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How to Clean Hockey Equipment

By Cindy Crabtree

If the smell of dirty hockey equipment alone isn’t enough to motivate you to clean it, knowing the cause will. Equipment smell comes from potentially dangerous bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, an antibiotic resistant strain of staph. Cuts and blisters on your body provide an entry point for bacteria to invade your body causing major infections, or even death, if left unchecked. Regularly cleaning your hockey equipment significantly reduces the amount of bacteria present and keeps the smell down at the same time.

Step 1

Fill your bathtub with hot water until it reaches about halfway. Pour in a cleaner recommended by your equipment manufacturer that will not harm your gear, such as bleach or laundry detergent.

Step 2

Place your pads, gloves, neck guard and helmet in the bathtub, pushing down on it to ensure full submersion. Rotate the equipment occasionally, moving the top gear to the bottom, to make sure each piece is clean. Keep the equipment in the water for the amount of time recommended by your equipment manufacturer, agitating it from time to time for a thorough cleaning.

Step 3

Drain the bathtub. Rinse the equipment in warm water to remove the cleaner residue.

Step 4

Wipe the inside of your equipment bag with antibacterial wipes to remove any built up bacteria.

Step 5

Spray a deodorizing and disinfecting shoe spray inside your skates to get rid of the smell and bacteria.

Step 6

Wash your shirt and pants in the washing machine and dry according to the instructions on the clothing labels.

Step 7

Soak your mouth guard in antiseptic mouthwash to remove any built up germs and bacteria for 30 seconds. Scrub the mouth guard with a toothbrush and rinse under warm water.

Step 8

Repeat on a regular basis while the equipment is in use and when retiring your gear for the season to keep bacteria and smells down. Wipe the equipment with antibacterial wipes between washings to keep bacteria from growing.

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