View Full Version : Getting the Stink Out!

09-11-2002, 09:12
OK....got a big stink problem! My son is hiking the A.T. (1850 miles down)-- I'm the ground control guy experiencing a vicarious thur-hike.

Recently he sent home his lightweight backpack -- a Dana Design New World -- in exchange for a larger pack to hold cold weather stuff...He hiked all summer with the Cold World...When I got the pack in the mail, I tossed in the trunk of the car for a week or so before I took it out...

The smell was absolutely overwhelming..it was a living thing! I put it in the sun for a couple of days, lightly washed with dish detergent, sprayed with lysol and coated it with Febreeze...Seemed ok as long as the Lysol masked the smell...But it came back...

So....I'm looking for advice as to how to get the stink out...any suggestions? I would prefer not to burn it, but realize that's an option! :confused:

The Weasel
09-11-2002, 09:40
Go to a good pet store and get the "stink remover" they sell for animal urine smells.

Possible alternative: Soak in tomato juice mixed with lemon juice. Might stain, though.

The Weasel

09-12-2002, 09:56
I contacted Dana Design and asked how to get the stink out without harming the pack..I'll share their reply .

From Dana Design:

The best way to get rid of the smell is to wash it. Fill a tub with warm water and a non-detergent soap (a techwash or woolite works great).

Soak the pack for about 1/2 hour and then use a non-abrasive sponge to wipe off the dirt. Rinse the pack extremely well, then hang it upside down with the pockets open to dry. Be careful to keep it out of direct sunlight while drying. I'd recommend spraying it with Techtron DWR after it dries- we use this on the pack to make it water resistant and it may wash off with soap.

They also recommend McNett Mirazyme Odor Eliminator available at REI (and others I suppose).

Hammock Hanger
09-12-2002, 15:46
When I come back from a long hike and my pack is less then flowery I go to the local car wash. I clip it up to the wall and spray the hell out of it, front-back-inside. I was shocked at the color of the suds the first time I did this. Then rinse well, let dry in the sun. My packs come out suprisely clean and fresh. DO NOT USE THE BUTTON WITH WAX. (Though, it might help with rain proofing?? Still I doubt it would be a good idea.) Good luck. Hammock Hanger

09-13-2002, 08:53
Hi Don,

A trick we learned on the trail to get the stink out of clothes ( I'm sure it must work for packs too) was a cup of vinegar at the beginning of the wash cycle. If you are handwashing it in the bathtub, probabaly a bit more vinegar, and then just rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse. It worked terrific everytime...

09-17-2002, 10:06
Thanks to all who gave advice...I was intrigued by the car-wash appoach...sounded like fun as well! As for the Vinegar, I was a little afraid that the Vinegar smell would be hard to get out...

After querying Dana, this is what I did.

1. completely diassembled the pack: hipbelt, shoulder straps, etc were taken off. Opened all pockets and so forth.

2. Soaked in warm water to which a generous amount of Woolite had been added..I soaked for about 30-40 minutes agitating by hand every once in a while. The water turned black from all the accumulated grime and dirt.

3. Rinsed thoroughly inside and out with a garden hose.

4. Hung in shade, upside down, to drain and dry.

5. At this point, the bag smelled fine, but, as I had already purchased a small bottle of McNett Mirazyme, I went the next step and soaked the pack for five minutes in warm water and Mirazyme and hung to dry without rinsing.

6. Stuffed a couple of sleeping bags in the dry pack to fill it out then applied a good coat of Techtron DWR to restore water repllency..

It worked well though I could have skipped the Mirazyme step..Result: a nice smelling bag, absolutely clean, with water repellency restored and no harm to the pack..

Thanks again for the replies...