Assemble all machine washable pads. For us, this was two adults’ and two kids’ worth of knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards. I think Junior Smack snuck in an extra set of something too as she has doubles at the moment. If you have carpet (or a couch) you want to deodorise, put all your gear there. We don’t have any carpet and just put new throw rugs on the couch so I just plonked ours down on the floorboards.
Apply bicarbonate soda. This is a great antibacterial and deodoriser so let it spill over onto your couch or carpet if you’re killing both smelly birds with one stone. Leave overnight.
Shove it all in the washing machine (ours took two loads so I’d recommend limiting yourself to just three people’s derby gear at a time. Don’t put anything in there that will get ruined by Velcro. Add a small amount of Crunchy Betty homemade soap flakes (or any other natural wash you have – soapnuts perhaps? Or nothing). In the rinse cycle section, add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of Eucalyptus oil. Meanwhile vacuum the leftover bicarb off your couch/carpet.
Hang derby gear in the sun until completely dry. This will further deodorise and kill off bacteria.
Ask your friends to sniff test you. I asked Dude and Buzz. Dude was complimentary while Buzz was overly suspicious and refused to sniff me for some reason! Smack declared that he could still smell derby stank on his gear from day 1. My gear smelt nice and fresh for about three weeks.
Refrain from leaving your mouthguard sitting in your helmet on the lounge room floor overnight. The dog might decide it’s a tasty treat and add a $40 surcharge to your 50 cent wash!