Removing odor from cork hand grips

3:38 p.m. on August 13, 2015 (EDT)
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2,311 forum posts

On my hike out last Sunday I reached up to scratch my nose and noticed that my hand smelled terrible. What the heck? After some experimental sniffing (yes be careful out there) I realized that the cork grips of my favorite trekking poles smelled putrid.

 I've done lot of wet weather hiking this year and also sweat a lot. So I don't know if the problem is just mold from days of wetness or sweaty hands, but whatever the reason I can't live with stinky grips and stinky hands.

Internet searching has revealed that a long soak in a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water followed by sun drying should do the trick...but that is the solution for wine corks which are pretty thick in comparison to the thin layer of cork on the poles.

Have any of you ever dealt with this?

Any advice?



4:28 p.m. on August 13, 2015 (EDT)
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1,446 forum posts

I've used Sink the Stink, which is a deodorizer for dive gear.

9:37 p.m. on August 13, 2015 (EDT)
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The water and vinegar solution works to remove the smell of just about anything. Washing fabrics that have been stored wet in water/vinegar will remove the moldy smell and old sweat smell. Then air drying in the sun.

9:27 a.m. on August 14, 2015 (EDT)
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2,311 forum posts

thanks guys...much appreciated

11:01 a.m. on August 17, 2015 (EDT)
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4,111 forum posts

Freeze them for a couple of days.

10:20 p.m. on August 19, 2015 (EDT)
David Link
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39 forum posts

I clean mine about once a season. I use Nikwax shoe cleaner, water, and a stiff brush. Makes them nice and shiny and stink-free.

6:26 a.m. on August 20, 2015 (EDT)
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28 forum posts

There are two methods to deodorize hand grips (eg. Cork grips of fly rods) Wash with a 10pts bleach to a liter of water, rinse well and dry or make a slurry of baking soda; smear over the handles and leave over night then wash off and dry. Both work well on rubber compounds and plastics too. Baking powder in smelly boots will deodorize them too!

May 30, 2020
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