

1. Immediate Post-Game Care

Always air out your cleats immediately after a game. Remove any excess dirt or grass, as these can retain moisture and contribute to odor. We use the Boot Buddy but if you already have something you are using for golf shoes, this is pretty much the same thing.

2. Proper Drying

Never underestimate the importance of drying your cleats correctly. Avoid direct heat sources like radiators (but I don't know who has these anymore), as they can damage the material. Instead, opt for a well-ventilated area or use a boot dryer if available.

3. Regular Maintenance Routine

Establish a regular cleaning routine. This doesn’t mean a deep clean after every use, but a quick wipe-down and check for any dampness or mud can go a long way in preventing odor buildup.

Detailed Cleaning Steps

Step 1: Remove Excess Dirt

Before cleaning, knock off any excess dirt or grass from the cleats.

Step 2: Use a Mild Soap

Fill a basin with warm water and a small amount of mild soap. Use a soft brush to scrub the cleats gently.

Step 3: Rinse Thoroughly

Rinse the cleats with clean water to remove any soap residue.

Step 4: Dry Properly

Stuff the cleats with newspaper or paper towels to help absorb moisture. Place them in a well-ventilated area to dry.

Extra Tips for Keeping Gear Fresh

Rotate Cleats: If possible, have an extra pair of cleats to rotate between games. If you can do this you have a better soccer situation than I do but this allows each pair to dry out thoroughly. But, honestly if you are transitioning from old to new boots, try to wear the old ones on rainy days or bring them along for tournaments just incase.

Use Deodorizing Products: Products like the Aercase Cleat Bag, Stank Stix, and Defunkify Spray can keep odors at bay between cleanings.

Ventilated Storage: Store cleats in a well-ventilated area rather than in a closed bag to prevent moisture buildup.

Bonus Tip: Now the tip you all have been waiting for. If you have the unfortunate luck of having to spend the weekend in a hotel room with a stinky child here is my best advice. DO NOT LEAVE THE STINKY ITEMS IN THE CAR. When you go to the hotel room, stuff the wet shoes with newspaper and try to let them dry out the best you can outside, if you have a boot dryer you can try to plug it in outside at the hotel and dry them before bringing them into your room. But when you do get them in your room stuff them with newspaper and put them in the microwave (DO NOT TURN IT ON) but the microwave will keep them from stinking up your room. If you don't have a microwave you can use the refrigerator. It will keep your room from stinking.

Double bonus tip. Don't eat hot food in your room, this will also cause your room to weird. If you do eat in there, get all of the food out before you go to bed.

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