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January 13, 2009

ProWash Detergent Review

It’s product review time! But before I tell you about the product, you have to indulge me in a little story.

Sometime during her first pregnancy, something very odd, and somewhat life-changing happened to my wife. It was like something out of a superhero comic, like when Peter Parker was bit by the radioactive spider and developed special powers – only the abilities my wife took on weren’t nearly as cool as wall crawling or night vision.

Basically, she acquired a highly advanced sense of smell.

As strange as her superpower seems, it comes in handy fairly often. For example, as soon as we walk into the house, she can tell if our cat has thrown up while we were away. She has the undisputed final say as to the freshness of any item stocked in the fridge. And presumably, if our house ever sprung a gas leak, she’d be able to warn me before I inadvertently blew us to oblivion. It’s reassuring to have a resource like that in your corner.

However, when it comes to my running gear, her gift becomes a major annoyance.

When I come home from a run, I’m not allowed to go anywhere near her. When I hang clothes out to dry, she maintains a 10-foot radius from them at all times. And sometimes, even after I wash my clothes, she can tell that the odors aren’t completely gone.

So you can appreciate my interest in being asked, along with some fellow bloggers, to try a new product geared specifically at cleaning athletic wear. And when the sample of ProWash detergent arrived, we put it to quick use.

ProWash is supposedly formulated to clean the synthetic materials that comprise most running clothes – those garments that are great at wicking moisture, but also retain all the odor-causing bacteria that make your clothes reek long after they’ve aired dry.

ProWash can be used two ways: as the primary detergent for an entire load of laundry, or as a “booster” to the detergent you already use. I did my initial laundry load with just the ProWash, and used it as a supplement thereafter – which, considering the price (see below), would be my recommended method of use.

So how does it work? Honestly, I can’t really tell. I mean … it’s laundry detergent. You wash your clothes with it, and they smell better than when they started. My nose isn’t nearly sophisticated enough to appreciate the difference. That's why I'm deferring to an expert opinion.

My wife tells a different story. She claims that she noticed a difference with the first batch of laundry we did, and that it smelled cleaner than usual after we wash clothes. Perhaps most telling, however, is that she’s instructed me to keep using it. If I’m taking a batch of clothes to the washer, she’ll yell out, “Be sure to put some of that new stuff in there!”

So apparently, to discriminating noses, there’s a big difference. And when it comes to recommending ProWash, that’s probably the best, most informed endorsement I can offer.

ProWash isn’t exactly cheap – the best price I found was three 24-oz pouches for $23 at Amazon.com (where the product has a 4-star average rating). But if you use it as a supplement in small doses, or only with loads of technical fabric clothing, it can probably stretch a long way. (It’s also sold at Walmart, but I couldn’t find a listed price online.) The bottom line is, if you’re battling to get odors out of your running gear – or if your spouse has similar superhero traits as mine – it’s probably worth a try.

See other product reviews on right sidebar. If you'd like a product reviewed, contact me at info@runningandrambling.com.


Lily on the Road 1/14/09, 7:06 AM  

Well you can never fault the extraordinary senses of a pregnant woman!! LOL

Annette 1/14/09, 7:08 AM  

Too funny about your wife. :) I use a similar product and it has saved many of my running clothes from being tossed out due to the stench. Gotta love that! I'm glad your wife will no longer have to keep her distance when you're in running gear. Well, at least before you run. ;)

Backofpack 1/14/09, 8:19 AM  

I didn't try this particular brand, but another that is supposed to accomplish the same thing. It worked, but it also left me with a rash - one run and you could see the outline of my shorts in red bumps. I am very sensitive to laundry soaps, so I went back to my good old dye free, scent free stuff. Now I add a boost of oxy-clean to our running clothes and it seems to accomplish the same thing, plus no rash!

momo 1/14/09, 8:43 AM  

wait. you do laundry? seriously? can you send a little of whatever that is over here to big j?? please??

i have that same smell thing - it definitely started during my first pregnancy and made the smell of leather almost unbearable.

sounds like its worth a try - although i use the shaklee laundry detergent and it seems to work fairly well, too. at least no one has mentioned that i smell lately... ;-)

Deene 1/14/09, 10:19 AM  

so how many uses do you get out of a 24 oz packet if you use it as a supplement?
I have to use the unscented stuff too because i have sensitve schnoz.

Dave 1/14/09, 1:35 PM  

This is the exact same review my blog buddy, Marcy gave it. Sounds like I need to try it out since I let my tech shirt marinate in their own funk sometimes. :)

Journey to a Centum 1/14/09, 1:38 PM  

A running friend of mine had a problem of over perspiration. He was fast enough to qualify for Boston but he could not overcome the hydration requirements to keep his pace up without cramping. His shoes would literally fill up with sweat which typically required a sock and shoe change around mile 18.

I mention this because during on of his attempts to qualify he started foaming at the shorts. I don't know what sort of detergent had been used on his running shorts but it was obvious it had not rinsed out. He had foam leaking from his shorts and down his legs. His rabid shorts were noticed by many around him and it seemed to create a bubble of clear space around him.

Eventually he got as close as 45 seconds over the 3:20:59 qualifying time. His training partners having endured seven attempts to get him into Boston wrote a letter to the Race Director. The letter worked and they presented his number to him on his birthday.

If he'd used Pro-Wash he may not have gotten into Boston as the foamy shorts story seemed to be what got him in.

Anne 1/15/09, 11:19 AM  

I have that same sensitive sense of smell, which means morning sickness must have been hell for her. Even the faintest "off smell" had me hurling for months.

Rainmaker 1/15/09, 3:13 PM  

Ha, I love the intertwined story about your wife. Perhaps you could sublet out some product reviews to her. Like a guest writer corner.

Rick Gaston 1/15/09, 9:09 PM  

I'm intrigued too. This is the second review for this product that I've read about. Well whatever keeps you running and your wife happy about your gear.

Darrell 1/31/09, 5:06 PM  

Funny story about your wife. Pregnancy does funny things to a woman, for sure. My wife used to wear the perfume called "Poison". During pregnancy she couldn't stand the smell and still can't be in a room with someone who might be wearing it.

Also good to hear that your clothes smell better. Something I may have to try.

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