The difference between runner etiquette and social norms just about anywhere you go is pretty astounding. When you’re hanging out with your running buddies, being the stinkiest is an achievement. A dirt or grass stain is worn like a badge of honor, and being soaked in sweat is an Instagram moment that can earn you bragging rights for weeks. Try that in the office and watch how fast you’re working remotely.
Chalk it up to raging post-run endorphins, but if you live an active lifestyle, you learn to embrace the begrimed feel of an intense workout. Sweat, body oil, and even detergent residue get trapped in clothing fibers and build up throughout many washings so no matter how often you do laundry, your running clothes never really smell or feel clean.
Enter Defunkify, and their laundry solution that’s greening the grocery cleaning aisle one stinky piece of clothing at a time. EPA Safer Choice-certified and formulated in-house by a team of green chemists who won’t accept cookie-cutter formulas as the norm, Defunkify wants you to be so clean you may even skip a wash between runs.
Running on Green Chemistry
“We believe what goes in, on, and around us matters,” says Eddie Rosenberg, a creator of Defunkify. As a trail runner and product tester, he knows firsthand the difficulties that athletes face in trying to clean their gear, especially if they prefer safer products. “We set out to challenge standards in the cleaning product industry and develop our own formulas that are safer and outperform not just green products, but any product,” he says.
Defunkify was launched inside the University of Oregon’s world-renowned green chemistry department and still uses the university’s state of the art research facilities to formulate and test products. Striving to be green, the company sources the fewest, most effective ingredients possible for maximum effect and uses renewable sources whenever possible.
It’s unique for a young company in the cleaning product industry to develop its own formulas, but it’s part of the Defunkify DNA. “A lot of green cleaning products aren’t as safe and green as you might think,” says Rosenberg. “We triple-check that what we’re doing is better with really rigorous ecotoxicity testing to make sure our products are the safest on the market. It comes down to paying attention to what you’re doing and having a purpose for what you’re designing.”
What Safer Choice Certification Means to You
While Defunkify tests its products, the EPA also puts them through a rigorous evaluation. With its Safer Choice Program, the EPA tests products to determine if they’re safe for you, your family, your pets, workers who help manufacture the product, and the environment. Defunkify’s laundry detergent for activewear carries the Safer Choice Certification.
Under the program, the EPA reviews every ingredient and the way a product is packaged. The product’s performance must meet or exceed industry standards, and pH levels are tested to make sure they’re safe for your skin and eyes. Under the certification guidelines, there are also limits to the gases a product can release to minimize indoor air pollution and respiratory irritation. Products are monitored each year to make sure they still meet the guidelines.
Tested in TrackTown, USA
When Defunkify started looking for runners to test its products, the company didn’t have to go far. Defunkify’s home base, Eugene—aka TrackTown, USA—claims to be the birthplace of the American jogging movement. Nike started in Eugene, and the city has long supported a thriving running community with world-class track events, run clubs, and miles of trails. Over the years, TrackTown, USA, has made the top 10 lists for the fittest cities in America, best running cities in the U.S., best places to be a college sports fan, and best cities to watch a track meet.
To test Defunkify’s detergent, Eugene athletes offered up clothing with stubborn stains from bright red sports drinks, spaghetti sauce from pre-race pasta dinners, and even bike chain grease. They were blown away with the results. Defunkify’s Laundry Detergent for Activewear cleaned the stains and removed the odors. It was like a reboot for their clothing.
Not Just for Activewear
And while the stinkiest sweat-soaked synthetic activewear shows off the deep-clean results quickly, the impact is equally noticeable on all laundry.
When runners used Defunkify Laundry Detergent, they discovered it was just as effective on everything else they needed to clean, like towels, jeans, cotton shirts, and baby clothes. For the really tough stains like chocolate, red wine and tomato sauce, they achieved impressive results with Definkify’s Laundry Stain Remover.
One of the company’s most versatile products, Active Spray Fabric Deodorizer, combines ionic silver and essential oils to remove the funk inside shoes, hats, yoga mats, gear, and anything else that’s difficult to wash. It comes in peppermint and lavender for the fresh scent you crave and is residue-free to maintain touch and performance. You can deodorize almost anything that’s smelly, like the backseat of your car after taking your dog out for a run, your baby jogger and toddler car seat, dog beds, furniture, and even the duffle bag that you take to the gym.
Deep cleaning is Defunkify’s specialty, but that’s not the finish line for this young company. “ We’ve set out to change the cleaning products industry,” says Rosenberg. “Creating super effective products is step one, but it’s not enough. We have to make sure Defunkify products are also nice to people and the planet. That’s why we go on to create state-of-the-art testing that ensures performance and safety.”