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Angie Wieck, Published April 01 2014

Clean teams: Two businesses take germs, foul odors out of sports equipment

WEST FARGO – Forget the bumps and bruises. Sometimes it’s the sports equipment that hurts a player.

Equipment infected with harmful bacteria and fungi such as staphylococci, ringworm and mold can pose serious health hazards.

And that smell. Hockey parents are all familiar with the noxious smell of a sweaty sports bag.

Two businesses have recently set up shop in the area to remedy both problems.

Pro Clean

Pro Clean Garment Restoration is owned by Brenda Manney and Perry Leier.

Leier, who also owns Superior Steam Cleaning & Restoration, learned about the Esporta wash system at a trade show and realized there would be a strong demand for such a service here.

The Esporta machine has no agitator and does not rely on heat to clean the items. It relies on environmentally friendly detergents and a strong 80-minute wash cycle to disinfect them.

“There are a lot of products out there to mask smells, but this really gets the odor out,” Manney said. “It’s such a powerful washing system. Bacteria doesn’t have a chance.”

Following the wash, the items are hung and air-dried in a vented temperature-controlled room to prevent any cracking or dry rot that might occur in a regular dryer.

Customers should expect a 24-hour turnaround time.

In addition to sports equipment, Manney said the Esporta machine can also tackle tar, smoke and sewage stains.

She said it can clean just about anything you would not dare wash in a conventional washing machine, such as tents, sleeping bags, hunting gear and life jackets. The business also specializes in fire department and oil rig gear.

For now, customers can drop off items at Superior Steam Cleaning, but they plan to break ground for a standalone business in a nearby lot this summer.

BioSport

Matt Fowler was carrying on his grandfather George “Red” Fowler’s tradition of collecting used hockey equipment for underprivileged children when he got the idea for BioSport.

A fellow parent told him about a machine made specifically to clean sports equipment. Fowler shared the idea with his friend Eric Bye, and the two opened the business two months ago.

BioSport uses a Sani Sport machine like those endorsed by the NHL and found in many NFL and MLB locker rooms.

The machine produces ozone, which Fowler said kills 99.9 percent of bacteria and fungi and 100 percent of the influenza virus.

Sani Sport operates on a short 16-minute cycle, so customers can wait for their equipment and take it home with them.

The machine is also portable, so they can take it to other schools, arenas and tournaments upon request.


Readers can reach Forum reporter

Angie Wieck at (701) 241-5501