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Muc-Off Anti-Odour Spray is an easy way to de-funk your odorous cycling gear. Just spray it on, let it dry, and you'll be rewarded with a slightly more pleasant, if slightly chemical-like, smell afterwards. The spray is a good choice when your gear needs a quick fix, and when you're away from home. It's no replacement for putting things in the wash, for a proper scrub, but it's ideal for items you want to avoid putting in a washing machine, such as your Sunday-best shoes.
Muc-Off says its 250ml bottle of Anti-Odour Spray contains a 'triple effect odour remover using SILVERPLUS silver ion technology', which is designed to neutralise any bacteria found in fabrics.
The spray is safe to use on all kinds of fabrics, including suede, cotton, and softshell, and can be used on socks, shoes, body armour, liners, and gloves. Muc-Off says each application will keep your kit fresh for three to six months, depending on how often it's being used, and in what kind of climate.
In testing, it worked reasonably well. I tested it on the worst offenders in my household – that is, helmet liners. I applied it to two helmet liners, one of which has only been used for a few months so isn't that bad, and another that I've been using for a few years now.
The latter's liner hasn't been machine washed in some time. I also tried it on the liner of my motorcycle helmet, which hasn't been washed properly in about a year, purely because it's harder to remove, so that's definitely a bit funky.
To get the best results, you need to shake the bottle thoroughly, apply liberally and then wait 24 hours to ensure it's properly dried. The spray contains decussate sodium, ethanol and silver chloride, so the smell is a bit acrid. You really don't want to breathe in too much, and you undoubtedly don't want to get it in your eyes (drinking it wouldn't be too good, either).
On all three helmets there was a definite improvement. I repeated the process twice on the motorcycle helmet, as I felt the first pass could be improved upon.
There's still a slight whiff remaining on the older bicycle helmet and the motorcycle helmet, but it's possible that some smell could be coming from the helmet itself, not the liner.
Though there's a decreased smell of sweat after an application, the only downside is you're left with a slight chemical smell – no wonder, given the contents of the bottle.
Is it worth your £12? Well, it's certainly not cheap, but if you're liberal with how often you use the spray, it'll last you a decent amount of time. And, as I mentioned above, it's handy as a backup to regular washing.
There aren't too many cycling-specific kit deodorisers out there, as you might imagine. It's been around for a good few years now, but Muc-Off also still offers its Foam Fresh shoe and helmet deodoriser. It's £7.99 for a 400ml can of pressurised foam, which Stu found to work pretty well at de-ponging your kit. Furthermore, it's cheaper than Muc-Off's more modern alternative, but you'll probably go through it a bit quicker.
A much cheaper alternative to the Anti-Odour Spray is Dettol's Spray and Wear Cotton Fabric Clothes Freshener. Looking at the ingredients list, this one also contains ethanol, but also isopropanol and a meagre helping of citric acid. It says it's for cotton fabrics, but at just £2.99 for 250ml, it could be worth a try, if that's your thing.
Personally, I'd be happy to continue cleaning most of my kit with my usual eco-friendly washing liquid, though occasionally it's nice to not have to run a cycle just for a single helmet liner. In theory, washing less and spraying more means your kit might last a bit longer, too. Plus, I do appreciate it's convenient for the occasional quick de-funk when you're busy.
An easy way to make smelly cycling kit a bit more bearable between washes
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Muc-Off Anti Odour Spray
Size tested: 250ml
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Muc–Off says, "Been shredding so hard that your kit has started to smell? You need Muc-Off Anti-Odour Spray! It's a highly effective, easy to use anti-odour spray that uses SILVERPLUS® silver ion technology.
It's ideal for removing odour caused by bacteria from helmet liners, body armour, shoe lining, gloves, pads or any soft material, synthetic fibre or textile that comes into contact with your skin and starts to smell over time.
Our spray leaves a long-lasting hygienic finish that instantly freshens your equipment. It's perfect for using while travelling, to help protect you and your kit when it's repeatedly used and can't be washed on the go.
Not only will it stop your kit smelling like a skip, but it'll even help it last longer!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Triple effect odour remover using SILVERPLUS® silver ion technology
Effective against odour caused by bacteria for functional freshness
Suitable and safe to use on most riding equipment and textiles (technical, sportswear, socks, shoes, body armour, pads, liners, body armour and gloves made from textile or leather)
Suitable to use on leather/suede/cotton/polycotton/softshell/technical fabrics/synthetics*
Gentle on fabrics and skin when dry
Provides freshness for up to 10 washes
Perfect for staying clean and fresh during periods of intense activity such as multi-day bike park sessions, or adventure races when it's harder to wash your kit
Easy to use spray on application in a 250ml spray bottle
As far as plastic bottles goes, it's pretty decent. The trigger spray is nice, too.
Works reasonably well at reducing bad smells.
Muc-Off says each application will keep your kit fresh for 3-6 months. After a few rides my helmet seemed to smell OK, but I haven't been able to test it for the claimed freshness window. I have my doubts, though.
Easy to hold, spray trigger is nice to operate.
It's not cheap, but provided you don't douse everything in it, it should last about six months, I believe.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's designed to remove bad smells from your kit. I'd say it's reasonably successful – smells are certainly reduced. A pleasant after-smell after application would have been nice; it's a bit chemical-tang for my liking.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's a quick and easy to way freshen up your cycling stuff.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The ingredients and the chemical after-smell.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's more expensive than Muc-Off's older Foam & Fresh product, but I think it'll last a lot longer. Dettol offers a similar product in the form of Spray and Wear Cotton Fabric Clothes Freshener, which is a fraction of the price of the Anti-Odour Spray, for the same size bottle. But it says it's designed for cotton only, which you obviously don't tend to find in cycling gear.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
A pretty effective product for reducing funky-smelling cycling kit, though it's certainly not a replacement for actually giving your clothes a proper clean. The after-smell needs a bit of improvement, too, in my opinion. It's a bit pricey, but it should last a good while.
About the tester
I usually ride: Condor Italia RC custom build My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,