It is that time of year, end of hockey season, and time to wash the gear and put it away until next year. I live with three hockey players and are four sets of hockey equipment. My youngest daughter has both player and goalie gear hence the four sets of equipment. All three of my players work hard and the result is sweaty stinky gear. I remind my hockey players to hang dry the gear after every game or practice (or at least OPEN their bags!!) but sometimes they are too excited from a big win to remember. We all know how this can create the perfect recipe for teer inducing, nose scrunchingly stinky gear. When the gear becomes so bad even the coaches are a little teery eyed, it is time to wash the gear.
Did you know you can wash your gear in your washer?
It’s true. I do it about once a month during the hockey season and once more at the end of the season. There are companies who will wash your hockey gear for a fee starting at about 40$. To pay $160/month or close to $1,200 a season kinda made me cranky. Hockey equipment protects my hockey players on the ice so I knew a round in the front loading washer would be fine. I have had success washing all the gear and I have learned a few tricks that I am happy to share.
First here are my list of DON’Ts
- DON’T place anything with leather in the dryer. Ever. The leather will shrink and ruin the equipment.
- DON’T use bleach. Seriously.
- DON’T place helmets or skates (do I need to say this?) in any washer or dryer.
And here are some DOs
- DO use the gentle cycle.
- DO tie up all laces and close Velcro.
- DO use hot water if possible.
- DO make sure to take off all backings from plastic pieces. They wash easier if separated.
- DO take cup out of jills and jocks
Cleaning Hockey Skates
During the season, I periodically remove the insoles of the skates and throw then in the wash with other equipment. It doesn’t hurt to sprinkle some Arm & Hammer baking soda in the skate before replacing the cleaned and dried insoles. At the end of the season, I remove the insoles and spray inside with vinegar, then wipe with a washcloth. The skates are left out to dry after every use and are (usually) not the smelly culprit in the hockey bags.
Cleaning Hockey Jerseys, Base Layers, and Hockey Socks
All jerseys, base layers, and socks (game and practice) go in the wash together. If there are white jerseys and socks I will wash them separately. Easy!
Cleaning Hockey Pants and Chest Protectors
I have had great success washing all hockey pants and chest protectors in my front loading washer. There is no agitator to get caught up in and the gear is strong enough to survive the minimal bumping around. I do prefer to us a gentle detergent, like Arm &Hammer™ Plus OxiClean™ 3-in- 1 Power Paks, and a gentle spin cycle. I also have a front loading dryer and have had no problems drying hockey pants or chest protectors on low heat. If they are not completely dry I will hang them to dry, bonus if it is sunny out and I can hang them in the sun. I always add a dryer sheet in each hockey bag, because hockey gear needs all the help it can get.
Cleaning Neck Guards, Elbow Pads, Shin Pads, Jocks, and Jills
No worries about throwing these items in your front loading washer and dryer. Again, I would be careful adding any gear to a top loading washer because of the agitator and the risk of gear getting tangled in it. The plastic pieces that do not come off of the elbow and shin pads make a heck of a racket but it all comes out fine.
Cleaning Player Gloves, Goalie Pads, Trapper and Blocker
My goalie daughter will not allow the puck marks to be cleaned off of her pads, trapper or blocker. She claims it shows the other team all the saves she has made and “It shows them how awesome I am!”. If you have any great tips… please share them! Besides, there is no way I am messing with my goalie’s pride and joy!
In my experience, player gloves and shin pads are the biggest culprits of a stinky gear bag. The best way to keep the smell away is to keep them dry and to make sure to air them out after every single use. If you are already dealing with smelly gloves you can wash them in the washer with detergent like the NEW Arm & Hammer™ Plus OxiClean™ 3-in- 1 Power Paks. The power paks are the only detergent boosted with the stain-fighting power of OxiClean™ and the freshness of Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda. DO NOT put your gloves in the dryer, the leather palm could be ruined. When possible in our Ottawa climate, I like to dry most of the gear by laying them out in the sun.
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I have teamed up with Ehm & Co and Church & Dwight to bring you this tutorial. All opinions and experiences are my own.