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Help me De-Stink Work Clothes & Gear (2-cycle exhaust & funk)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

DH is a law enforcement park ranger.  This means body armor and Gore-Tex, polypropylene, body odor and exhaust from ATVs, snowmachines/snowmobiles and chain saws (2 cycle).  Otherwise known as the super-funk.


I need advice on de-odorizing. In the past I've done a series of washes and soaks but I need to simplify this. Normally I use Citra-Solv is good for petroleum odors. Baking soda and borax for body odors.  Any other ideas?


If it matters, I have a front loader.



post #2 of 8

What about the scent-removing detergent they sell at outdoor stores for backpacking clothes?

post #3 of 8

Hey this is gonna sound odd, but when I worked as a fuel cell tech for an airplane company I often had to wash my hair and clothes in beer to make them bearable stink wise. My job involved pulling the fire proof foam out of the wing and acctually crawling into the wing. JP5 fuel stinks worse than many things I can imagine. Wouldn't try it with the gortex. But with the clothing he wears under all that it might work. With a front loader I might invest in a country style aliuminum tub to soak it in first. If it makes you feel better I also worked in law enforcement for a while, an after a while you acctually stop smelling yourself and your buddies. That funk becomes normal. Now the funk of some of the people you pick up I don't ever think you get used to. How ever I did have children who always let me know when I picked them up that no mommy no hugs til you have a bath,lol.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Abiopsahl - I work for an environmental consulting and have to do occasional haz mat clean-up and response work. For 2 years I had a regular job at a jet fuel spill site doing O&M on the recovery system. even if I didn't actually get any on me to feel wet, my god the smell. I did apple cider vinegar for my hair.


DH is almost completely immune to the exhaust fumes and 'kevl-odor.'  Bio-funk is a different matter.  One of the non-joys of being a park ranger is fish & game enforcement when it means investigating cases of wanton waste -  which usually means rotting carcasses.  I once rented a hotel room for him it was so bad so he could take unlimited showers compared to our pathetic hot water heater.


At least he's been hanging is clothing out in the entry way so it gets to air out at night. 

post #5 of 8

Not sure if this is heavy-duty enough, but I would try Bio-Kleen Bac-Out in with the laundry (or pre-soak with it) plus Dawn dishwashing detergent in the washer as laundry detergent. It is so good at stripping oils and odors, but so gentle too. Worked great when DS had Rotavirus and we were washing load after load of vomited-on clothes and towels.

post #6 of 8

Thought I would put on here that dh spilled a ton of gas on a waterproof/windproof fleece a few weeks ago. I washed it 3 times with all free and clear with oxiclean and then let it sit around out in the garage for a week...not really practical timewise but after that when I washed and cleaned it it smelled like all the rest of my laundry!

post #7 of 8

Hi Liza-s,

Yes not many smells like JP5. It's been quite a few years ago for me but I still remember my team going to lunch. Me being a 5'4 120pd redhead at the time with red braids to my tuckus and my best friend similar but with brown hair and having guys come up real close to us in line like some guys do, only to draw back in horror at the smell, the whole team generally laughed our selves sick everytime it happened. Off couse we were marinating in it, often for 12 or 16 hour days as the company had planes celebrating birthdays in the hangers at the time, which is really bad. Also when you pull the foam to lay it out it is still wet. It takes a long time to dry out. Highly carcenoginic(sp) as well, but what can I say at that point in my life a paycheck was a paycheck.

   As to the decomp odors, I've dealt with those as well. Human as well as animal. Police dept and I grew up on a small farm in SC. I know you probably can't afford to do it but at the police dept nothing we knew of got rid of the smell. Those uniforms were often thrown in biohazard bins along with everything else from the crimescene. An you scrubed yourself with lye soap for the next week or so. As the smell just gets into your skin and hair and doesn't come back out for awhile.Everyone else generally sprayed lysol at you til you about choked to death. On the farm we had problems with poachers/bored kids etc. killing livestock and wild animals and leaving them as well or animals doing crazy things like getting caught in barbed wire and flipping themselves upside down in water troughs. With that my mom usually had us soak our clothes in old fashioned lye soap shavings in a tub for several days with much plunging up and down. Think plunger like an old style butter churn plunger,post with an x at the bottom. Or for a better reference point shaped almost like some coat trees. Then she would wash with regular laundry detergent but also add baking soda and a tablespoon or two of vanilla to the wash. Usually worked.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Soaking in borax and Bac-Out for multiple days is the only thing that seems to work with biological orders. I guess I was hoping that worked faster. For now, we just have to wait for long weekends to take care of the jackets and body-armor cover.


Thank you for all the advice.

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