Originally created 09/15/99

Product can get the stink out of athletic wear



In the never-ending quest to make America smell springtime fresh, scientists have found a way to keep sweaty clothes odor-free.

This latest advance in textile technology -- dubbed "permanent fresh" -- uses the same sort of chemical coating that keeps permanent-press clothes from wrinkling. But this coating is anti-microbial, preventing the growth of bacteria and other micro-organisms that produce odors and even disease.

The first products using the technology could be on the market by next year.

The treatment, developed by Dr. Gang Sun of the University of California at Davis, can be "recharged" with a simple rinse in a chlorine solution, restoring it to 100 percent effectiveness.

That means that clothing can be worn several times without picking up that musty, gamy, really-needs-to-be-cleaned smell. But once it does, it's easily fixed with a quick rinse.

Work out, tuck your sweaty T-shirts and socks and shorts into a gym bag or locker and walk away. They'll be odor-free the next time you pull them on, said Dr. Jeffrey Williams, president of TheHaloSource Corp., a Seattle company that is developing the technology.