You have been practicing, working hard, and playing your **heart out** on the ice. Now what do you do? Clean your sweaty gear is what! You have a goal to reach and a dream to accomplish, but first you have to know how to clean your hockey gear. Is it really that complicated? Not at all! With just a few simple steps, you will be able to remove all the sweat and grime from your equipment in no time. Keep reading for further instructions on how to properly clean your hockey gear.
The Importance Of Proper Cleaning
Before we begin, it is important to note that proper cleaning is essential for your favorite hockey gear because dirt, oil, and moisture can cause serious damage to your expensive sports equipment. It is also crucial that you clean your hockey gear regularly because germs and bacteria can cause sickness if they are not removed regularly. Some people think that sanitizing your equipment after each use will suffice, but that is not the case at all. Regular cleaning will keep your equipment looking like new and ensure that it stays in good condition.
The Necessity Of Detailed Plans
It is a common misconception that being detailed oriented is a negative quality, but that is emphatically not true. Being highly organized and having well-thought-out plans are indispensable for any type of creative undertaking, and that is certainly true in the world of hockey equipment cleaning as well. You will have to tackle the problem in a systematic manner and develop a plan before you begin the process. That way you will be able to follow the instructions more easily and ensure that the job is done correctly. A detailed plan makes the process much less stressful and much more doable. It takes some of the mystery out of the situation, and that is always a good thing!
The 4 Step Process For Cleaning
Now that you have your plan in mind, it’s time to get to work. First, take out all the items of clothing you will need for cleaning and lay them on a table or a shelf. Be sure to include your skates, helmet, and pads as well as any other sport’s gear you use regularly. Lay everything out in front of you so you can have a clear picture of what needs to be done. Take everything out of the pockets and bags and set them on the table as well. If you store food, drink, or other items in these pockets and bags, now is the time to get them out. The same rule goes for the socks as well. It is best to air dry your gear after every use instead of leaving them wet as they will attract moths, ants, and other bugs. If you leave them wet, they will mold and grow mildew.
Step 1: Clean The Outer Layer
The first thing you will have to do is clean the outer layer of the equipment as this is the part that gets dirtiest first when you use it. After all, it is the outer layer of the equipment that makes contact with the ice and other playing surfaces. In most cases, this is the layer of the equipment that needs to be replaced the most as it gets dirty quickly and requires a lot of washing and drying. The usual procedure is to remove the outer layer and wash it with water and mild detergents. If you use cloths and dryer sheets instead of paper towels, you will have to turn the equipment inside out and lay it on a cleaning tray so the water can drain off. When you are done washing it, let the equipment air dry overnight before you put it back on. This step should be done weekly at least to maintain good appearance whilst ensuring the equipment is clean and in good condition.
If you play in cold weather, then you will have to consider using an anti-bacterial soap as this will help prevent infections.
Step 2: Clean The Mid Layer
The next thing you will need to do is clean the middle layer of the gear which is the layer that gets the most moisture and oil when you use it. The usual procedure is to lay the equipment on a cleaning cloth or paper towel and remove the mid layer and wash it with a mixture of water and mild detergents. After washing, let it air dry. The mid layer is the part of the equipment that is hidden from view and gets dirty easily so it is a good idea to clean it more often than the outer layer. This step should be done every two weeks at the very least to maintain good appearance whilst ensuring the equipment is clean and in good condition.
Step 3: Clean The Inner Layer
The inner layer is the part of the gear that is closest to your skin and is where most of the bacteria and germs reside. Be sure to clean this layer at least once a month with a mixture of water and antibacterial cleanser according to the instructions on the bottle. The usual procedure is to lay the equipment on a clean and dry cloth or paper towel and remove the inner layer and wash it with a weak detergent solution. After washing, let it air dry. This step should be done every three months at the very least to maintain good appearance whilst ensuring the equipment is clean and in good condition.
Step 4: Sanitize Your Equipment
After you have cleaned all the layers of your gear, it is time to sanitize it again. This step is crucial because all the bacteria and germs that you picked up during the process will survive and remain on the equipment until they are killed by the sanitizing agent. The usual procedure is to treat the equipment with a sanitizing agent that is diluted in plenty of water for about ten minutes before you start using it again. If you use a non-diluted agent, then only wash and air dry the equipment as the diluted solution is more effective. Never use paper towels to wipe down your equipment because they will become saturated and unable to absorb moisture quickly causing it to deteriorate.
Is it really that complicated? Not at all! Being organized and having a detailed plan will certainly streamline the process and make it less stressful and more convenient. The truth is, nobody likes cleaning their equipment and many players avoid it as much as possible because it is such an annoying and time-consuming task. However, it is important to remember that regular cleaning is necessary in order to keep your equipment looking shiny and new whilst maintaining good condition. You would not want to play with a shiny and stinky sports equipment, would you?