Muc-Off Foam Fresh - Review

Oct 26, 2015
by Mike Levy  
I knew it was bad when I could smell my helmet from ten feet away. Well, it was actually my helmet's pads, and the stench was an interesting combo of dead squirrel carcass stuck in a drainpipe and my gym shorts from grade ten that I left in my locker all year. No wonder none of my friends call me to ride with them anymore. Muc-Off's Foam Fresh spray has been made to tackle this exact problem. It's also aimed at shoes, gloves or any other fabric that's in contact with the rider, and it's part of their 'Rider Care' product range that focuses on, you guessed it, the rider rather than the bike.


Muc-Off Fresh Foam review test


The can is home to a white, foaming spray that Muc-Off says leaves "a fresh Citric Burst fragrance,'' and while the spray's exact ingredients are a bit mysterious, Muc-Off stresses that they don't do any testing on cute bunnies. Regardless, you probably don't want to be spraying this stuff into your mouth, even if you're looking for some weird high, but it's obviously safe for day to day use. A 400ml aerosol can sells for $11.99 USD. www.muc-off.com


Muc-Off Fresh Foam review test
The white foam dissolves after a few minutes, leaving a fresh but chemical-ish citrus smell.
Muc-Off Fresh Foam review test
Stinky shoes are probably the ideal place to use the Foam Fresh spray.


Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesMost of us have a strange ability to wear an obscenely smelly helmet or set of gloves without even a second thought, but I admit that I sometimes find it a bit worrying that it doesn't bother me that much. I would never eat anything that smelled that bad, nor would I ever wear a t-shirt with that stench or get into bed if my sheets had the same mix of salty and dead animal smells that emanate from my gloves and helmet. I do have a few different pairs of gloves in the rotation, and I do wash them now and then, but that doesn't apply to my helmet pads, shoes, or knee protection. So, like any normal man, I just put up with the smell. Muc-Off's Foam Fresh only asks that you give those items a quick spray (after knocking the mud and dirt off), though, which I managed to do even at my laziest. It comes out as expanding white foam that you let sit for a few minutes before wiping away any excess.

The product works as advertised, quickly and nearly completely erasing the funk from your gear, which is a fact that will probably have many wives and girlfriends running out to buy a few dozen cans. My helmet pads, gloves, and shoes did all smell much nicer than before, but the so-called 'Fresh Citric Burst' is more chemically fake than like someone actually squeezing a bunch of fresh citrus fruit over all your gear. Think really strong household cleaner rather than bowls of fresh fruit. Because of this, I was likely to use the spray for my shoes more often than on my helmet or gloves, and it did well to cover up that cat pee-esque muskiness that shoes get after awhile. The Foam Fresh spray is certainly a luxury item that you don't need, but it does help to keep things smelling more sanitary. - Mike Levy



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99 Comments

  • + 40
 Or you can pull it off soak it in some Dawn and warm water for a few minutes and let it dry for five and you're good to go. For shoes, just take the insoles out and get a soft brush and a warm water to it. If it's muddy, hose it off, brush with mild soap and stick old news paper in the shoes and let it dry.
  • + 12
 Use Dawn dish soap to fight grease on plates and utensils (also good for degreasing chains). Use shampoo to fight the build-up that originates from your scalp.
  • + 15
 Yes to using basic soaps you have around the house. No to encouraging unnecessary manufacture and consumption of unknown chemicals when there are better, healthier (for you and everyone else), and most importantly cheaper alternatives = more $ to spend consuming bike parts!!
  • + 17
 @ Varaxis - What about conditioner to finish for that silky feeling?
  • + 9
 I'm also a big fan of Simple Green too. Works wonders and very easy on the bike and clothing alike. And the smell isn't half bad either.
  • + 21
 Since when home soaps are not filled with unknown chemicals?
  • + 8
 you can use some Irish Spring and an empty can of beans for a few minutes and get those pits nice and clean, and some Comet and a cheesegrater will clean those smelly feet right off. Don't forget to get the undercarriage with Windex on a wire brush.
  • - 2
 Wire brush and Dettol!
  • + 2
 Green soap is cheaper!!!
  • + 1
 If you're looking for chemical free soap then use soap berries in hot water, can be used for just about anything!
  • - 3
 Yea or I can take those organic soap nuts, very eco friendly, very holistic. Whenever I come home after the ride I wish it was like in the old days, my wife and daughter going down to the river and washing my stuff.

www.oldandinteresting.com/images/16th%20century%20laundry.jpg
  • + 7
 I dont know about the rest of the world but in this part of canada we have washers and dryers and even dishwashers...all the cloth stuff goes in the washer and dryer the hard goods go into the dish washer.....If you have a wife...wait till she goes out and then do the landry with your kit and dishes with you shoes ad helmets and when she gets home she is none the wiser and she is happy you cleaned the house...win win!!!!!
  • + 1
 I feel sad for people like Wacky who live in a black or white world. Actually no I don't - I don't feel anything about them at all.
  • - 2
 What? I live in all shades of grey just like all colors of gay rainbow. I just find it funny to oppose such product bringing up some magic grandmas solutions, no matter how questionable is it's necessity. Raging Off season that is
  • + 0
 Or you can wash your gloves and every other piece of gear and not be nasty? Maybe keep a can of this available for "that guy" who chooses not to clean between rides.
  • + 3
 put everything in the washing machine.
Wait
done.
TADAAAM
Camelbak? empty it and put it in the freezer till next ride.
tadaaam agaiiin
  • + 2
 I'm not seeing the need for any of this mystical cleaning methods, I have a wife to deal with cleaning matters.
  • + 24
 I've been putting this on rice cakes and kelp, it's a little salty but you get used to it !
  • + 18
 Throw your helmet pads or gloves in the zip up pockets of your riding shorts and send them through the wash every few rides. That being said, I can't remember the last time I cleaned my Camelbak.
  • + 26
 my Camelbak has black spots all over the inside of the hose. I haven't cleaned it in four years, but I also haven't dropped dead from ebola yet!
  • + 7
 @dropoffsticks get a new bladder or hose replacement. Always store your bladder in the freezer. It won't grow mold plus a single rinse after each ride is all what you need.
  • + 33
 Who washes or freezes their camel back? Just spit out water until it tastes clean enough. Problem and extra work negated.
  • + 3
 My Camelbak def smells worse than my helmet. RO water in the bladder will not grow anything, and its good for you.
  • + 4
 Gotta freeze it part full then add water before the ride and all the water is super cold when it eventually thaws out enough to drink. A good power thaw of the tube and blowing it up before you put it in helps but a little for thought to remove from the freezer an hour before the ride is key.
  • + 1
 It might be a small inconvenience but every time i use my camelbak and im not going to use it for at least two days after, i rinse it with water and hang the hose and bladder to drip dry. Its much easier to dry with platypus water bladders though because they have a sort of ziplock close instead of the camelbak screwoff style.
  • - 1
 I stopped using camelbak bladder for regular rides, because I find it grouse to not be able to remove biofilm quickly. It takes me up to 10 minutes after ride to wash it and 5 pre ride. Always a mess with water spilled all over the place. I am back to bottle cage.
  • + 5
 I've found baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) to work very well for cleaning the bladder and hose, every now and then especially if I forget to clean it.
Remember to empty your bladder (?! ;-D ) just after use, rinse with water, and leave open untli dry and this will not be necessary
  • + 8
 The only time I got spots on my CB is when I dissolved supplements into the water.
When using pure water it has been abused to hell and never developed any smell/stain in two years.
  • + 1
 Mine is 7 years old, extra cheap, and green. No smell though. I add water to the rest of the last ride, I spit out the water that has been static in the hose and its alright.

Maybe I should worry about the cheap old plastic desintegrating with time?
  • + 3
 Milton the stuff you use for baby's bottles is a good cheap way to clean your riding pack bladder. Leave it to soak in some over night, rinse off then stick it I the freezer until next time you ride.
  • + 2
 I use Powdered Brewery Wash (PBW) for cleaning my Camelbak. Works great, super cheap and I always have it on hand from brewing. Also pulled from my brewing equipment, is a line brush. Scrub brush for your hose. Smile

But like the others, I usually throw it in the freezer. Still give it a good cleaning every once in a while.
  • + 2
 Reverse osmosis water only for 5 years from a water store. I buy their ice too made from the same water. They say the ice machine cleaning is next to nothing every 3 months because the water is so pure.
  • + 1
 I use mine normally twice a week. Every now and then I rinse it all with hot water but I'll admit I'm even too lazy to poor any left over water down the drain until I go to fill it up again. I must be doing something right becuase there's still no mould or foul taste after 3 years. Plus it puts of my riding buddies who are too lazy to pack their own water!
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 27, 2015 at 8:18) (Below Threshold)
 The things mentioned in discussion above is the very reason why I lately went to bottle+bottle cage for regular rides... Some people have small kids or 150% employment and they are just not willing to add chemical R&D program to their "to do aside of riding riding to make ride happen" pipeline, especially when it comes to something as simple as "water".
  • + 2
 Water is the single most important thing to our bodies. I choose to make an effort to make sure it isn't crap. Once you have had RO for a while, nothing else will do. Just the taste alone is worth it. But if tap water is to your liking, good for you.
  • + 1
 I just throw my nalgene in my pack. Camel Backs are a PITA to keep clean.

Though I would not use this foam nonsense, I wonder how it would feel when it gets in your eyes as your sweat drips from the pads? My eyes don't usually fair well with soap in them.
  • + 13
 Just put your pads in the wash with your laundry. Save your money.
  • + 11
 Just go from the trail to the shower, full gear and all. (PS. A full face can make it hard to get behind your ears.)
  • + 3
 So, can I used the muc-off for cleaning the shower drain as well? jumping in the shower with all your gear sounds fantastic. the problem is all the dirt most likely will remain in the drain trap making your drain smell... well... like shit!
  • + 2
 And excessive mud can clog a drain.
  • + 1
 I take my gear into the shower when I'm not doing laundry anytime soon but want somewhat cleaner shorts/gloves/shirt for my next ride.
  • + 9
 Put gloves, helmet pads and insoles in the washing machine. Whose buying all these new 'mountain bike accessories'?
  • + 4
 Does anyone have any tips for smelly backpacks? I've thrown mine in my washer, and it gets caught and destroyed (I'm a slow learner, this has happened twice). It's mainly the shoulder straps that gather one helluva smell.
  • + 2
 Put it in a mesh laundry bag before tossing it in the wash? I have a HE washer and try to put it in the middle with the heavy stuff like sheets and towels, putting lighter stuff along the walls.
  • + 2
 Use a laundry bag. That's it.
  • + 38
 Pillow case. Tie a knot in the end so it can't get out. Just like I wash my dog.
  • + 15
 5 gal bucket of water with some detergent, then watch some documentary on how they wash clothes in 3rd world countries
  • + 1
 The stuff that gets rid of cat pee smell with active enzymes is the best stuff. I use it on my gloves before I throw them in the wash too.
  • + 1
 @jlhenterprises - I've actually spend some time in a 3rd world country and had to do my laundry like that.... after a while, I would just pay a local to do my laundry for me (probably what they would normally make in a month!). But, being back in Canada, I tried to pay a co-worker in Sudanese pounds and they just laughed at me....
  • + 2
 I use antiperspirant/deodorant on my camelback straps.. I don't think my bag sweats much on its own, but you can't be too safe!

Really though, the deodorant helps.
  • + 2
 @saintjimmy - I find the trick to minimising that strap stench is to not wait until it stinks then wash it, but to be washing it regularly from new regardless of a smell or not. Once that bacterial smell is in there it's impossible to get rid of.
  • + 2
 Add some vinegar to the washing machine to kill the odor.
  • + 1
 Yes, +2 on white vinegar. It will get the funk smell out of your laundry. You can also spray it or a combo of baking soda and water on your gear in lieu of this muc-off stuff.
  • + 3
 Vinegar and baking soda!Smile

Removes the smell rather than just cover it over. Knee-pads, gloves and clothing goes in the washer and shoes in a bucket.

I mix the bakingsoda with the powder and just pour the vinegar in the machine.
If its super smelly, I let it soak in a bucket with the mix in.

60% of the time it Works every time.
  • + 4
 Ha ha, just douse your gear in Sex Panther!
  • + 2
 Another solution - throw the stank in the freezer. If you leave most things in the freezer for 48 hours it will kill the "odor causing bacteria." Putting some mystery substance in my helmet - which I will fill with sweat and then the substance and sweat will drip down my face doesn't really seem like a good solution.
  • + 1
 I'm sure this stuff is fine and some people swear by Febreeze, however I will share an inexpensive, yet virtually bulletproof tip that has kept my gear (helmets, armor, packs, shoes) smelling great for years. Go to any drug store and buy a $1.99 spray bottle. Next go to your favorite health food store or a Whole Foods and buy 1-2 bottles of an essential oil that YOU like the scent of. Keep in mind that a bottle will last you likely more than a year. Fill the spray bottle with tap water and approxiamtely 20 drops of your chosen essential oil. Shake well before each use. Immediately after each ride, liberally spray down your sweaty helmet, pads, gloves, pack and hang/place them so they may air dry overnight. Done. If any are soaked in mud obviously still wash them as you normally would (cold wash, gentle and then spray to air dry after). I kid you not, I have had people come up behind me on the trail and tell me I smelled good. It's simple and it works.
  • + 4
 I use baby shampoo for the helmet pads in case it doesn't rinse out. That way no more tears when I ride.
  • + 1
 Why get this when you can throw the pads in the washer? I guess if you have a helmet with non removable pads.

Luckily I got removable pads in all of my helmets so I just throw them in the washer with the rest of my gear. Comes out nice and fresh.
  • + 1
 There is not much you can do about bacterial funk. I replace the foam pads on my helmet. Throw away rancid smelling gloves. Keep my shoes out side and use charcoal inserts to reduce the funk. You cant kill bacterial funk except maybe boiling your garments for half an hour.
  • + 1
 Its just a re-badged product. The car industry has been using similar foam on their interiors for years. Put your gloves and knee pads int the wash (i do this most times after ride and it doesnt harm them). Febreeze or similar spray works for helmets, at least as long as they last before your crash and need to replace it!
  • + 1
 I don't understand this, anymore than all the comments from riders suggesting I soak and scrub and wash my gear in dish soap or vinegar or some other time consuming task....here's the simple, cheap, quick solution I've been using for years: Frebreze it. It's a simple spray that I use after every ride in my helmet, shoes, on my gloves, and even on my pack (yes, I've ruined a couple in the wash - you just need to let them hang dry). It works great. I may pull my helmet pads once a year to run through the wash, or throw my gloves in with a load every few months, but spray them down with some anti-bacteria smell-good deodorizer and you're good to go.
  • + 5
 Anybody know how Paul Bas is doing? Hope he's staying strong.
  • + 4
 Take helmet in shower. Put gloves in wash. Maybe for shoes . . . Is it better than febreze?
  • + 1
 Sounds like something maybe worth having on hand if you're going on a trip. But honestly sounds like more work than just tossing your stuff in the washer with WIN Sport Detergent. It's crazy expensive, but it works really well.
  • + 1
 I have been using this for 3-4 months now. I had some money to spend with a new bike so thought I would try it. I keep it in the boot with all my gear. Works a treat after a ride, just a light spray gives a large amount of foam which is easily workable into your gear, I use it on my armour too. It takes about 20 seconds to rub in and dries very quick. you can tell the difference with the smell instantly! Very handy if you don't always get round to cleaning things right away or do the man sniff and say 'yer that will be okay for a few more rides!'.
  • + 1
 A 10l bucket full of water, 200ml of PineSol , leave to soak for 20 minutes, then put in the washing machine... Works fine, i use in Nike DryFit, Adidas ClimaCool, One Industries Jersey, socks, shorts...
  • + 3
 It's weird but I actually rinse, dry, then freeze my helmet pad. The freezing kills bacteria that cause alot of the smell.
  • + 3
 How do the ice cubes taste?
  • + 1
 Yup. Another product that doesn't actually take care of the real problem. I love that people use Fabreeze. Just add more particles to the air that you inhale so you get the stinky PLUS the smelly.
  • + 1
 I most definitely believe it kills of at least tries to kill the bacteria, so it really takes care of the real problem. But maybe the real problem is that we've come to invent a ton of synthetic fibers that are the perfect substrate for a dozen of really smelly bacteria replication... that would be a nice problem to solve.
  • + 1
 I use Baby bath wash stuff. Works a treat and doesn't smell chemical either. If it can get poo off a baby it can clean smelly bike stuff
  • + 0
 After a dirty ride, just take out your whip and spray this product all over it. It will clean all the mud off, and give you that fresh feeling again. Oh wait this is for bikes?...
  • + 2
 I have had great experiences with every Muc-Off product I have used including this one.
  • + 1
 5G bucket of hot water, liberal amounts of Borax, couple hours later all the smells and dirt are gone. Borax works amazingly.
  • + 1
 Seems like there should be a much cheaper non-bike-specific equivalent of this product, any suggestions?
  • + 1
 Febreeze
  • + 1
 Are you mucking serious, we've already figured this a long time ago. Toxic goo is not going to fix your ride?
  • + 1
 However, not better than "f*ck off Foam Fresh," for when you come across a spandex wearing cross country biker...
  • + 2
 Can't wait for the Axe Body spray version!!
  • + 2
 just wash you gear man..... that's disgusting.
  • + 1
 Thank you. Wash your shit!
  • + 1
 Washmashine? Just use I regulary
  • + 1
 Pure Bleach for everything!
  • + 0
 They make awesome products, the pink bike wash actually makes your bike look brand new with ease, its crazy.
  • + 1
 (sniff)... theres a dead cat inside my helmet!!!
  • + 1
 More stupid cans to throw in the garbage /recycling. NO Thanks.
  • + 1
 What's next hair gel?
  • - 2
 I use their chamois cream - it's fantastic!
  • + 1
 Muc-Off toothpaste is the goodness
  • + 1
 Accidental comment
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