Monday, March 29, 2010

How-to: Make Your Own Figure Skate Deodorizer

I’ve spent $25 in the past on cute Stinkeez odor absorbing thingies. They’re made of colorful fleece and come in fun shapes like sharks and lizards. The idea is to stuff the Stinkeez in the figure skating boot to absorb foot odors and moisture.

The Stinkeez is filled with silica gel, which is a desiccant. You know those little paper packets that come in purses or shoe boxes? Those are filled with silica gel. You can find silica gel in bulk at craft stores. Crafters use it to dry flowers.

You can make a home-made Stinkeez very cheaply using single socks and cheap ingredients.

  • Two clean, mismatched socks - with tops (not little ankle socks)
  • A desiccant: baking soda or white rice or cornmeal and borax or silica gel (You just need one of these, not all of them. So, if you choose baking soda, you don't need rice, etc. You'll get the best results with silica gel.)
  • Wide-mouthed funnel or a rolled-up piece of paper or  a narrow drinking glass
  • Optional: scented oil (peppermint, etc.)
I'm sure you see where this is going. Using the funnel or a piece of paper that's been rolled up into a funnel shape, fill each sock with the desiccant, stopping about three inches from the top. You can also use a narrow drinking glass for this purpose. Put the sock inside the glass and fold the sock's top over the edge to hold the sock open. Spoon in the desiccant.

Add a couple of drops of scented oil and tie off the sock's top with an overhand knot.

See? Cheap and simple. If you want to go fancy, buy some funky toe socks or holiday socks.

Update: From Advisory Board member S.F.: One of the best ways to combat stinky skates is to remove them from the skate bag so they can dry out. It also  prevents them from rotting. My daughter had a pair of skates rot last year because we never took them out of the bag when we got home. We have been removing them religiously every day and they no longer are smelly.

I also would like to comment about laces. I change laces frequently because white laces get dirty pretty fast. My daughter's ice coach likes clean skates and laces on test days and competition days.

Do you have a good idea for keeping boots dry and socially acceptable? Let us all know!

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Anonymous said...

question about laces- when is it time to replace them?

Anonymous said...

question about laces- when is it time to replace them?

Skittl1321 said...

Good idea. I've used deodorizers like Dr. Scholls before and they cannot combat my barefoot skating stink. (Sorry Icecoach- I know you say trouser socks, but there is no room for them in there- apparently my feet compress weird when I skate, because I tried these skates on with socks...)

Stinkeez have really really worked. thankfully I got my first pair free, but the replacement coming up soon (they last a long time) was going to be expensive. I'll have to try this. (Stinkeez deodorizing lasts a lot longer then it's scent does... mine were cinnamon, but are now plain)

Sk8nLane said...

Just about time for new Stinkeez here. I may just have to give this a try.

Denise said...

I never thought too much about skate deodorizers until I chaperoned my first synchro event. Imagine a small locker room filled with 14-28 skaters (sometimes the teams have to share the locker rooms)--that's 28-56 smelly skates, poor ventilation and sometimes the residual smells of hockey players and their smelly equipment. PU! We should make your skate deodorizers as a synchro team bonding project.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea! Loose tea can also be used to make them smell good - I usually just rip open a tea bag and mix it in with the rice, etc.

Ice Mom said...

Hey, Anony.

I try very hard to keep a spare pair of laces in Ice Girl's Zuca bag.

Sometimes she cleans the bag and they don't make it back in, but that's another story.

Anyway, look for signs that your laces are fraying. Replace them when they show signs of wear and/or are broken.

Ice Mom

Ice Mom said...

Hey, Skittl1321.

Yeah. Stinkeez really, really work. When they're new, they fill my whole van with a wonderful peppermint smell (I love, love, love peppermint).

But...they're $25. Ugh.

Ice Mom

Ice Mom said...

Hey, Denise.

I hadn't thought of the synchro locker room, but you're right. On top of the stinky hockey smell, those synchro skates must be overpowering.

Ice Mom

Ice Mom said...

Hi, Anony.

Tea bag with rice. Very smart. I hadn't thought of that. I just use some essential oils that I bought at the craft store. Lucky me: 1/2 price!

Ice Mom

Alice in Wonderland said...

Does the deodorizer go in right after skating, or do you allow the skates to "air out" a bit before putting in the deodorizer?

Ice Mom said...

Hey, Alice.

That's an excellent question. Because silica gel is such a powerful desiccant, you can shove these right into the skates without air drying the skates.

Of course, air drying is never wrong.

Ice Mom

Anonymous said...

Hi, I love this idea and is great timing as mhy skates are reallly smelly at the moment and need new stinkeez!I have all the ingredients needed execpt for the silica are there any alternatives?

Anonymous said...

DO you need white rice (etc) AND silca or whatever the other one was?

Ice Mom said...

Hi, Anony and Anony.

You can use one of the options. You don't have to use them all. I'll go back and make it clearer.

Ice Mom

Anonymous said...

Thanks :) Just made some and they smell real good!Instead of essential oils I used peppermint tea and oooh it smells good!Thanks anonymous who suggested that :D

bethalice said...

At our synchro Christmas party, one of the moms made these for each girl on the team. Earlier I had done some research and found several mentions of kitty litter. I was sold when I came to a hockey board and the guys there swore by it. BTW, it has to be clay litter that does NOT clump. It seems to work pretty good.

I bet that the vodka secret would work on skates that are already stinky. I would pull out the insoles and spray them, also the inside of the skates.

Jillybean said...

There is nothing that compares to the smell of skaters feet!
A few months ago I was fitting some dresses at the rink and had the experience of sitting on the floor pinning skirt hems right next to the odoriforous feet of several skaters. I couldnt get the smell out of my nose for a very long time.

I will make these for my daughter, and strongly suggest this as a club activity.

luci.toes said...

You can find silica gel in the cat litter section. Just look for crystal cat litter.

Ice Mom said...

OMG, Luci.toes! You're right! You are a GENIUS!

Ice Mom

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great tip. My kid is on a competitive artistic roller skating team in Los Angeles. I believe we use the same boots...and have the same odor issues! Those boots are so hot when the come off! I will pass this along to all the club moms and dads!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of smell, do you have some tips about getting the smoke smell out of skate dresses? We have a great seamstress who makes the nicest dresses and costumes, but she smokes! Ive heard of febreeze, but afraid of staining.

carol said...

Hi Skating Moms,

My son figure skated for years until he gave up his skates for soccer and lacrosse. He often was losing blade screws on the ice due to his skates dry rotting from the inside out. I hunted for something that would help the problem and was easy to use. During this time, the idea for Stink-eez was born. Stink-eez last a long time (generally at least two years)even though the essential oil will fade in 3 to 6 months. As they age, Stink-eez can be thrown in a dryer for 20 minutes to help reconstitute the desiccant. Our Dolphin style contains a full 16 ounces of desiccant and does not leave a powdery residue when used. Our company holds a patent for this product which essentially means that there is a bit of science and design involved in making the product. I can assure you that there is no wildly big profit made on these products. Our company only wants to provide a product that works well and is fun and easy to use.