Q. I play soccer and football. I sometimes wear my cleats six days a week. Is there any way to rid my equipment (cleats, shin guards, shoulder pads, etc.) of that everlasting smell of fresh body odor?
— Raffi the Odorous, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
A. Dear Stinky…uh, I mean Raffi. I’m actually a pretty athletic guy too — and, as it goes with the territory, equally stinky. So I hear you on the smelly gear.
There are a couple of things you can do. First, never leave your pads and cleats cooped up in your gear bag after practice. When you do that, tiny microbes grow on your gear, and the smell can be lethal. So, the first step to eliminating odors is properly drying out your stuff. As soon as you get home from practice, set your pads out to dry. Hang them. Put them on a drying rack. Whatever. If your cleats are wet, stuff them with old newspaper.
Once everything is dry, get a spray bottle of Febreze Antimicrobial ($5-$6; febreze.com). Give it all a good spray. Febreze does a good job of neutralizing odors and killing the microbes that cause smells. It’s a temporary fix — and definitely not a cure-all — but that should help cut down on your stench. Good luck!