If you play hockey, or have a child who plays hockey, you probably understand how important it is to clean hockey gear on a regular basis. There are a few ways you can do this, including washing your hockey gear in the bathtub and in the washing machine. Here are our tips for washing hockey gear at home.
Click the links below to skip to any of the following sections:
Cleaning Hockey Gear in the Washing Machine
Cleaning Hockey Gear in the Bathtub
Cleaning Hockey Gear in Between Washings
Wash Hockey Gear in the Washing Machine
Almost every piece of hockey gear can be washed in the washing machine. Do not try to put your skates or helmet in there (and if you’re a goalie, many other pieces of your equipment will not work) — but you can put your breezers, hockey socks, athletic cup, shin guards, chest protector, jersey, elbow pads, and gloves in the washer.
Use the delicate or gentle wash cycle. If you have a Sports setting, that would get everything more clean, but your gear may not be able to withstand it. So, I would always opt for delicate.
Some of your gear may be pretty large, so use your best judgment on how much will fit in your specific washing machine. Do not put too much gear into one load or you could damage your machine.
Putting Hockey Gear in the Dryer
When I wash my hockey gear in the washing machine, I only put base layers, hockey socks, hockey shorts, and jersey in the dryer after sending everything through the washing machine. I let everything else air dry.
However, you can put things like your chest protector, shin guards, elbow pads in the dryer — just make sure you close all velcro. Your gloves can technically go in the dryer but it can wear them out much more quickly.
Clean Hockey Gear in the Bathtub
You can also hand wash your hockey gear in your bathtub (or sink, if you have a large one).
When I wash my hockey gear in the bathtub, I like to use a mix of laundry detergent and baking soda. Fill up your bathtub so that all the gear can soak, and leave it in there for 30-60 minutes.
After you do that, let the water out of the tub and let the gear sit for at least a few hours. You will find out how wet the hockey gear will still be even after a few hours, but use your best judgment on when you want to take it out of the tub.
After this, I recommend placing it on a towel and letting it dry completely. This can take up to an entire day.
How to “Wash” Hockey Gear in Between Washings
Clorox Wipes will go a long way in cleaning your hockey gear when you don’t have the time to actually wash it. Take a wipe and wipe down each piece of gear as thoroughly as possible.
The best things about the wipes is you can even clean the pieces of gear that you cannot put in the washing machine or bathtub — like your skates and helmet.
Good Ol’ Febreze
In my household, Febreze is a necessary and very popular item. After every single game, we set our gear out and Lysol and Febreze every single item.
Lysol will help take care of the actual bacteria and Febreze does an amazing job at taking care of the smell. Setting the gear out helps the equipment dry, which also helps.
Wearing undergarments is going to help you reduce any smells in your actual gear. Wearing an undershirt, hockey shorts, and a handkerchief under your helmet will help limit the amount of sweat that makes it onto your helmet, breezers, and chest protector.
You can throw your undergarments in with normal laundry, and so there is no excuse not to have these clean for every single game.
Be a good teammate and wash your gear on a regular basis. Although there is a LOT of tolerance for hockey smells, both in the locker room and on the bench, you do not want to be known as the teammate that always comes to the game smelling like, well…hockey.
If nothing else, stocking up on Febreze will do wonders to help you be a good teammate and eliminate all smells between every game.