Maryland lacrosse player develops cleaning products for athletes

Drew playingAre you sick of your kid's sweaty athletic equipment stinking up your car or home? A professional lacrosse player from Maryland just might have the answer for you.

Drew Westervelt, who plays for the Chesapeake Bayhawks and Colorado Mammoth, is one of the minds behind the HEX line of cleaning products designed specifically for athletic apparel and equipment. Synthetic fabrics revolutionized the world of sports apparel. But as any athlete — or parent of an athlete — knows, one of the drawbacks of synthetic sportswear is the lingering smell.

The UMBC graduate was frustrated that he couldn't find anything to keep his lacrosse clothes and equipment clean, so he teamed up with a friend with a background as a commercial cleaning chemist to create products specifically for athletes.

"I wear and use a number of specialty items ... modern gear and apparel is sport specific and may require a unique product to truly get it clean. That's where HEX was born," Westervelt says.

And the smell isn't the only problem. Westervelt was also concerned with the kind of bacteria that creates locker room odor — and the potential harm it can cause for sports players. Bacterial infections can be a problem for athletes, with dirty locker rooms a potential source of infections such as MRSA. To keep the bacteria out of the locker rooms, Westervelt knew he had to start with a product that could clean equipment and apparel more efficiently.

HEX products are engineered to clean sweat-wicking performance fabric and keep it smelling fresh and working properly. HEX focuses on the source of the problem — sweat, body oil, bacteria, mildew and mold — and prevents those sources from causing odor and deteriorating the performance of the clothes. Several HEX products are also designed specifically for helmets, skates, shoulder pads and other tough-to-clean gear.

HEX was first launched in April 2014 and is based in Arnold, with products manufactured in Baltimore. Currently, products can be purchased online at hexperformance.com, Amazon and Target.com and in some Wegmans, Harris Teeter, ShopRite and Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic grocery stores.

By Anna Tayman