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The science of stink: How your clothes can keep you fresher, longer.

The science of stink: How your clothes can keep you fresher, longer.

Thanks to revolutions in clothing and fabric design, today’s performance apparel can keep you comfortable in extreme conditions. But that performance can come at a cost, and if you don’t know how to maintain performance clothing, you can end up with great clothes you don’t wear because they stink. Here’s a little about the science of stink, and how to get the most out of your active wear.

Women's Weekend Rucker Short Sleeve Shirt

A lot of the performance apparel in your closet is great at wicking moisture off your body. In some apparel, that can come at the cost of stinky clothes, but our Weekend Rucker line helps keep you fresher longer.

Where does stink come from?

In general, there are three big culprits for stinky clothes: sweat, oils from your skin, and bacteria. But really, it all starts with sweat.

When you talk about sweat, you’re talking about two different kinds of sweat. Without going too in depth, there’s the kind that you’re probably thinking of—salty, watery, and high volume when you’re working out—but then there’s the yuckier stuff, which only comes from your arm pits and your … well … privates.

It’s this second kind of sweat—oily, thicker, and delicious to bacteria—that provides a feast for the little critters that call your skin home.

The end result of this sweat feast? Stink. Lots of stink.

Men's Free Run Shorts

To beat stink and get high performing clothes, it often takes a combination of fabric technologies. Our Free Run shorts offer the ideal combination of wicking and antimicrobial protection.

The good, the bad, and the stinky.

Modern active wear is, for the most part, made of synthetic fibers. On the one hand, this is perfect for creating apparel that wicks moisture off your body, keeping you drier. The tradeoff, however, is that while they’re great in the moment for keeping you dry, those same properties can make them the perfect hiding place for the same bacteria that cause stink.

So, if you love the wicking properties of those synthetic fibers, are you doomed to always have shirts that get stinky faster? Short answer: No. Beating stink is generally achieved with a combination of clothing technologies.

Take, for example, our new Weekend Rucker line: You get the moisture wicking you love for staying dry on the trail and in the office. In addition, we’ve built anti-microbial protection right into the fabric. In other words, your clothes actively fight back against those nasty, sweat-eating bacteria.

Men's Sunslayer Long Sleeve Shirt

Performance doesn’t just come down to wicking and antimicrobial protection. Apparel like our Sun Slayer™ line also includes UPF 50 protection.

How to take care of high-performance clothing

First, be gentle. Start by using cold water on a gentle cycle using only non-chlorine bleach if necessary. You can also use detergents specifically designed for synthetic/wicking fibers. Then, when it comes time to dry your clothes, either hang to dry, or tumble dry on a low setting.

That’s really all there is to it.

Checkout the full lineup of Weekend Rucker apparel, and checkout our full lineup for clothes fit for everywhere.

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