John and all,
The Kirtland panniers in question probably predate Gore-tex (polytetrafluoroethylene) by a decade, and are not Gore-tex, as noted earlier.
Polyurethane (PU) waterproofing coatings inevitably separate from nylon fabrics within about 25 years, and the "funky" smell and peeling of coatings are universal problems. The larger-diameter fiber diameters in Cordura (tm) nylon provide a weaker and less uniform bonding foundation for the polyurethane (PU) coating compared to the smaller-denier fibers in pack cloth and ripstop fabrics. Thus, the PU coatings separate on Cordura items more quickly than on a poncho or a stuffsack, all other things (fabric and construction quality, etc.) being equal.
BTW, if you have any Gore-tex cycling gear that gets greasy, Coleman camping fuel ("white gas") is a great degreaser or pitch remover for them. Taking great care with its extreme flammability, pretreat the grease spots or pine pitch with the white gas. Then wash as directed. (An extra wash cycle may be needed to remove the white gas and odor.)
Jon Spangler dredging up long-unused tips from a former life in outdoor specialty retail in Alameda, CA USA
Message: 11 Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2010 13:57:57 -0500 From: John Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: [CR] "Funky" Old Panniers To: email@example.com Message-ID: <4C4B37B5.firstname.lastname@example.org> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
On 07/20/2010 12:26 PM, Leslie Connally wrote:
> There is a product available at hardware stores called OdorBan, but
> others also, which is an enzymatic and perfumed concentrated liquid made
> to eliminate "pet odors" (aka cat piss).
> Also, old standby for moldy camping gear is lemon juice. (though not
> sure if such an acidic juice would be good for $gore-tex, but these
> panniers are not)
Gore-Tex is a teflon/nylon fabric laminate. Both materials are quite chemically inert; I doubt lemon juice would be a problem.
-John Thompson (email@example.com) Appleton WI USA