Monday, 27 July 2009

Earning the WIN

I had mentioned a few days ago that I was planning on putting some laundry detergent through a vigorous test. WIN High Performance Sport Detergent was supposed to lay the smack-down on bad smells and horrific odors brought on by sports. Well, I found a way to ensure that the final exam planned for testing the WIN Detergent would be absolutely fool-proof. In other words, I was designing a test that would redefine the term "stank". The test would be one for the ages, and I would put the little team of molecules in WIN Detergent against their toughest challenge.

DISCLAIMER: I want to make a clear statement here. I am not here to plug companies and sell out this blog to the highest bidder. I have always worked to maintain integrity with my blog in order to help you, the readers, when it comes to products. Basically, if I wouldn't use a product, there's no way I'm going to tell you to use it. So when I tell you that this product test was done impartially, and the results are posted with integrity, I'll hope you'll believe me. Thanks for letting me take the time to post this disclaimer.

Now before we get to the results, I need to describe the test. This first test was simply a "stank" test. It has nothing to do with stains or marks on clothing, nor does it have anything to do with removing stains or marks. It is simply "stank" test - that is, a test dealing with smell only. Because of this, the pictures are entirely underwhelming in that they don't conduct smell. So I didn't bother with pictures. I will simply give it to you straight.

First off, I needed to find something that would not only absorb sweat and perspiration readily, but allow it to hold that sweat and perspiration for a period of time. I looked at my old jerseys and current jerseys, and decided they would work... except that they are designed to wick away water and sweat from the body. So I took to the internet to find out which fibre would be best for absorbing and holding water, particularly that from the body.

Because one needs heat to generate sweat, I thought of several pieces of clothing: fleece jackets, cotton t-shirts, polyester shirts, and wool hats. And honestly, the wool hats I play baseball in seem to hold the smell of sweat the best. Therefore, I decided that if the wool in my hats do the job well, a large amount of wool would do me wonders for this test.

To the science! Wool takes up moisture in vapor form. Tiny pores in the wool make the fibre semi-permeable, allowing vapor to pass through to the heart of the fibre. Wool can easily absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp or clammy. Once it begins to smell, wool should be washed thoroughly to remove the odor.

Nice, eh? In essence, wool is nothing more than a breeding ground for stank. Now, one has to be insane to participate in a sporting endeavour in the summer in wool. It's hot, it will stink, and it doesn't haven't have the same ability to cool the body. I'm a bigger dude, so I need to be cool when I play sports. A woolen sweater was not an option.

Instead, I did the next best thing. I brought a knitted, wool blanket with me to a Friday night double-header baseball game that I was playing in. The looks from my teammates were, in a word, priceless as they watched me wipe the sweat away from face and arms with a blanket on a night that saw the temperature near 27 degrees Centigrade. Several asked me why I was doing what I was doing, and all I could give them was an answer of "it's for science".

However, I wasn't done there. I also wrapped my jersey in the blanket on the ride home, allowing the smell and sweat from my jersey to permeate the wool blanket as well. I enclosed the blanket-jersey combination in a plastic container and placed it in the remaining sunlight on the deck for continued building of the stank while I cut the lawn.

After cutting the lawn, I unpackaged the blanket-jersey and proceeded to wipe the sweat off me again. And, rather than wash away all the good work that I did in the shower, I proceeded to head to bed with the slightly damp, beginning-to-stink blanket that I had used as a towel for most of the day. There's your commitment to science, kids: me, sweaty and stinky, wrapped in a sweaty and stinky wool blanket, in bed with the air conditioning off. I was more than ripe, and this test was starting to show its ugly face.

I began the next day by replacing the now-dry, unwashed jersey and the overly-soiled blanket into the plastic container again as I stripped down my bed and threw the sheets and pillow cases into the wash. A shower for me followed shortly thereafter. As the container sat in the Saturday sun, I went ahead and stained the deck. As you know, working in the sun with the sun being reflected off a darker-coloured deck will make you sweat. Again, I added a new shirt to the mixture in the plastic container after four hours of work. I left the mixture outside for the remainder of the afternoon in the sun to percolate nicely. After dinner, I would get the smell test from members of my family.

The smell test went flawlessly.

  • Mom: "Oh my god... that nearly made me gag."
  • Brother: "Holy $#@!, that stinks. What's wrong with you?"
  • Dad: "You better wash that separately. Or burn it."
Dad always has the best suggestions. Needless to say, the blanket stunk. Badly. It smelled like a combination of body odor and sweat that could have had skunks saying that it stunk. It was awful.

As a test, I grabbed the two shirts that I had in the mix and threw them in their own wash cycle with some regular Gain Detergent as the baseline. The shirts came out smelling just ok. There wasn't anything overly great about them - despite Gain's claims of how great it is - and the baseball jersey still had a slight odor to it.

Into the wash went the blanket with a half-cap of the liquid WIN Detergent. I waited. I'll give you this info, though. WIN Detergent, when I opened the cap, has a strong smell. It's not a bad smell, but it kind of smells like a new public, indoor pool - like a fresh, chlorine-y smell. I know that isn't a great description, but if you get some and smell it, you'll probably be like "yeah, it does smell like that". But let me stress this: IT DOESN'T SMELL BAD. I like the scent of it. It smells like it is sterilized clean.

After running it through the dryer, and then hanging it outside on Sunday while I fixed an old fence, I brought it in Sunday night. It smelled clean! And not just clean, but there was no odor of sweat or stank at all! My mom dropped by today, and I jokingly threw the blanket at her and asked her to smell it. Even she was quite surprised that the smell was gone.

What does this have to do with hockey? Well, that stench that hockey players get in their hockey bags that permeates and lives on hockey socks, undershirts, gloves, and breezers can now be defeated! I am quite aware of the scent with my hockey gear, and I'm quite hopeful that WIN Detergent will be able to defeat the stank.

So here's my unabashed, unbiased, non-corporate rating towards WIN Detergent in terms of how it tackles the challenge of stink:

If you're looking for an effective detergent that can essentially eliminate nasty odors, WIN Detergent is the detergent for you. If you want to locate a retailer who is selling WIN Detergent, check out this page and enter your ZIP code. If you're in Canada, head down to your local Shopper's Drug Mart and get WIN Detergent there.

WIN Detergent is endorsed by the US Olympic Team. HBIC rarely endorses a product, but it will endorse WIN Detergent simply due to the fact that it does what it says it does. And when it comes to corporate rhetoric, sales pitches, and slogans, it's nice to find a product that backs up its claims. WIN Detergent has a customer in me.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Rick said...

This stuff definitely does work. I have been using this product for a couple of months now and it really is pretty effective at getting out that nasty sweat odor that just lingers on all of my gear. It works much better than any regular detergent ive ever used.

EM said...

I've used WIN to wash my "high tech" workout wear. It does work!

However, the last time I went to Shopper's, they didn't have it. The same is true for a second Shoppers. Do they still carry it?

Teebz said...

Hi, Em! I haven't noticed if they stopped selling it. I bought a decent supply in the summer, and it has lasted a while.

I'll poke around and see what I can find out about where in Canada it is available. Also, you can contact the company directly at:

I'll keep you posted!