As hockey players, we all love the intensity and thrill that come with playing on the ice. But after every game or practice session, our equipment is covered in sweat, grime, and sometimes even blood! Who wants to show up to the next game with smelly and dirty gear? That’s why it’s important to know how to clean hockey equipment.
Cleaning your hockey gear not only makes it more presentable, but also helps to extend its lifespan. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your equipment stays spotless and smelling fresh.
Whether you’re an experienced player or just starting out, learning how to clean hockey equipment can be overwhelming. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. With the right tools and techniques, you can easily clean your gear in no time!
“Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them.” – Benjamin Disraeli
If you want to keep your hockey equipment in tip-top shape, then read on for some easy-to-follow tips on how to clean your gear effectively. In this article, we’ll cover everything from washing your jersey to disinfecting your skates.
Gather Your Equipment
Before you begin cleaning your hockey equipment, gather all the necessary gear. Having everything on hand will make the process much smoother and efficient.
- Hockey equipment cleaner
- Bathtub or large container
- Spray bottle
- Clean towels or rags
- Air-drying rack or clothesline
Checklist for Gear
Ensure that you have all of your equipment before starting the cleaning process. Check each item off of this list:
- Ice hockey helmet
- Shoulder pads
- Elbow pads
- Jockstrap/protective cup
- Shin guards
- Socks (hopefully they were washed recently!)
Inspect Your Gear
Before placing your equipment in the bathtub or container to clean, inspect it carefully. Look for any signs of wear and tear such as holes, cracks, or frayed edges. These areas may require extra attention when cleaning or even replacement if they are beyond repair.
“It’s important to inspect your gear regularly so that you can fix small problems before they become big ones. A damaged piece of equipment can reduce protection levels and potentially lead to injury.” -Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President
If there is a particularly tough stain or odor, pre-treat the area with a specialized cleaner suitable for hockey equipment. This will help to break down any tough spots before washing.
Also, double-check that all removable parts like skate blades and helmet visors are detached before placing them in the water.
“Make sure you’re taking out components that can rust or detach,” -Tyler Deis, CEO of Clear Gear
Remove any loose debris from your gear by shaking it out or wiping it down with a dry cloth.
With these steps complete, you’re now ready to start cleaning your hockey equipment!
Pre-Wash Your Gear
Cleaning hockey equipment can be daunting, especially if you haven’t done it before. Pre-washing your gear is an essential step that ensures the best results when cleaning your equipment.
The first thing to do is to remove all debris from your hockey gear. Shake off any excess dirt or loose particles from sticks, gloves, elbow and shin pads, helmet, skates, and socks. Once you have removed all loose dirt and debris, use a soft-bristled brush to wipe away anything stuck to the surface of the gear.
You should also check your pockets for gum, candy wrappers, or anything else left inside and remove them immediately. They may cause unwanted staining during the washing process.
“Cleaning out my locker is like divorce court.” – Ron Tugnutt
Soak Your Gear
After removing all debris, it’s time to soak your gear in a solution made of warm water and detergent. You can use regular laundry detergent, but make sure it doesn’t contain bleach, fabric softeners, or fragrances. These can damage the material of your gear, affect their performance, and cause skin irritation as well.
Add enough water to submerge your equipment comfortably and let them soak for around 30 minutes. If your gear smells bad, add vinegar to the solution or use a specialty sports equipment cleaner instead. Make sure everything stays under the water so that the entire equipment gets cleaned uniformly.
Once done, rinse each item with cold water thoroughly until you see no more bubbles left on its surface. This will ensure that there are no chemicals left behind that might harm your skin or decolorize your gear over time.
“Hockey is a unique sport in the sense that you need each and every guy helping each other, and pulling in the same direction, to be successful.” – Wayne Gretzky
If needed, repeat this process until your gear comes out clean and fresh. Then gently squeeze them to remove excess water but do not twist or wring it as it can cause damage.
Now it’s time to hang your equipment in an open space to dry for around 24-48 hours depending on the weather conditions. Do not use a dryer as the heat can damage the material of your hockey gear.In conclusion, cleaning your hockey equipment regularly is essential not only for its longevity but also for hygiene purposes. Follow these simple steps to pre-wash your gear before putting them into the washing machine. Remove all debris and soak your equipment in warm water and detergent. Rinse thoroughly afterward and air-dry them in an open area. To maintain their freshness, store your hockey gear in a well-ventilated area.
Wash Your Gear In The Washing Machine
Choose the Right Detergent
When it comes to washing your hockey gear in a washing machine, choosing the right detergent is important. You need a product that can effectively remove sweat and bacteria from your equipment without damaging it. Experts recommend using a mildly scented, enzyme-free detergent to avoid potential skin irritation for sensitive players.
“Avoid bleach or fabric softeners which damage the fibers of your equipment.” -HockeyShot.com
Load the Machine Correctly
Before loading your hockey gear into the washing machine, make sure that you’ve removed any loose dirt and debris. This will help prevent any clogging in the machine’s drainage system. Once you have prepared your gear, place them loosely into the washer tub.
- Start by placing large items like shoulder pads on one side of the tub.
- Add smaller pieces like gloves, shin guards, elbow pads, and pants on another side.
- Tie skates together and place them in a pillowcase to keep them from banging around the inside of the machine.
- Finally, add your uniform jersey and socks last, ensuring they do not get tangled with other gear.
Select the Right Cycle
Hockey gear requires a wash cycle that uses high agitation and proper temperature settings to ensure that dirt, bacteria, and sweat are effectively eliminated. Most machines have a Sportswear or Heavy Duty setting that provides the necessary conditions for these fabrics.
“Set your washing machine to use only cold water so as not to risk melting or warping any synthetic material” -PureGoalie.com
Run the Machine
Now that you have loaded the washing machine and selected the right cycle, it’s time to run the machine. Once the wash is complete, carefully remove your gear from the machine. If possible, hang everything outside or somewhere with proper ventilation to dry quickly.
- Avoid putting water-absorbent materials like leather gloves in the dryer, as heat can cause them to wrinkle or shrink. Instead, let them air-dry on a flat surface away from direct sunlight or any heat source.
- To expedite the drying process, use fans which will also help prevent moisture buildup and mold growth while washing more often during the heavy playing season.
“The smell isn’t the only issue here; bacteria thrives in wet environments.” -Familyhandyman.com
Following these steps will help keep your hockey gear smelling fresh and clean while preventing bacterial growth, extending its shelf life, and keeping your wallet happy by reducing the frequency of necessary purchases.
Dry Your Gear
Hockey equipment can get damp and smelly after a long game or practice session, so it is important to dry your gear properly after each use. Doing this not only prevents unpleasant odors but also extends the life of your equipment.
Use the Correct Temperature
When drying hockey equipment, it’s crucial that you follow the care instructions on each item. Some pieces may require air-drying while others can be placed in a dryer. If the instruction tag specifies using a dryer, make sure to select the right temperature setting. Set the dryer to low heat, especially for delicate materials like shoulder pads, shin guards, and gloves, which can melt if exposed to high temperatures.
Choose the Right Drying Method
The best way to air-dry most hockey equipment is by laying them flat on a table or hanging them near an open window with good airflow. Air-drying works well because it doesn’t damage the fabric fibers, unlike machine drying which generates heat that might cause cracking or melting of the gear material. However, some items such as jerseys or undergarments must be hung on hangers to preserve their shape.
If you need to speed up the drying process, consider investing in a sports gear dryer. These devices emit mild warmth without compromising the integrity of your gear. They are specially designed to accommodate larger pieces of equipment such as helmets, chest protectors, and pants.
Check for Dampness
Before storing any cleaned hockey gear, you need to ensure they are dry first. Even small amounts of moisture can lead to bacterial growth, causing unwanted odors and potential health hazards. Ensure you physically check all areas, like pockets and lining of bags or backpacks, since these places tend to hold moisture for a long time. Moreover, if you’re air-drying your hockey equipment, ensure they get enough exposure to air throughout the drying process.
“Hockey gear isn’t exactly cheap, so take good care of it and avoid replacing everything each season.” – CBS Sports
Disinfect Your Gear
Hockey is a fast-paced and high-impact sport that requires well-maintained equipment for optimal player safety. However, hockey gear can get smelly, dirty, and even infected with bacteria if not cleaned regularly. Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to clean hockey equipment properly to prolong its lifespan and prevent infections.
Select the Right Disinfectant
The first step in cleaning hockey gear is choosing the right disinfectant. Not all cleaning products work equally well on sports equipment, especially those made of porous materials like fabric or leather. Using harsh chemical agents or bleach may damage the equipment or cause skin irritation to players using them. So, it’s essential to read labels carefully and pick disinfectants specifically formulated for sports gear.
“When you’re dealing with sports equipment, you need to make sure the products you use will kill the germs but not be too abrasive,” says Dr. Carolyn Forte, director of the Home Care & Cleaning Products Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute.
Besides traditional disinfectants, some natural solutions can also sanitize hockey gear without harming the environment or affecting human health. For example:
- Mixing water and vinegar in equal parts can remove mildew and eliminate odors from pads and helmets.
- Making a hydrogen peroxide solution by adding ⅓ cup of the substance and two teaspoons of tea tree oil can kill bacteria effectively while keeping the gear fresh-smelling.
- A sprinkle of baking soda over sweaty shin guards or gloves before wiping them down with damp cloth or sponge can absorb excess moisture and deodorize the items.
Follow the Instructions Carefully
Cleaning hockey gear involves more than tossing everything into the washing machine. Different pieces of equipment require different cleaning methods, and some are more delicate than others. Failing to follow the instructions may lead to damage or even ruin of the gear.
Here’s a general guide on how to clean different components of hockey equipment:
- Helmets: Wipe the outside with mild detergent and warm water, then rub on some rubbing alcohol to disinfect. Remove the inside padding and wash it by hand in cold water. Hang dry everything separately.
- Chest protectors: Use a damp cloth to wipe down all surface areas where sweat accumulates most. Take out any removable pads and wash them separately. Dry everything flat in a well-ventilated area or under low heat.
- Gloves: Soak them in a solution made of mild detergent, vinegar, and warm water for 30 minutes, then rinse them thoroughly in cool water. Squeeze out excess moisture and air-dry facing palm-side up.
- Skates: Rinse off loose dirt and debris, then scrub each blade carefully with a soft-bristled brush. Wipe down the boots with a damp sponge or cloth and let them dry completely before putting on skate guards.
- Stick: Clean the blade with soap and water, then dry it off quickly to prevent rusting. Lubricate the joint between the handle and barrel using oil or wax designed for hockey sticks.
- Pads: Mix water, vinegar, and a few drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle, then apply it evenly to each pad. Scrub gently if needed and allow the solution to penetrate for several minutes before wiping off excess moisture and drying thoroughly.
Remember to inspect your hockey gear after each game or practice and spot-clean any stains, tears, or damages immediately. Don’t forget to air out the equipment in a well-ventilated space to prevent mold growth and bad odor before storing them.
Now that you know how to clean hockey equipment like a pro, take care of your gear and enjoy playing the sport safely and with confidence.
Store Your Gear
Find the Right Storage Space
Hello hockey players! Are you tired of your equipment smelling? One reason could be that you’re not storing it in a well-ventilated place. When looking for storage space, find somewhere dry with good airflow to prevent moisture buildup and keep your equipment fresh.
A garage or basement could work, but make sure it is not damp. According to Hunker.com, “Moisture leads to bacteria growth which can cause unpleasant odors.” Therefore, try finding space in a room with windows that can open to let air circulate. Not only will this help with odor control, but it will also ensure your gear dries properly after practice or games to prolong its lifespan.
Use the Right Storage Containers
If you’ve already looked for an appropriate storage location, now it’s time to choose containers that suit your needs. Large plastic bins or fabric bags are perfect for storing equipment because they give enough space for everything to fit without overcrowding items. Plus, they provide breatheability to ensure your gear doesn’t hold onto bad smells.
If you travel frequently with your gear, consider purchasing a specialized hockey bag made especially for carrying all your equipment. Most brands offer durable bags with wheels and compartments tailored to fit helmets, skates, pads, and sticks. However, if you prefer using regular sports bags, occasionally wash them down with mild detergent to minimize bacteria buildup.
Check Your Gear Regularly
Last but not least, it’s crucial to inspect your gear every few wearings. Doing so allows you to notice any damages before they escalate. It’s essential to look for loose stitching, broken buckles, or laces, holes in clothing, and damaged blades on skates. You never know when a skate blade may break, which could lead to injuries.
According to USA Hockey, “Routine cleaning and checking of your gear for wear and tear can help prevent injury.” They suggest inspecting equipment before and after every use. If anything requires repair, be sure to fix it promptly.
Proper storage is vital in keeping hockey equipment fresh and prolonging its lifespan. Use containers that provide breathability and space so that nothing becomes overcrowded, check and clean your gear often, and find a well-ventilated storage space away from any dampness. By following these simple steps, you will enjoy long-lasting, odor-free hockey equipment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to clean hockey gloves?
To clean hockey gloves, start by wiping them down with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris. Then, mix a solution of warm water and mild detergent. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and use it to scrub the gloves, paying extra attention to any particularly dirty areas. Rinse the gloves thoroughly with clean water and then let them air dry. Avoid using any harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as these can damage the gloves and shorten their lifespan.
How do I clean the inside of my hockey helmet?
To clean the inside of a hockey helmet, start by removing any removable padding or liners. These can usually be washed in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with mild detergent. For the rest of the helmet, use a damp cloth and mild detergent to wipe down the interior. Be careful not to get the foam padding too wet, as this can cause it to break down more quickly. Once you’ve cleaned the helmet, let it air dry completely before putting the padding back in.
Can I put my hockey pads in the washing machine?
It’s generally not recommended to put hockey pads in the washing machine, as this can damage the padding and shorten the lifespan of the equipment. Instead, wipe down the pads with a damp cloth and mild detergent. If there are any particularly dirty or smelly areas, use a mixture of warm water and vinegar to clean them. Be sure to rinse the pads thoroughly and let them air dry completely before using them again.
What is the proper way to clean hockey skates?
To clean hockey skates, start by wiping them down with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris. Then, use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the blades and the bottom of the skates. Be sure to remove any buildup of ice or snow from the blades. If the skates are particularly dirty, you can use a mixture of warm water and mild detergent to clean them. Rinse the skates thoroughly with clean water and then let them air dry.
How often should I clean my hockey equipment?
You should aim to clean your hockey equipment after every use, or at least once a week if you play multiple times a week. This will help prevent the buildup of bacteria and unpleasant odors. It’s especially important to clean equipment that comes into contact with sweat, such as gloves, helmets, and pads. Skates and sticks should also be wiped down regularly to keep them in good condition.
What products should I use to clean my hockey gear?
You should use mild detergent and warm water to clean most of your hockey gear. Avoid using any harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as these can damage the equipment. For particularly dirty or smelly areas, you can use a mixture of warm water and vinegar. Be sure to rinse all equipment thoroughly with clean water and let it air dry completely before using it again.