Suburban Assault

No Shower Facility At Work

with 6 comments

After Ride Shower

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I bike commute to work from time to time. One of my biggest hurtles in doing so in north Texas, is the heat and how much perspiration I generate. Since we don’t have a shower facility at my office, I’ve been searching for the best solution to remove the sweat and odor that I produce on my rides in. The last thing I need to be is offensive to my co-workers.

My typical solution is wet wipes. They’re a quick and easy fix to removing sweat and grime from a morning commute. However, I still felt like I wasn’t getting clean enough. I searched the web for a better solution, but there aren’t very many good options available.

As explained here“body odor mainly originates from the apocrine glands in the armpits, which release a thick, oily sweat rich in proteins and lipids which bacteria on the skin feed on.”

This season, I’ve added witch hazel, in a spray bottle, to my post-ride cleanup. According to Wikipedia, Witch hazel “is a plant extract (that) was widely used for medicinal purposes by American Indians and is a component of a variety of commercial healthcare products. It’s mainly used externally on sores, bruises, and swelling. Witch hazel hydrosol is used in skin care.” 

Unlike rubbing alcohol or water, I’ve discovered that witch hazel does a better job at removing the smelly waste of that natural bacteria – without drying your skin.

It’s not a perfect solution. I’m not a big fan of the smell of the witch hazel, so I put in a few drops of my wife’s tea tree essential oil to help freshen it up. I’m sure any well-scented oil would work just as well. Eventually, I might try a variation of this natural deodorant spray, and see if I can come up with a spray-on/wipe-off shower version.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with supplementing my wet wipes with the witch hazel spray. It’s not a true shower, but it’s a nice way to feel a bit fresher and smell a bit cleaner during the day.

I’d be interested in trying other post-ride cleanup solutions. If you have any suggestions, please comment here or send them my way.

Written by dickdavid

August 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

6 Responses

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  1. Did you try that full body wipe?

    Jason Giles

    August 27, 2013 at 11:29 am

  2. If you want a natural deodorant, you can try milk of magnesia. I found out about this at the People’s Pharmacy. Sounds strange, but it really does nix the odor. I don’t know whether it could be mixed with anything else like essential oils or made into a solid. It would clog up a spray bottle.


    August 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm

  3. The number one step is to take a very good shower at home before leaving for work. That way it is all clean sweat. Towel dry and a bit of deodorant keeps the bacteria at bay for the rest of the workday.

    Steve A

    August 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    • I did forget to mention that. I make it a point to always start out my commutes with a good pre-ride shower.


      August 28, 2013 at 7:36 am

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