Polyester / quick-wick fabrics odour

I have been using the polyester / quick-wick fabric shirts the last few years for outdoor activities - their wicking properties is great on long, sweaty hikes and they also dry quickly compared to cotton. The problem is however that after a year or two of intensive use they develop a permanent odour - will usually smell clean after a wash but wear it for an hour or two and that gym-bag smell starts to rise.
Any advice on how one can get rid of the perma-odour and keep it from recurring?

I’ve heard that plain white vinegar is a cheap and effective odour remover. Soak quick-wick shirts in a cup or two of vinegar mixed with plain water. Then wash as usual.

I haven’t tried this myself, but I’d be interested to hear how effective it is.

Shot for the advice! I have been digging a bit on the interwebs, and there is quite a few opinions on this. What seems credible to me:
Polyester houses various funky bacteria better than cotton, hence the odour build-up is because the microscopic swarm! eek!
Other problems are mildew and fungi.

In terms of solutions:
Vinegar has been mentioned mostly in relation to mildew.
Bleach could be a good all-round solution but risky to colors.
Soaking in an anti-bacterial solution is mostly recommended for odour.
Some lady swears by a certain essential oil, but then sh also sells it on her website…mmmmmmmm

I’ll give a dettol-solution soak a bash and report back.

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If it is bacterial, you shaould also be able to solve it by putting the garment in the freezer for a few days.


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Thanks for the advice! Never heard of it before and keen to try it out.

i hear the Merino wool stuff is good, but you need a bank loan!

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:joy::+1: Too true

Eureka! I have found the solution quite by accident…I decided to try something anti-bacterial and grabbed the only thing I could find in our bathroom: my wife’s Clicks Alcohol-free Mouthwash. Diluted it approx 1:20 or 1:30 (just poured some until it felt right); soaked my 2 oldest, stinkiest shirts overnight and then washed them normally. I have used them 3 or 4 times since and can happily say they smell as fresh as the day I bought them. Give it a try!