How to stop your cycling clothes from stinking

Standard detergents only wash the surface of the clothing, they don’t penetrate the weave which means that sweat bacteria is missed. To get rid of that bacteria you should use a sports-specific detergent.


Cycle clothing, or any tight weave technical sportswear for that matter, can be tricky to take care of. This because standard high street detergents are not designed for this sort of fabric.

The sweaty return

The clothing you wear when cycling needs to be comfortable and supporting, which is why you spend a bit of money on technical fabrics which tick all the boxes. The downside to clothing like this is that it retains sweat in the tight weave. Even though you have washed it, once you wear it for a little while that sweaty smell quickly returns. This is because your body heat reignites trapped bacteria which causes the smell.

Hygienically clean

Sports wash liquid is designed to penetrate deep into those weaves and destroy all of the bacteria which is trapped there, allowing your clothing to breathe once again. The liquid’s technical mixture of anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties means that your clothing is not just visibly clean – it is also hygienically clean.

Active agents within sports wash liquids stay with your clothing, even after being washed, and they continue to work to prevent odours for much longer than any standard detergent available. This leaves them smelling fresher, for longer.

clear out

Fungus killer

If your cycle wear is occasionally ‘dumped until wash day’ (hey, we’ve all done it) sports wash liquids work to also destroy fungus – such as mould and Athletes Foot too. So no matter what you throw at your cycle wear, a good sports wash liquid can cope with it.

Skin friendly

Sport wash liquids often uses fewer chemicals than standard detergents. This results in fewer suds in the wash which in turn results in no skin irritation and a clean smell instead (not that highly fragranced smell you get with standard detergents). Some sportswear fabrics require no soap when washing as this degrades the fabrics, Halo is soap free.

Cleaning ‘technical’ clothing does not have to be technically demanding. It’s just a matter of using the right liquyid for the job.

Get more life out of your gear

By using sports wash liquids you are also prolonging the life of your cycle wear. This is because sports wash liquids work at just 30 degrees to get rid of bacteria and fungus and by washing at lower temps you keep the elasticity of your sportswear, the colours stay longer

Plus you get to do your smug bit for the environment by washing at lower temperatures too.

Shop for sports wash products at Merlin Cycles

2 comments to “How to stop your cycling clothes from stinking”
  1. What tosh. Sports-specific detergent is another niche product designed to embarrass the gullible into buying the unnecessary.
    In the same way that anti-perspirant ad’s make us think we should be coating our bodies with god knows what combination of chemicals, and women are bombarded with advice about “feminine odours”, this product plays upon our insecurities. Yes, exercise makes you sweat. Yes, you should wash your clothing regularly. But yes, ordinary soap or detergent will do a sterling job for pennies.
    And as for boasting that this stuff contains no soap, well, very few detergents do. And this stuff washes at 30 degrees, making you a fully paid-up eco-warrior? Guess what? There are dozens of regular washing powders that will do the same.
    I could weep.

  2. I thought the honk of the gear was something I just had to get used to. Chance remark on a radio show by an Australian scientist about the microflora of synthetic fabrics (micrococcus lutei is what you need to eliminate) lead me down the google path to Halo. What a difference. Also means that the washing machine no longer has a musty smell that needed a hot wash to clear.

    One thing to bear in mind if you have a septic tank – Halo doesn’t do it any favours at all. Something to do with being so effective at killing bacteria.

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