How To Clean Hockey Equipment

Cleaning and storing your hockey equipment is a big part of the game. Sure, how you play on the ice is important, but if you don’t clean your equipment or do SOMETHING to keep it from stinking after each skate you WILL stink.

In order to keep you fresh on the ice, I’ve put together a simple video showing how anyone can clean hockey equipment. The results typically last 3-6 weeks before you’ll need to repeat.

Getting Rid of the Stink

If your hockey equipment already stinks, there is a simple solution to fix it. WASH IT. In the video above I give you the full details but I will break it down below

  1. cleaning-hockey-equipment-at-homeTake everything out of your bag. You can do one load of jerseys, socks, under armour, etc and one load of equipment
  2. Wash on the longest cycle your machine will do, pre-wash, extra rinse, you get the idea. Select bulky items / large loads if your machine has it.
  3. You can put every piece of equipment in the wash except for your skates and helmet
  4. Use your favourite detergent, and avoid bleach as it can deteriorate some of the bonding agents and foams in your equipment. An Oxygen bleach is OK.
  5. Hang everything to dry with a fan on it. It’s OK to put the jerseys, socks and other garments in the dryer (throw in dryer sheets for extra freshness) however it’s not recommended to put under armour / base layers in the dryer.

Preventing (or delaying) the stink

Once your gear is fresh, you want to keep it that way. These tips may be more important than the ones on how to clean your hockey equipment!

  1. Wear something between yourself and your hockey equipment. I wear under armour, thin socks, and compression shorts. I haven’t tried a full body suit, but believe it would be most effective. Obviously you should wash your under garments after each use
  2. Dry everything out immediately after each skate. This is where the stink really starts to fester. The longer you leave wet ANYTHING in your bag, the more it will stink. There are some good products you can use here (listed below
  3. You can try some anti-stink sprays. I haven’t found any miracle sprays, and for the price and convenience I use febreeze anti-bacterial spray with pretty good results. I apply it after I pull all my gear out to dry.

Some Helpful Products for cleaning hockey equipment

The rocket sports dryer

rocket-sport-dryer-24I’ve heard nothing but great things about this product. You hang your gear up, tent it, and put the heat fan on. It gently dries your gear for a timed duration and then shuts off. Personally I think this is the best solution, especially if you have multiple hockey players, or will be playing tournaments and staying in hotels. This will eliminate a lot of stink quickly!

Buy it on: Hockey Monkey or Amazon  (at the time of this article it was $10 cheaper on Amazon)

Some Spray and a Gear Rack

stop-hockey-equipment-stink

While I’ve tried a lot of sprays, I haven’t tried Clear Gear, and according to the Amazon reviews it works great. The rack picture above also has great reviews and is a simple way to organize all your gear after each game, get it dry faster, and most importantly not forget a piece of gear when you pack your gear up. The spray and rack go together. Hang it, spray it, dry it, done!

Buy Clear Gear on: Amazon ($15.99)
Buy the Gear Rack on:
Amazon ($39.99)

That’s it for now. If you have any tips for keeping the stink out of hockey equipment let me know in the comments below!

 

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Coach Jeremy
Hi my name is Jeremy Rupke. My goal is to break every hockey skill down into easy to understand articles and videos. I explain everything step-by-step to help others improve. I'm active on Instagram, Facebook and more, you can follow through the links above.
If you want to learn more about me you can read my about page. Thanks for reading and sharing!

13 Comments
  1. Reply Tammy March 17, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    It was suggested to invest a few bucks in a boot and glove dryer by another hockey mom. Very glad I did. I also Lysol his helmet after every use, wash socks jerseys and underlayers, then machine wash shin guards, elbow pads, neck gard every few games. If I can’t get to it all immediately, I at least unzip his bag. He is 9, so I still have to assist him with tying his skates, so I have to enter the locker room briefly. I can tell who’s equipment is not kept clean. Man, that smell is like no other!

  2. Reply Carol Serapiglia March 16, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Submerge all hockey equipment into a pool if you have one. The chlorine kills all the bacteria. Then simply lay it out in the sun to dry

  3. Reply Grant March 14, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Rather than leaving it all nasty, make sure you clean your gear a few times during the season and once before you put it away at the end of the season.

    If you’re keeping it inside in a nice, dry, critter free environment, it doesn’t hurt to leave the bag open so air can get to it.

    Also, I always wear some sort of base layer and wash that every day. It helps keep the stink of your gear. If you’re in and out of your gear a lot like those still practicing every day and referees that do multiple games in a week, it’s always a good idea to have several sets of base layers so you;re not having to do laundry every night.

  4. Reply sevin March 14, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    So I find vodka (bottom shelf stuff) works really well. Now hear me out . . . seriously, get a spray bottle and mix half vodka, half water….spray gear, dry, NO smell. I’ve also been told to use just vokda….but, half and half makes the vodka last longer.

  5. Reply doug March 14, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Try gel beads or silica gel kitty litter, the stuff is amazing and cheap. They’re those little pocket packets you get in new clothing. But you can buy a 4lb container for ten dollars at Canadian Tire or Safeway and then just put some in a sock or two and the smell and moisture don’t stand a chance.

    • Reply Jan March 15, 2016 at 6:54 am

      I have heard this before. Does it really work??

      • Reply Patricia March 30, 2016 at 6:41 pm

        It helps. I filled socks with the silica cat litter and stuff the skates with the stuffed socks. It draws out the moisture and smell.
        I also put equipment like shoulder pads and shin guards (anything with straps and buckles) into a large mesh bag or a tied up in a pillow case before I put them in the washer. If you skip this step, the straps/belts can get caught inside the washer and damage either your equipment or your washing machine.

  6. Reply Susan March 8, 2016 at 10:23 am

    GODORS spray works really well. It’s a bubble gum scent, but the ingredients appear to kill the bacteria that causes the smell.

  7. Reply Lisa Huckins December 19, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Tide Febreeze Sport only thing that cleans mine best. Especially under armour

    Hang up by wood stove every skate !

  8. Reply M. Tallevi December 19, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Make sure you let that lysol dry. I played with a friend who spayed his gear with Lysol just before he went to play. He was rushed off the ice to the hospital because he absorbed the alcohol(?) in the Lysol through his skin. He had become completely disoriented.
    I play hockey with a fellow who lightly sprays his gear with Scope or Listerine (alcohol versions) as soon as he takes it off. I don’t know if it works but he is fresh smelling on the bench.

  9. Reply bren December 19, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    please make one for goalie gear. im hesitant to put that stuff in the wash because not only is it a lot bulkier than typical player gear, it also has a lot more leather. Also, i think goalie gear smells more.

  10. Reply George December 12, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I normally take everything out of the bag immediately. I wash the socks and
    jerseys in the washer and I spray everything else with Lysol, a lot of Lysol and leave it out to dry.

  11. Reply Drake Christensen November 1, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    I have a top-load washer, and I find the noise to be too much to ignore.

    Instead, I wash my stuff in the bathtub. I throw everything in there, including my bag. I pour a couple of caps of regular laundry detergent into the tub (it holds a lot more water than the washing machine, so you need to use more) and then add room temperature water until everything is submerged. I kneed the padding a little, to work the soap in. If it has been a long time since I last washed my stuff, the water will turn noticeably dirty, so I’ll drain that and add soap a second time.

    To rinse, you want to use water a little warmer than you soaped with. It doesn’t need to be full hot. But, warmer water will hold more soap in solution, and therefore it won’t leave as much soap in your gear, which might irritate your skin. You can either do each piece of equipment individually under the tub faucet. Or, just fill the tub with water. It takes about the same amount of time, either way.

    One item I need to always rinse individually is my breezers. I find I have to squeeze the water out the soft foam and let them fill with fresh water again a few times, until there’s not much soap left.

    Jerseys, socks and jock go in with my regular wash every game or every other game, just because it’s convenient. Jerseys, I allow to air dry. That helps the numbers and logos to last much longer.

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