Sports stuff can get stinky, really stinky. Especially if you have a horde of hockey-playing boys in your family, or are an adherent of hot yoga. In the battle against stink, it is tempting to reach for a heavily perfumed or aggressively chemical detergent. But there are alternatives.
In a previous post, my running friend Cindy noted that her homemade (very green) detergent worked wonders on her sports clothes. But I recognize that not everyone is up for cooking up their own detergent.
So, together with a few odour-challenged friends, I tried No Sweat, an eco sports wash made right here in Canada. It comes in two `flavours’: Citrus Rush and fragrance free, both of which are certified for front loading (HE) machines. I tried the Citrus Rush and found the perfume mild and natural, not overpowering at all.
Does it work? I thought No Sweat did a fine job, though I don’t really have stink problems (if you know me personally and disagree, do let me know…).
Two out of three of my friends who tried it were very impressed. The third was less convinced. Perhaps some odours are more stubborn than others.
How green is it? No Sweat claims to be the only sports wash (as opposed to general detergent) with eco logo certification in Canada. Its ingredients are proprietary and there is no listing on the bottle (which always makes me suspicious).
However, the company did share some details with me (I should say that they also sent me a sample bottle of No Sweat for free). The power of the formulation comes from ingredients which `oxygenate’ (using hydrogen peroxide). There is no chlorine involved. The makers tell me they are looking to develop an enzyme based formula too.
I doubt if the formulation is as benign as some of the mainstream green detergents, but it looks OK. The product is marked as an irritant on the label, but this is often the case with concentrated formulations.
Where is it sold? The list of stockists is well-hidden on the No Sweat website, but I have searched it down for you. You can find No Sweat mostly at yoga studios and sports stores throughout Canada and in some states in the US. In Canada it is also available at Mountain Equipment Coop. Otherwise you can buy it direct from the website.
How much does it cost? The thing that puts me off having a bottle of No Sweat at the ready for smelly loads is the up front cost. But maybe if I had serious odour issues my price threshold would be higher.
At MEC the price is $8.75 for a small bottle (16 loads). On the website you have to buy 4 x 500ml bottles at once at a cost of $36.99 (shipping to anywhere in the US or Canada included). In either case, that works out at close to 60c per wash, all in (compare that with about 23c/wash for my favourite Canadian-made green detergent, Biovert).
If you really love the stuff (and have a big laundry room), you can splurge and spend $85.99 for 4 very large bottles which will give you 375 washes at a per wash cost almost exactly equal to Biovert.
So there you have it.
If you try No Sweat, please do let me know how you fare. My sample size of 4 testers could certainly do with expanding.