How to Clean Lacrosse Equipment

By Heather Potter

Dirty lacrosse gear not only smells bad, but also serves as a breeding ground for bacteria. You should wash your gear after every game or practice. Using the correct products and techniques will keep your equipment clean, while avoiding damage. If your equipment has tags, follow the instructions exactly.

Hand Washing

When possible, hand-wash pads, gloves and uniforms. Since many gloves and pads are partially made of leather, use a damp cloth and a detergent with a pH of less than 10, that is not acidic. To remove excess moisture from gloves, you can place a towel, or newspaper, inside and leave overnight. All equipment should be air-dried if possible.

Machine Washing

If time does not allow for hand washing, or if the equipment is very dirty, you can wash the uniform in a washing machine. Use the gentle cycle with cold water. If you have to use a dryer on your uniform and equipment, tumble-dry on low heat. Sources differ on whether or not it is safe to machine-wash gloves and pads. If you decide to machine-wash these items, use the same settings used to wash the uniform.

Other Gear

Use a damp cloth to wipe all parts of the helmet, including the inside, the chin guard and the face mask. To prevent bacteria, you can apply a mild detergent to the cloth -- or use an antibacterial wipe, or sanitizing spray -- on the helmet’s inside. Air-dry the helmet. If the stick gets muddy, rinse with cold water and air-dry. For the pocket, rinse with cold water, then shape the pocket the way you want it. Stuff the pocket with newspaper to wick away moisture and hold the pocket shape while it dries. To clean cleats, open the shoes up completely, then rinse the inside and outside with cold water. If they are very dirty, you can wash them in a machine on the delicate cycle, and air-dry.

Bag

You should remove all equipment from the bag after games and practice, and air the bag out. To prevent fungus and bacterial growth, wipe out the bag with a damp cloth, and spray with sanitizing spray. You can also wipe the bag out with a sanitizing wipe. Be sure to air-dry the bag. For really dirty bags, wash them in a machine on the delicate cycle using cold water.

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