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How to Wash & Maintain Your Hockey Gear

You’ve just had an intense hockey game, and your gear’s soaked in sweat. Now, you’re wondering how to clean it without damaging it. Well, you’re in the right place. We’re about to reveal the best ways to wash your hockey gear, keeping it fresh and long-lasting.

Cleaning hockey gear isn’t just about removing the grime and sweat. It’s also about maintaining its quality and ensuring your safety on the ice. One wrong move can create severe injuries, according to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg. So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of keeping your hockey gear in top-notch condition.

Remember, clean gear is a game-changer. It boosts your performance and keeps those unpleasant odors at bay. So, get ready to take your hockey game to the next level with our easy-to-follow guide on washing hockey gear.

Why Clean Hockey Gear is Important

You might question, “Why should I bother cleaning my hockey gear?” Well, it’s more important than you may think. Properly maintained hockey equipment enhances its durability and offers numerous benefits for your gameplay, health, and comfort.

Increase Equipment Lifespan

If you’re a regular player, you’d know that hockey gear can be quite expensive. Thus, prolonging the lifespan of your hockey equipment becomes a practical idea. Without consistent cleaning, your gear might encounter damaging bacteria and wear and tear. Consequently, gear cleaning becomes an effective method to save hard-earned money.

Preventing Bacterial Growth

Ever notice the foul smell emanating from your hockey bag? That’s the result of bacteria, yeast, and mold growth on your gear, which is mired in sweat and grime. This can potentially lead to skin infections and diseases, including Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and Impetigo. The health hazards associated with these microbial buildups necessitate regular cleaning.

Improved Performance and Comfort

Dirty gear can also affect your on-ice performance. Unwashed gloves, for example, may become stiff over time, reducing your grip and puck handling. Additionally, when your gear doesn’t smell, you feel better about wearing it, lending to increased confidence and comfort on the ice.

So, it’s about more than just removing that annoying odor. It’s also about respecting your sport and health. With this in mind, we’ll detail an optimal method to wash hockey gear effectively in our following section.

Preparing Gear for Washing

To prepare your gear for washing, you’ll first need to separate all detachable parts. This could include removing any pads, opening all the zippers, and unfastening any buckles or straps. By doing this, you’ll ensure a thorough clean for every part of your equipment.

It’s crucial to turn them inside out for items such as hockey gloves. Exposing the interior areas enables a deeper level of cleaning that’s usually impossible when they remain the right way. Considering the sweat accumulation in these areas is significant, it’s an essential step in your gear-cleaning process.

Next, consider those crevices where bacteria could potentially lurk. Using a brush or a cloth, manually remove any visible dirt or debris before placing your gear in the washing machine. This is a significant step as it provides a preliminary clean and allows your washing machine to eradicate the less visible microbes efficiently.

You’ll need to remove the blades and clean them separately for skates. Debris can accumulate beneath them, and cleaning is the only way to ensure they don’t become breeding grounds for bacteria.

Once you’ve prepped your gear accordingly, the next step is to understand the best techniques for washing your equipment. Keep reading to learn the dos and don’ts that will ensure your gear is always in terrific and hygienic condition.

Washing the Hockey Equipment

After you’ve prepared your gear for washing, it’s time to get down and dirty with the actual cleaning process. The method of washing your hockey gear may differ slightly depending on the type of equipment, but the fundamental steps are the same.

Use the Right Detergent and Settings

Choosing the right detergent is as important as the washing process itself. Opt for a detergent that’s designed for athletic gear. These are formulated to eliminate bacteria and odors without damaging the fabric.
When setting up your washing machine, consider using a gentle cycle. It’ll be kind to your hockey gear and prevent quick wear and tear. Generally, a cold wash is recommended, and remember – skip the fabric softener.

Equipment-Specific Tips

Certain pieces of your gear might need an extra bit of care:

  • Gloves and Protective Pads: Turn gloves and protective pads inside out before tossing them in the wash, and remember to spread them evenly among other clothes to maintain balance.
  • Hockey Socks: These items often harbor a lot of bacteria. Pre-soak them in a vinegar solution for about 30 minutes before washing to ensure a deeper clean.
  • Skates: Remember, these should never go into the machine. They can be cleaned by hand with a damp cloth and soapy water.

Drying Your Gear

Getting your hockey gear adequately dried is essential in preventing bacterial and fungal growth from moisture. Air drying is indeed your best option. It’s advisable to hang up your gear to dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight. Regarding skates, remove the insoles and let them dry separately.

Remember, the longevity of your hockey gear largely depends on the care you give it. Washing it precisely helps maintain its integrity and keeps those unpleasant locker room odors at bay.

Drying and Storing Tips

After washing your hockey gear, it’s essential to dry it properly to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus. Air drying is generally the best option. Your gear will dry and breathe, which is vital for preventing odor build-up.

To efficiently air-dry your gear:

  • Lay large equipment like pads and pants on a clean, dry towel.
  • Hang smaller pieces like gloves and elbow pads on a peg or hook.

Remember that hockey gear is made of materials that can degrade if exposed to intense heat or direct sunlight for an extended period. Therefore, avoid placing your gear under direct sun or near heat sources like radiators.

Storing your hockey gear right is similarly important. A golden rule: keep it airy! Even after air-drying, moisture may still linger within those layers of foam and fabric, providing a perfect breeding ground for microorganisms. A well-ventilated storage area minimizes this risk.

Consider using a gear tree for storage. Gear trees enable excellent airflow around all your equipment, promoting thorough drying out between uses. It’s an investment that can considerably prolong the life expectancy of your gear.

Washing, drying, and storing hockey gear might sound complicated, but it’s necessary. These methods ensure your gear lasts longer and delivers your best performance on the ice.

Maintaining Gear Quality

Regular maintenance of your hockey equipment can significantly increase its lifespan and performance. While washing, drying, and correct storage are pivotal in this respect, you also need a routine dedicated to maintenance to keep your gear in the best shape possible.

Inspecting Your Gear Regularly

It’s vital to check your gear after every match. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as loose stitching, broken straps, or thin padding. Particularly inspect areas that are often under stress, such as knee and elbow pads. The sooner you spot issues, the sooner you can repair or replace parts, thereby ensuring the gear provides the protection it’s meant to.

Repairing and Reinforcing

Once you’ve detected signs of wear and tear, it’s time to repair and reinforce your gear. Hockey tape is an excellent companion in this scenario. It can help fix small rips and reinforce areas that are starting to thin out. Some hockey players even use Shoe Goo to patch up small holes in their gear, but be sure to thoroughly dry it before usage.

Regular Athletic Gear Cleaning

While regular cleaning has its place, deep cleaning your gear should also be a part of your routine. Remember, soaked sweat and grime build-up can affect gear performance and longevity over time. Deep cleaning can help to thoroughly remove this build-up, keep your gear fresh, and extend the life of your kit.


So, you’ve made it through the nitty-gritty of hockey gear maintenance. You now understand the importance of washing your gear and drying and storing it correctly. You’ve learned how to inspect your gear, repair it, and even how to get down and dirty with deep cleaning. With these strategies, you’re set to keep your gear in top-notch condition.

Remember, it’s not just about longevity – it’s about performance, too. You’re also maintaining your edge on the ice by keeping your gear. So, get out there and play with the confidence from knowing your gear is as ready as you are.

Clotheslyne: A Professional Laundry Solution

For those who prefer professional laundry care, Clotheslyne provides an ideal solution. Through the app, you can hire Clotheslyners for expert laundry services, including washing, drying, and folding of clothes and bulky items.

Choosing Clotheslyne ensures your laundry is handled with care and expertise. It’s convenient for those who value their time and prefer professional laundry services.

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You can also schedule your laundry pick up through our web portal.

Fill up a tall kitchen bag full of clothes. A Clotheslyner in your community will pick it up and deliver it back to you washed, dried, and folded in 48 hours. It’s that simple.

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