If you or someone in your family plays ice hockey, then you know how important it is to keep the gear clean. Hockey equipment can get pretty nasty after just one game, leading to unpleasant smells and potential health hazards.
Luckily, washing hockey equipment doesn’t have to be a daunting task – and it’s easier than you might think. With a few simple steps, you can keep your gear fresh and hygienic all season long.
In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to wash hockey equipment effectively so that your gear stays in top condition, no matter how often you play. We’ll cover everything from helmets to skates to jerseys, making sure you’re ready for game day each week.
“Clean equipment not only smells better, but it also helps prevent bacteria buildup and skin irritations.”
You don’t need any fancy equipment or expensive cleaning products; you just need some basic household items and a little elbow grease. Plus, keeping your hockey gear clean will save you money in the long run by extending the life of your equipment.
So, if you’re ready to learn how to keep your hockey equipment fresh and clean, read on!
Preparing Your Hockey Equipment for Washing
Removing Excess Debris
The first step in washing your hockey equipment is to remove any excess debris. This includes things like dirt, grime, and sweat that may have accumulated on the surface of your gear during games or practices. To do this, you can use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to wipe down each piece individually.
It’s important to be gentle when cleaning your equipment as some materials may be easily damaged due to harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools. A soft bristle brush works best for getting into the crevices between padding and hard shells. Take care with straps, which connect other pieces of equipment, and ensure their brackets stay firmly fitted in place while brushing the areas around them.
“Make sure you get all the nooks and crannies, especially in the helmet area.” -Bobby Ryan
Separating Equipment into Categories
To avoid tangling and facilitate efficient cleaning, it’s essential to separate your gear into proper categories before starting your wash cycle. Not only will this help streamline the entire process, but it also ensures maximum coverage for optimal hygiene results. The most common equipment categories include:
- Chest protectors,
- Shoulder pads,
- Shin guards,
- Socks, and
You should take apart Velcro straps to clean thoroughly under them. For instance, separating elbow pads from sleeves so that both are washed well enough will prevent future rashes and give more comfortability during game time. You’ll also want to ensure that individual garments are opened up where possible, and buckles or clasps that attach to others aren’t fastened too tightly either. Paying attention to specific cleaning instructions for individual items is essential as well; you do not want fabrics disintegrating due to high heat exposure.
“Your gear takes a lot of wear-and-tear and can last longer with proper care.” -Trevor Daley
One of the most important components to ensuring hygienic washing results involves separating skates from all other pieces of hockey equipment during wash cycles – these shouldn’t be thrown in the washer! Doing this helps prevent your boots from getting damaged by machine parts hitting them while spinning around since they have sharp blades exposed at the bottom.
Preparing hockey equipment for washing requires two main things: first, take time to remove debris off each piece gently using soft brushes and cloths, then after sorting it out into categories before running them through the wash cycle ensures maximum coverage for optimal hygiene results. Take great care when handling all different kinds of materials, following their unique manufacturer guidelines to optimize longevity and keep your ace in top shape!
Washing Your Hockey Equipment
Hockey is an intense sport, and it’s normal for your equipment to get covered in sweat, grime, and even blood on occasion. Over time, this build-up of bacteria can lead to odors, skin irritations like rashes or infections, and a shorter lifespan for your gear.
To keep your hockey equipment clean, it’s essential to wash it regularly. This guide will show you how to wash your hockey equipment, including using a washing machine, handwashing, and drying them outdoors.
Using a Washing Machine
If your hockey gear has been caked with dirt and mold over the last few games, simply popping it into a washing machine could be your answer. Here’s how:
- Separate the fabric-based items from the plastic ones (if any) and place each group in different laundry bags.
- Add the detergent of your choice to the washer, following the instructions on the packaging.
- Set the temperature to warm or hot water as cold water won’t kill all bacteria present in your gear properly.
- Run the shortest cycle available because excessively long cycles may damage certain materials.
- Once done, take out the items and air dry them outside.
Avoid dry cleaning or tumble-drying your hockey gear at home. These machines apply high heat that could melt nylon and other synthetic fabrics, especially if they contain adhesives – rendering them ineffective for future matches.
Handwashing Your Equipment
For those who want to avoid using washing machines, here’s what you should do:
- Dilute mild detergent or sport-specific cleaners in a tub of warm water.
- Place every piece of gear item by item in the water.
- Scrub them gently using a soft-bristled brush or cloth. Be sure to refer to special treatment guidelines for specific materials such as goalie gloves.
- Rinse everything out thoroughly, ensuring that the detergent has been completely removed.
- Squeeze off water from helmets and kneepads, leaving all other items saturated with water before getting ready to hang dry outdoors.
Handwashing your hockey equipment takes more time than machine washing, but it allows you to be more meticulous in cleaning each piece. Check the ingredients on your soap detergents too, according to a credible provider of solid personal care products – Dr. Sana-Ara Ahmed. For example, she suggests steering clear of strong chemicals like bleach or fabric softeners that could break down synthetic fibers over time.
Using a Bathtub or Large Sink
Don’t have a big enough washing machine? A bathtub or large sink can work just fine!
- Fill your tub or sink halfway with warm water.
- Add a capful of mild detergent or sports cleaner per 4L of water.
- Put softer fabrics into one side of the sink and plastic-coated skates and protective gear on the other side.
- Feel free to use an old toothbrush or sponge to clean superficial stains or sticky residue.
- Once ready to rinse, drain the water and refill the tub/sink with fresh water. Rinse each article carefully and squeeze any excess water out before laying them outside to dry.
The aforementioned doctor also strongly recommends avoiding that equipment spends too long in the water. Drowning bulky items could lead to a change of their shape or, worse yet, harm any special pads and padding.
Drying Your Equipment in the Sun
After cleaning your hockey gear, you’ll want to dry everything thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew growth. Here’s how:
- Pat out any excess water using towels first before letting nature do its thing -the sun!
- Give each item enough space to air-dry completely. You don’t want anything touching—each other or any surface so that moisture doesn’t get trapped between them.
- Place them outdoors under the sun on a clothesline, drying rack, or even grasping them vertically on trees if possible.
- If certain pieces aren’t flexible or soft, try setting up tower fans to speed up the process. Never think about using a hairdryer, heater, or direct sunlight as it could melt the foam enclosed inside many items like helmets.
“Make sure everything has had ample time to dry and breathe,” says Allen Halliday, sports administrator at Ward Melville High School. “Don’t ever put wet equipment back into your bag; doing so is a guarantee for a smelly return.”
Cleaning your hockey equipment may seem intimidating at first but is simple once you have steps laid down. Remember: regularly washing your gear can help keep odors, bacteria, and infections away and prolong its lifespan, saving you money in the long run!
Drying Your Hockey Equipment
After washing your hockey equipment, the next step is to dry it properly. Drying your gear is very important as dampness can lead to mold and bacteria growth which can cause nasty odors and infections. Here are some ways you can dry your hockey equipment:
Using a Drying Rack
A drying rack is an excellent option for air-drying your hockey equipment. These racks have multiple tiers where you can hang your gear and let them dry naturally. Make sure that you arrange the equipment so that they are well-ventilated since the airflow helps in quickening the drying process.
If you don’t have a specialized hockey drying rack at home, you can also use a regular clothes drying rack or use one of those collapsible mesh laundry hampers. Always try to keep the different gears separated from each other as much as possible during this process to maximize airflow.
Using a Clothesline
If you live somewhere sunny, using a clothesline will help dry your hockey gear quickly while saving on energy costs. Arrange the equipment evenly spaced out along the line and make sure that larger items such as padding and jerseys aren’t overlapping. You can clip together the sleeves of gloves and elbow pads using a clothes peg to ensure they get dried thoroughly.
The only thing to remember with this method is that UV light from direct exposure to sunlight could potentially damage certain types of materials over time, especially colored ones. It’s advisable to replace the clothesline itself after a couple of years to ensure there are no frayed sections to snag the gear.
Using a Fan
If you’re running short on time, a fan is an easy and effective way to hasten the drying process. Simply place the wet gear in front of an oscillating fan and let the air circulation work its magic. Positioning a box-fan on the floor pointing upwards can also create an up current that will help better circulate the airflow.
If you have several fans, place them at different angles for more optimal drying, one from above and another from below to ensure each side of the gear receives adequate ventilation. Be sure to turn over larger pieces like shin guards now and then so they dry out evenly.
Knowing how to wash hockey equipment is essential, but knowing how to properly dry everything afterward prevents any secondary problems and increases the lifespan of your sports gear. Experiment with all three methods to find which works best for you and blend them as needed to get your equipment dried quickly while maintaining it’s cleanliness so that you won’t hesitate to jump back into action on the ice!
Maintaining Your Hockey Equipment After Washing
Washing your hockey equipment regularly is an essential step in maintaining its freshness and preventing bacteria from accumulating. However, proper maintenance goes beyond washing – it means knowing how to store, check for damages, and replacing broken or old parts.
Checking for Damage
Before storing your hockey gear, ensure you inspect every piece of equipment thoroughly. Damages could happen during games or develop over time through regular use. Here are some crucial areas where you should be checking closely:
- The helmet: check the inside padding, chin strap, hardware, and determine if it fits properly
- The gloves: ensure all straps, stitches, thumbs, and palms are still intact and secure. Replace any missing clips or buckles
- The skates: check that all bolts, tongues, laces, and blades are still firmly attached and operating well. Sharpen dull blades as soon as possible
- The chest pad: inspect all foam pieces, fasteners, elastic bands, and fittings to guarantee they offer sufficient support and protection to your torso area
- The sticks: look at both ends of the blade, especially the heel’s edge, to ensure it has not begun to wear too thin and consider getting a new one if it shows significant deterioration
If you detect signs of breakage or damage, do not continue using that piece as further usage could result in more severe problems. Instead, proactively replace such items to maintain top-notch safety standards while playing.
Replacing Broken or Damaged Equipment
As much as we would want our equipment to last forever, replacing them at the right time can make all the difference. Worn-out gear may not provide enough protection and increase your chances of getting injuries during games.
To keep track of when to replace each piece of equipment, follow these general rules:
- The helmet: replace every three years or after a significant impact
- The gloves: replace after two seasons or if straps are no longer holding tight
- The skates: replace after approximately 100 hours of ice-time or when you feel constant discomfort while wearing them
- The chest pad: replace every two to four years or whenever it begins to break down noticeably or sag too much
- The sticks: repalace after about fifteen to twenty games for forwards and ten to twelve games for defensemen.
Storing Your Equipment Properly
Accurate storage means keeping away from sunlight exposure, moisture, high heat, and humidity. Besides, storing your gear in a damp place allows bacteria to thrive on it, which is why a fresher environment is essential. Here are some tricks to achieving proper hockey equipment storage:
- Gently towel-dry any excess water from your equipment after washing before air-drying them until they’re completely dry
- Open the vents and flaps of your equipment to allow for maximum airflow and prevent musty smells and mildew. Use dryer sheets inside your bag to absorb additional odors overnight
- Store your dry equipment items such as jerseys, socks, and neck guards separately from others like skates and helmets to avoid dampness
- For an extra layer of protection, store your gear in a well-ventilated area like your garage or basement. You can also use storage containers that have built-in air vents such as hanging mesh bags.
Regularly Cleaning Your Equipment
Cleaning should be part of your routine to keep your hockey equipment fresh, sanitized and free from infections. Here are some suggested steps for cleaning each item:
- The helmet: wipe it down with mild soap and warm water, then rinse well and towel dry. Do not soak it in water overnight as this could harm the inner padding
- The gloves: use liquid detergent or disinfectant spray on them lightly and wipe clean. Then, hang to air-dry before storing
- The skates: Use a skate stone to remove any visible materials stuck in the blades, then wipe away debris using a clean cloth. Spray both sides of the blade with skate sharpening oil after every game, and apply wax at least once per week
- The chest pad: use laundry detergent and follow care instructions when machine-washing. Air-dry its different parts separately until they’re entirely moisture-free
- The sticks: wipe off all loose dirt carefully and regularly while avoiding harsh soaps or cleaning agents that might damage their texture during washing
“Taking proper care of your hockey equipment is crucial if you want it to last longer and always look clean and impressive.” -Sidney Crosby
By following these guidelines, you’ll maintain your gear’s freshness, minimize wear and tear, optimize your safety on ice and extend its longevity.
Alternative Methods for Cleaning Your Hockey Equipment
Using a Steam Cleaner
A steam cleaner can be an effective alternative method for washing your hockey equipment, as it uses heat and high-pressure steam to kill bacteria and remove unpleasant odors. Simply load your gear into the machine and let it do its work.
A steam cleaner works by boiling water inside a tank and then releasing the resulting steam through a nozzle at high pressure. The heat of the steam kills bacteria and other germs that may have accumulated on your hockey equipment over time, while also breaking down any dirt or grime that may be present.
One area where a steam cleaner can really shine is in getting rid of stubborn odors that can build up on your hockey equipment over multiple uses. These odors can often be caused by the buildup of mold or mildew, which thrive in moist environments such as locker rooms or damp basements.
“Steam cleaning is one of the most effective methods for removing bacteria and killing odor-causing germs from your hockey gear.” -HockeyGiant.com
Using White Vinegar
If you’re looking for a more natural way to clean your hockey equipment, white vinegar may be just what you need. Not only is it cheap and readily available, but it’s also a powerful disinfectant that can help kill off harmful germs and bacteria that can live on your gear.
To use white vinegar to clean your hockey equipment, simply mix equal parts water and white vinegar together in a spray bottle. Then, spritz the mixture generously onto all areas of your gear, taking care to get into all the nooks and crannies that might be harboring bacteria.
Once you’ve sprayed your gear thoroughly with the vinegar mixture, use a damp cloth to wipe it clean. Be sure to give everything a good scrub, including the insides of your gloves and skates, which can harbor bacteria and odors particularly well.
“White vinegar is a safe, natural way to clean and disinfect your hockey equipment without harsh chemicals.” -CanadianLiving.com
Using Baking Soda
Baking soda has long been known for its odor-absorbing properties, making it an ideal choice for those looking to get rid of unpleasant smells on their hockey gear. Simply sprinkle some baking soda onto all areas of your equipment before washing it as usual to help absorb any lingering odors.
For extra effectiveness, try mixing the baking soda with white vinegar to create a paste-like consistency that you can use to scrub down your gear. This will not only help remove bacteria and germs, but also ensure your equipment comes out smelling fresh and clean.
Don’t forget to pay special attention to areas like your helmet and shoulder pads, as these places tend to hold onto odors particularly well.
“Baking soda is a great deodorizing agent for hockey gear – just be sure to apply it generously and let it sit for a while before washing.” -PureWow.com
Using Essential Oils
If you’re looking for a more natural way to add fragrance to your hockey gear, essential oils may be worth exploring. Not only do they smell great, but many essential oils are antibacterial and antifungal, making them a smart choice for keeping your gear clean and hygienic.
To use essential oils on your hockey equipment, simply mix a few drops of your favorite oil with water in a spray bottle and spritz it over all areas of your gear. Alternatively, you can dab a few drops of oil onto cotton balls and tuck them inside your equipment between uses.
Some great essential oils to try for hockey gear include tea tree oil, lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon. Not only do these oils smell wonderful, but they also have powerful antibacterial properties that can help eradicate odors and bacteria on contact.
“Essential oils offer a natural alternative to chemical sprays or fabric fresheners and can serve as a useful tool in the fight against odor-causing bacteria.” -Lennox Herald
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to wash hockey jerseys?
The best way to wash hockey jerseys is to turn them inside out and wash them in cold water with a mild detergent. Avoid using fabric softener or bleach. Hang the jerseys to air dry, do not put them in the dryer. If the jerseys have any stains, treat them with a stain remover before washing.
How do you clean hockey gloves?
To clean hockey gloves, first remove any excess dirt or debris. Mix a solution of warm water and mild detergent, then dip a clean cloth or sponge in the solution and gently scrub the gloves. Rinse the gloves with clean water and let them air dry. Do not put the gloves in the dryer or use any heat source to dry them.
Can you wash hockey helmets?
Yes, you can wash hockey helmets. Remove any removable parts, such as the chin strap, and wash them separately in warm water with a mild detergent. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the helmet, avoiding any electrical components. Let the helmet air dry completely before reassembling it.
What is the proper way to wash hockey socks?
The proper way to wash hockey socks is to turn them inside out and wash them in cold water with a mild detergent. Avoid using fabric softener or bleach. Hang the socks to air dry, do not put them in the dryer. If the socks have any stains, treat them with a stain remover before washing.
How often should you wash your hockey equipment?
You should wash your hockey equipment after every use to prevent the buildup of bacteria and odor. Some equipment, such as jerseys and socks, may need to be washed after every game. Helmets and gloves can be washed less frequently, but should still be cleaned regularly.
What cleaning products should you use to wash hockey gear?
You should use a mild detergent, such as a sports-specific detergent or a gentle laundry detergent, to wash hockey gear. Avoid using bleach or fabric softener, as they can damage the equipment. For tough stains, use a stain remover before washing. You can also use a specialized equipment cleaner for an extra deep clean.