To be frank….yes I do! And I’m not the only one. What am I talking about? Epic knee sleeve smell. Many of us wear them, and they tend to take on a foul odor after a while. The problem is bacteria. They get all sweaty, then you throw them into your gym bag or the trunk of your car. They dry in the dark, a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. It doesn’t help that they are neoprene and hold onto all that bacteria like a sponge.
Fortunately I stumbled onto a great article from the owner of CrossFit of Fremont, and CrossFit OG, Freddy Camacho. His first recommendation: let your knee sleeves sit out as long as possible in order to dry. He straps a clip onto his bag to allow the knee sleeves to hang off the bag without being on the shoulder strap.
I grabbed an old belt and a couple of carabiners, it’s not pretty but you get the idea.
The other step is to actually get the stank out of the sleeves. You can throw them in the washing machine. They will smell great for about one or two workouts. Unfortunately, the washing machine doesn’t get hot enough to kill the bacteria that causes the stank. You need to boil your knee sleeves. It’s a simple process and it will leave your knee sleeves smelling fine much longer.
Step #1- Place your knee sleeves in a large pot and find something to weigh them down. Neoprene is extremely buoyant, so you need to make sure they don’t float out of the water at boil. Freddy use’s a few river rocks:
Step #2: Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil:
Step #3: As soon as the water reaches a boil, turn off the heat. Add a little dish soap to the water and let it cool. Once the water has cooled (I just let it sit overnight), remove your sleeves form the water and let them dry. They will be like brand new.
Disclaimer: I tried this and it worked great. I should point out that a tiny bit of the color ran if you look hard. Also, they need lots of time to dry. If you can, I recommend the night before a rest day so they can dry all the next day.