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FlyLikeARaven

My bootie stinks. Help!

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Hi all,

*Mods feel free to move this to the General thread if you think it belongs there*

So, over the past year I've decided that RW and big-ways are my preferred discipline. I bought a bootie suit from a mentor that fit perfectly, and when she offered me her old comp suit from Paraclete, I jumped on it and sold the previous suit to a newer jumper.

I love the suit. It's heavy-duty and strong, and fits pretty well for something not-custom. It adds a few pounds and is tough to maneuver when I have to sit in the aisle, but it flies well and adds a lot of power. I was hoping to keep it for a long time until I ultimately join a comp team of my own.

But it stinks! At first I thought it was cigarette smoke, even though its previous owner and her husband don't smoke. But I've washed it at least a dozen times and the smell is only getting worse. When I mentioned it to her she said it's a chemical odor and her husband's suit is languishing in the garage because of the smell. I took a big whiff and she's right, it's not cigarettes but some other strong, harsh chemical odor. She contacted Paraclete and they said there shouldn't be anything out of the ordinary because they only use cotton in the grippers, and no one else seems to have a problem with these suits.*

*She also told me Paraclete doesn't make civilian suits anymore, but I have no reason to believe it's because of this odor issue.

So now that I know it's not cigarette smoke, that compounds the problem because I don't know what it is, so I have no way to know how to neutralize it. It's in baking soda right now, which is doing nothing, and it's getting a vinegar bath tonight, which could either help or make the problem worse. I'll take it to a dry cleaner next week if it doesn't get better, but I'm hesitant since I don't know what chemical is causing the odor.

Ozone has also been suggested to me, and I figure it's worth a shot. Worst-case scenario I have to toss a beloved suit and buy a custom one (and wait weeks for it to be made, and hear my RW friends complain about my lack of grippers, etc. etc.)

Any ideas?
I'm not a lady, I'm a skydiver.

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There can't be much in material that is different from other suits except gripper filling and bootie sole material. If you are considering dumping it, seam rip the grippers off first, cleanly. Wash it after, and see if the smell changes. You can always reattach them with another fill material if that is the problem. I love tearing things apart and re doing them ... No Fear.
Life is short ... jump often.

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Maybe I'm hopelessly optimistic, but the baking soda seems to have made a dent in the odor. It doesn't pervade the entire house when I open the bin the way it used to. Maybe I'll just refresh the soda a few times over the next week and jump my FF suit this weekend. We can just work on gripless RW, or I can use it as an excuse to work on my abysmal excuse for a sit fly.

Still, any advice is definitely welcomed. Ultimately I want this thing smelling of nothing but sweat or jet fuel.
I'm not a lady, I'm a skydiver.

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This may be apples and oranges but a few years ago I had a freezer go bad with a load of meat in it. It was off for a while b4 I discovered it in our garage out building - stench almost made me puke.

Eventually what worked to remove the stench after trying many different cleaning methods was putting a cup of clorox and another cup with ammonia (do NOT mix) side by side inside the freezer with the doors shut tight for 4 or 5 days.

Maybe u could do something similar using an old ice chest with the cups and suit sealed in the ice chest for a period of time.

PS - don't let the clorox or ammonia get together since I'm told doing that makes mustard gas.

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Does the entire suit stink or is it focused on areas like the grippers only?

I suspect the water based urethane coating on the grippers is breaking down and gassing off urea. It has a vomit-like smell.

I had to throw away a good tent a few years ago because of this.
“The only fool bigger than the person who knows it all is the person who argues with him.

Stanislaw Jerzy Lec quotes (Polish writer, poet and satirist 1906-1966)

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dont use vinegar or anyting acidic. also be careful with the baking soda... ive seen it bleed colors out. My wife left her freefly pants in a stong baking soda and water solution overnight and it lightened the greys and made the green leech out into the greys where the green pockets were. Vinegar is an acid and will eat nylon or at least degrade it heavily. Taslan, cordura and most other things on suits are nylon.... just saying

I dont have any suggestions for chemical smells, but dont use anything acidic on it...
I was that kid jumping out if his tree house with a bed sheet. My dad wouldn't let me use the ladder to try the roof...

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Whatever is that bad on your jumpsuit, you don't want touching your rig. Fix the suit before you wear it again.

From a laundry perspective:
Hang it in fresh air in the sun as much as possible. The sun sanitizes. I used to live with a mechanic, it takes about a week in the sun to eliminate gasoline smells.

I've had good luck with witch hazel on stinky car upholstery and other funky clothes smells (just add a spray bottle top and a few drops of good quality essential oils and spray a whole bunch).

Vinegar soaks are good too - about a cup to a basin of water.

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sammielu

Whatever is that bad on your jumpsuit, you don't want touching your rig. Fix the suit before you wear it again.

From a laundry perspective:
Hang it in fresh air in the sun as much as possible. The sun sanitizes. I used to live with a mechanic, it takes about a week in the sun to eliminate gasoline smells.

I've had good luck with witch hazel on stinky car upholstery and other funky clothes smells (just add a spray bottle top and a few drops of good quality essential oils and spray a whole bunch).

Vinegar soaks are good too - about a cup to a basin of water.



Sun does kill bacteria and whatnot, but the UV will destroy pigment and nylon. And again with the vinegar.... its fine on cotton and polyester, but shouldnt ever come into contact with nylon... but hey, what do i know?
I was that kid jumping out if his tree house with a bed sheet. My dad wouldn't let me use the ladder to try the roof...

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Thanks everyone for the info! Good point about not letting it touch my rig. Fortunately the smell is coming from the cordura booties, so it's unlikely that whatever is causing the smell has made contact with the back panel, which is entirely spandex.

I had it in a bin with open boxes of baking soda all weekend, and it's airing out outside overnight. I'm going to take it with me tomorrow and see if it's still bad. It does seem to have improved, but it gets worse every time I wash it or whenever I leave it stored in my gear bag.

I may just store it in this bin with baking soda until (if) the smell goes away. I'll try this for a few weeks, maybe take it to a dry cleaner, and then throw in the towel and buy a custom suit if it doesn't go away. Now that you all have mentioned it, vinegar probably isn't the best idea since I don't know what is actually causing the smell.

On the other hand, my FF suit is getting a little love now, which is nice considering I ordered it, decided to concentrate on belly, and shoved the FF suit in the closet for awhile. It's definitely weird wearing weights and a FF suit.
I'm not a lady, I'm a skydiver.

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When I had a stinky second hand suit for RW arrive from the seller, I washed and dried it twice over with Napisan and cool water. Not warm water because of potential for colour run and because it had spandex components. I figured out most of the stink was coming from the booties and it was the leather on the soles. Bacteria for sure and maybe some mildew as well. I turned the suit inside out and right way out, dried in the sun. Hung out in the fresh air during the day for a few days in a row with those booties facing to the sun. It's not free of odour in the leather parts, but is much better than it was.

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Try this:

Go to store, buy some of those wax air freshener cubes. Also a box of the strongest smelling dryer sheets you can find.

Get big box (like 3x3x3 feet) with enough room for a lot of air space around the suit.

Throw it all in the box loosely. The idea is to allow the good smell stuff to permeate the air in the box and then the jumpsuit, so the good smell stuff should not be buried under the jumpsuit.

Cover and leave in the sun for a week, periodically shifting the jumpsuit so all parts are exposed. Again, keep the wax cubes out of direct contact of the jumpsuit or they might melt/stain it.

Worked well for getting smells out of rigs and canopies, although if used for that purpose you want to avoid the good smell stuff ANY direct contact with the gear, especially the dryer sheets, who knows exactly what is embedded in them.

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What would Vic Mackey do?

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