Say goodbye to stinky sports gear! Homemade deodorizer spray for sports equipment to the rescue!

stinky sports equipment

As a mom of busy kids, I often find myself in the role of cheerleader, picture taker, and of course taxi driver.  I love watching my kids play sports, sitting on the sidelines cheering them on, and as funny as it may sound–I love driving them around to and from practice and games (well, most days!)  The best conversations can be had post-practice on that long drive home.  I love to hear their thoughts and just catch up with them after a busy day and crazy evening.  This sweet time can be ruined in a quick second as they take off their shoes, remove their kneepads or shin guards, or even just unzip their sports bag in the small confined space of the back seat.  All of the sudden the car smells like vomit, windows are rolled down, and I am gagging as I try to keep us on the road.  The sweet moment is ruined!

Deodorizer Homemade Spray for Sports Equipment

Essential Oils Deodorizer Spray

Recently one of my oil-loving friends turned me on to diffusing some oils in our house, and my family quickly fell in love with the mood-enhancing scents filling our home.  I have to admit I wasn’t too sure about this whole ordeal, but it was easy enough to use and my family seemed to love it.  I was a skeptic, but you can’t really disagree with a clean smelling house!

When I did a little research, I found that tea tree oil has been used as an anti-fungal and antibacterial product for 1000’s of years.  Still a skeptic, I loved the spray my yoga studio was using to clean the mats and when I found out it was an essential oil mix, I decided to give it a try.  I experimented with a few different recipes, and I landed on a deodorizer spray blend that my kids love and seriously removes the stink from their sports equipment and their bags.  It even works inside of stinky shoes!  I mix it up in little glass bottles that I found on Amazon (affiliate link) and everyone carries one in their sports bag.  This recipe has changed my life and brought back those sweet conversations on the ride home!

essential oils sports deodorizer

Homemade Deodorizer Spray for Sports Equipment

This is safe for sports equipment, bags, and shoes, but I do not recommend spraying it directly on the skin, or your stinky athlete!

  • 30 drops Tea Tree Oil
  • 20 drops Eucalyptus Oil
  • 20 drops Peppermint Oil
  • 10 drops Lemon Oil
  • 10 drops Lavender Oil
  • 1-ounce Witch Hazel (alcohol-free)
  • 2 ounce Water

Mix all of the ingredients in a small glass bottle.  Spray on sports equipment and in shoes and bags after each use.  Allow to air dry.

Deodorizer Spray for Sports Equipment

How to use Homemade Deodorizer Spray

Because the oil in this recipe is a high level of concentration, it will be effective in killing the bacteria that causes the smell, and not just covering it up like some chemical based deodorizers.  That also means that it could irritate skin, so make sure you don’t spray it directly on the skin (even though it can be the whole athlete that is stinky!)  It is also a good idea to let the equipment air dry, so spray it after practice and not before.  Please remember that I am not a doctor, health practitioner, or an oil guru.  I am just a mom, running research and development out of my kitchen and trying to survive life with kids as athletes!

I have used this spray with much success on:

  • yoga mats
  • soccer shin guards
  • volleyball knee pads
  • inside of sports shoes and cleats
  • ankle braces (athletic supports)
  • gym bags
  • batting gloves

It is also worth a mention, that I still wash sports equipment at least a couple of times a season.  As a skeptic turned believer, I can honestly say that we love this spray, and I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that peppermint oil was such an incredible and useful tool for our family too!

young living peppermint oil

How to use Peppermint Essential Oil

Because peppermint oil contains menthol, it has a strong and penetrating scent that acts as a stimulant.  When used topically, peppermint oil creates a cool, tingling sensation on the skin.  It can have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help with pain and soreness when used as a post-workout massage.

My family uses a lot of peppermint oil.  It is probably one of our favorites!

  • Add a couple of drops to a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and use as a soothing muscle cream for sports massage.
  • Rub a drop into your temples or at the base of your neck to help get rid of headaches naturally.
  • Rub a drop on your chest to help you focus or invigorate you to get through a tough workout.
  • Diffuse in your house alone or with other scents for mood booster!
  • Rub a drop on your legs and arms to help keep the bugs from biting.

I imagine that everyone’s skin can react differently, so trying on a small spot of skin and using a carrier oil is a good idea.  I’ve done some research and tried different oil brands.  My family has been using Young Living’s oils after much research on how the plants are grown and processed.

I love peppermint essential oil in the peppermint sugar scrub. Young Living also make essential oils that can be ingested and you can make the BEST homemade peppermint patties EVER!

Young Living Essential oils are part of my daily life.  You will always find us diffusing and using oils. Please click here if you would like to learn more about essential oils and how I use them!


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  1. What if the only witch hazel I can find in walmart has 14% natural grain alcohol? Will that cause problems for use with the oils?

    Also, do you happen to make a sanitizing or cleaning version of this deodorizer spray? I’d love to be able to clean with something like this too 🙂

  2. With 3 super stinky athletic boys, this will be a lifesaver… for my nose!😜. Thank you!!

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