Stinky, sweaty sports kit – give it the SportsPong treatment


Sannitree is a diversified international company based in Cape Town offering its customers a wide variety of microbial based products including SportsPong Pre-Wash Soak specifically formulated to remove sweaty odours, and is 100% natural, organic and biodegradable.
We all have problems with smelly sports kit, be it gym clothes, running kit, running shoes, cycling kit cycling shoes, wetsuits, ladies sports bras, boxing gloves, yoga and stretching mats, to name a few.

Sannitree International began in South Africa in 1981 when Mike Mayne initiated the idea of providing economical sewage treatment in rural areas, farms and settlement camps. Together with Dr DG Celliers, one of the world’s most respected enzymologists, they began testing, analysing and marketing their very first microbial based product, Sannitree Bio-Enzymes. Mike was then joined by Gordon Bruce and Brian Goodman.

Sometime back the team at Sannitree were approached by a keen mountain bike enthusiast who was looking for a way to remove the bad sweat malodour emanating from Spandex/Lycra garments – even after washing machine treatment.

“Our mountain biker, Nick Stevenson began testing our product extensively with a huge success. The tests included both male and female participants in a variety of sports, all with success. Simultaneously we began researching Spandex/Lycra with a view to establishing why SportsPong worked so successfully.”

Sannitree’s findings are as follows: “Originally Latex was used to give sports wear a tight fit. In 1958 Joseph Shivers of Dupont University in the USA invented Spandex (an acromyn of expand). The product is man-made mainly from polyurethane polymer. In many parts of the world the product carries the name Lycra (origin unknown). The advantages of this product over other materials is massive. In 1980 Madonna at the peak of her career started wearing Lycra as casual clothing and its popularity grew. Today Lycra is extensively used in the non- iron garments,” says Brian.

SportsPong Pre-Wash Soak – An answer to you smelly sports kit

The bacteria “micrococcus” found on human skin, dust, grass, and plants absorb the human sweat and transform the compounds into an even worse malodour than the original sweat – they love the lycra habitat. They do not need much moisture to survive. Introducing “micrococcus” to fabric softner is like taking them to a feast. After the garment is used the first odour bearing bacteria will survive the washing machine cycle, smelling sweetly of fabric softner. Only until the next use when friction and body heat takes place, the foul smell with interest will be back.

The University of Ghent in Belgium have done exhaustive tests on the cause of the sweat malodour. They used 26 cyclists in a series of spinning sessions and analysed the bacteria types found in the participant’s sweat. They had very limited short term success with a maximum of 3 months before the smell returned .

Some manufacturers advise not to use fabric softners as they can be detrimental to the material causing it to lose its shine and its expandability and increase the sweaty, stinky smell.

The Ghent university’s conclusion to the problem was to use was something more organic that can supplant the bad bugs with good ones.

The only way to remove “micrococcus” is to introduce bacteria and enzymes that will supplant the odour-causing bacteria, thus removing the source of the smell – and that’s where SportsPong fits in.

For more information visit or contact 021 701 1266