The Funk Wars – Opening Salvo

Having battled the funk for a few years and mostly losing (i.e. I’m much more likely to say ‘Sure!’ when the kids ask for new cleats), I decided to try the kitty littler ‘sachet’ suggestion from a commenter at My Tiny Kingdom, and see what happens. So off to Wal-Mart I go in search of the necessary items and what does the geek in me do? Debate over what kind of kitty litter to get. I’m so sad. I know it’s been around for a while, but I hadn’t seen the new silica gel based litter (as opposed to good ol clay litter). I know silica gel is used to keep products dry in their packages all the time (the little white packs that always say ‘DO NOT EAT’), so I figured it might be worth a shot. The packaging swore it was five times better than clay at absorbing and locking in odor, so we’ll see. I walked out with my $14 bag of Fresh Step Crystals and 2 sets of brand X knee highs. Here’s the result:


I’ll update everyone on how it works in a week or so. I had to stick my fingers into the cleats farther than I wanted to, to get the bag all the way to the toe. But they came out unscathed. They’ve got about 36 hours to do their thing before the first matches Saturday morning. And yes the ones on the right are from my 4 year old. They don’t stink, but they were wet – we’ll see if it really can absorb some moisture.

ADDING: I used a plastic cup like you get from sports arena concessions to scoop out the litter. Then I put the knee high over the cup and flipped the cup over while pulling down on the knee high. Made a nice ‘litter log’ (boy THAT phrase could be taken multiple ways) that slipped into the cleats. The kids thought what I was doing was the coolest thing in the world. Why yes, my kids ARE the ones that’ll play in the cardboard box Christmas day, leaving the $100 toy under the tree.

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  1. Can’t do much for the shoes accept air them out, but what about the shin guards? They are as much or more of a problem.

    Send me your mailing address and I will send you some samples of a product called odorguard to put on the shin guard to absorb the moisture, wick it away and than dispose of so you keep your legs and shinguards dry and help keep them odor free.

    For more information you can e-mail [email protected].


  2. Well I’m happy to report – the sachets worked great. They were in my daughter’s cleats just under 36 hours and they smelled great – to the point I could stick my nose IN them and take a deep whiff. Smelled fine. After her match today, they were damp and had some smell, but we tossed the sachet’s back in and stuffed them back in her bag. I’m liking this – Anne tell your friend and your commenter they’re geniuses!

    As for the shinguards – we wash them weekly and they don’t smell. So score one in the battle against funk!

    Now the trick is how long the sachet’s last before they really start to stink themselves. I’m hoping the silica gel will do the trick. We’ll see!

  3. Easy now! :) You did say kitty litter, but that was the whole subject of that first post was followup to a Soccer Mom who had tried kitty litter (she buried them in litter with the cleats in knee highs). I thought you were just following up on the post, not suggesting something new! Sorry!

  4. Great tip! My daughter is a goalie & the stench from the gloves, combined w/the cleats … help us all!! I am going to try this!!

    Thanks for the article! Great blog!