How to remove odors from hockey equipment
It’s almost impossible to play hockey and not end up with gear odor. Hours of sweat and grime build up and the result isn’t pretty. It’s also not safe.
Dirty, sweaty gear is a breeding ground for germs, mildew and mold. Wounds could get infected and quickly become serious. Flesh-eating infections, for example, have resulted in limb amputations. MRSA, a staph infection that is resistant to many types of antibiotics, can be fatal. These scenarios may be at the extreme, but at the bare minimum, any smelly, germy gear is a concern.
GOOD NEWS! Easy prevention is at hand with simple, but important, cleaning tips.
- Air it out. Dry gear is a much less-hospitable environment for germs. Use a low-cost laundry drying rack air everything out after practice, including pads, gloves and the insoles of your skates. Turn a fan on it and plug in an AirRestore Air Naturalizer. The Air Naturalizer will help break down the particles that make it smell bad and target bacteria and other germs. Spray the inside of your bag with an anti-microbial spray, and leave it open so it can dry. Simply set a corded Air Naturalizer inside for extra clean-up power.
- Wash it. Check the tags or instructions that came with each item to see if it can be submerged in water. Some items can go in a wash machine.
- Avoid bleach for protective gear; it can break down the foam and plastic components.
- Invest in a good layer of clothing to wear under your gear. Air those items out after each use, and wash them frequently.
- For your skates: Wet a towel with vinegar and wipe out the insides and dry it with another towel. Then put a corded Air Naturalizer inside each skate to zap the odors and germs.
- Use a towel with mild soap and warm water to wipe off your helmet and clean the face mask, including the chin cup. Go over everything with another damp towel to remove the soap, and let it dry.
- If your gear is especially ripe, fill the wash machine and let the gear soak, then drain the water and run the gear through a full wash cycle.
- Dry it. Most gear (other than clothing layers) won’t hold up well in the dryer. Instead, spread everything out so air can get to it — preferably in the sun — and let a fan blow on it for several hours or overnight. This is another great time to use your AirRestore Air Naturalizer, which can tackle odors or germs that may have survived the wash.
- Don’t forget your mouth guard! Soak it in mouthwash and scrub it with a toothbrush.