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What to Use to Clean Leg Brace Odor

By Daniel Westlake

Leg braces tend to smell after they have been used for a period of time, due to sweat, dirt and bacteria growing within them. It's important to get rid of this odor so the leg brace can be worn around other people without offending them, and for health reasons, as excess bacteria can hurt the skin under the leg brace itself. How a leg brace is cleaned is determined by its composition.

Mesh/Nylon Braces

Some leg braces are simple to slip over the knee and are used by people playing sports, such as to support a weak knee while they play. Odor attaches itself to these braces more than to other braces, as the fabric absorbs more odors. These braces can be washed in the washing machine on delicate cycle with hot water and strong detergent. They can be dried in the dryer or left out to dry in the sunlight, as natural sunlight will kill bacteria that may have survived the wash and detergent.

Plastic and Cloth Braces

More heavy-duty braces are more difficult to clean, as plastic and cloth can't survive the washing machine cycle without getting bent out of shape or ruined. There are a variety of ways to clean these braces. One way is by putting them in the dishwasher, assuming that the metal connecting the parts of the braces together is stainless steel. You will have to wash them with dishwashing detergent, which may not be idea from removing bacteria or smell from the cloth of the brace. Another option is to spray something on it which will kill the odor and bacteria in the cloth, rub it in with a rag or paper towel, and allow it to dry in the sun or use a hair dryer. These fabric spray cleaners can be bought at a local pharmacy or cleaning supply store.

Soaking Braces

For metal, plastic or cloth braces, another option for a very strong smell is to soak the braces in a tub of laundry detergent for a set amount of time, occasionally taking each one out to scrub the fabric on it. It's like cleaning clothes the old-fashioned way. By manually scrubbing the scented detergent into the cloth itself, it will rid it of bacteria and eliminate any detectable odor. These braces can then be dried in the sun or with a hair dryer.

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