Playing baseball is a great way to stay active. Not only will it strengthen your arms—as you’ll be swinging at and catching the ball—but it will also increase your mental concentration. As a cardiovascular exercise, it will also improve the function of your heart and lungs. After all, you’ll be running around in the baseball field!
You probably know this already, but the aim of the game is to score more points than the opposing team. Players can do this by advancing bases or by returning safely to the home plate. Though the origins of baseball are uncertain, there’s evidence that similar games have been played in Ancient Egypt more than 2,000 years ago!
What Kind of Gear is Needed For Baseball?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that baseball requires certain pieces of equipment. For starters, you’ll need a bat. Made out of wood or metal, it is used to hit the ball thrown by the pitcher. Similarly, you’ll need a glove or a mitt to safely catch the ball in your hands.
Baseball players also wear uniforms, which mainly consists of a jersey and a pair of pants. Colorful and vibrant, these garments allow them to be distinguished from the other team. Traditionally, players will also wear a baseball cap with the brim facing forward.
Lastly, you need a pair of baseball cleats. Given all the running that goes on in the field, it’s crucial that players have ample ankle support. Not just support, but they help to create traction and stability. They also play a role in shock absorption.
Why It’s Important to Keep Your Football Gear Clean
Baseball is a physically demanding sport. Sure, it might not involve as much running as say, soccer, but there’s still a good amount of moving around on the field. It also takes quite a bit of energy to hit the ball with the bat. Now try doing that throughout the entire game!
Considering all that, it’d be weird if you weren’t sweating! Chances are, by the end of a match, you’ll have beads of sweat on your skin. Yes, you guessed it—your gear will also be covered with perspiration. What does this mean? Icky odors. As it turns out, bacteria love to grow and proliferate on moist surfaces, including your clothes!
Not only will you be smelly, but there’s a potential of skin infection if you have an open cut or wound. Remember, your sweat-absorbed garments will be in close contact with your skin throughout the match!
What should you do? You should always wash your baseball gear (this includes everything, including your cap!) on a regular basis. This will help to prevent bacteria from building up on the fabric. If anything, it will also extend the life of your gear!
But how should you wash your baseball jersey? Your cleats? It might not be the best idea to just toss them in the washer without a second thought. Not sure about how you should wash them? Don’t worry—we’ll be explaining how below!
How to Wash Your Baseball Uniform (Jersey and Pants)
More often than not, your jersey and pants will be reeking of sweat after a game; this is particularly true if the sun’s out. Luckily, both of these garments are easy to wash.
Are Baseball Jerseys and Pants Machine Washable?
Yes, both baseball jerseys and pants can be put in the washing machine. To prevent the design from coming off, it’s highly recommended that you turn your jersey inside out; the same can also be done with the pants. For extra reassurance, you can put them in their own laundry bag.
Pro-tip: It’s perfectly fine to wash your baseball uniform with other garments. You just want to be careful of one things—the colors. The last thing that you’d want to do is to have color bleed onto your white jersey.
Add one scoop of ACTIVE detergent to the dispenser*. Wash the items on a delicate setting with cold water. There’s a chance that hot water will shrink and damage your uniform’s synthetic fibers (yes, most of them are made from man-made fabrics).
*Note: ACTIVE detergent is specially formulated to get clean activewear, such as your baseball jersey and pants. It is much more effective than conventional detergents as it contains enzymes that are able to dissolve away sweat and oil.
Do not use any fabric softener—the way they work, they will coat your baseball uniform with a substance that will damage their sweat-wicking finish. In other words, your jersey and pants will not be able to pull sweat from your skin nearly as efficiently (this allows you to stay dry even when you’re sweating).
Take your baseball uniform out once the wash cycle is complete. Take the items out of the laundry bag (if you used one), and hang them up on a clothesline. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours for them to dry thoroughly. Avoid putting them in the dryer—the heat inside the machine will deteriorate the fibers.
How to Hand Wash Baseball Uniforms (Jersey and Pants)
You’ll be surprised to know that they’re also easy to wash by hand. In fact, you can easily do so at the sink!
For starters, fill it 3/4 full with cold water. Carefully add one scoop of ACTIVE detergent. The next step is to mix the solution together with your hand—continue doing so until you see soap suds. From there, you can put your uniform in. Submerge both your jersey and pants into the water; make sure that all of the fabric is in the liquid. Leave it there to soak for at least 30 minutes.
Pro-tip: Is there a mud stain on your uniform? You can easily get rid of problem spots by applying ACTIVE detergent directly to the area. Give it ample time to soak through before pre-treating the garment as normal.
Once that’s over, you can begin to wash the items by hand. Pick them up from the sink and clean by gently rubbing the fabric together. Swirling the items in the solution also helps. When you’re done, put it under the faucet—this will help to rinse off the detergent. Repeat until the water is clear and there are no soap suds left.
Transfer your baseball uniform onto a clean surface. Remove some of the dampness by pressing down with a towel; you can also use it to roll up your items. As much as you might want to, avoid wringing your jersey and pants. Those types of movements will damage the fabric—quickly.
Line them dry. Do not put them in the dryer unless you want to buy a new uniform.
Washing Instructions for Baseball Caps
Baseball caps tend to get sweaty—this is not surprising, though. After all, they’re close-fitting hats. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to clean them after a game.
Washing Your Cap In the Sink
As it turns out, you can just wash them in the sink (a bucket will also work). Fill it with warm water and add one scoop of ACTIVE detergent. Mix thoroughly by swirling the liquid with your hand.
Begin by spot-treating any problematic areas (e.g. stains, spots). Dip an old toothbrush or soft brush into the detergent mixture and use it to clean stains or spots. Be careful around the stitching. If you scrub too hard, it might start to come off!
The next step is to soak the hat. Carefully put it in the water-filled sink or bucket; gently press down to submerge all of the fabric. Leave it there for at least 30 minutes (longer if it is very dirty). Swirl the baseball cap around in the solution a few times before taking it out. If there were stains, check to see if they are gone. If not, you might need to spot clean them again with your brush.
Remove the cap from the sink—be careful of the dripping water! Pat it down with a clean towel to get rid of some of the dampness. You can also use a towel to pat it dry. The final step is to let it air dry. Ideally, you want to set it on an object as that will help it to retain its shape. If necessary, you can speed up the process by using a small fan.
Can I Put My Baseball Cap in the Washing Machine?
It’s generally not recommended that you put a cap in the washing machine. All of the throwing around that occurs inside can damage the fabric and design. With that said, you can machine wash it every once in a while. Definitely use cold water on the gentlest setting, though.
You also want to skip on the dryer—the heat will likely cause it to lose its shape.
Best Way to Clean Baseball Cleats
Your baseball cleats can get quite dirty on the field. From grass to mud—there’s a whole lot out there that can get on your shoes! Fortunately, there are ways to keep them clean.
Cleaning the Outside of Your Cleats
Before you begin, you want to knock off all of the excess dirt, mud and grass. Once that’s done, dry scrub the outside with an old toothbrush.
Mix a little bit of ACTIVE detergent with water in a bucket. Dampen the toothbrush with the solution and use it to scrub away any stains on the surface. Wipe away the detergent with a clean cloth, soaked in warm water.
If you can, remove the insoles. You can wash them separately in the washing machine on a cold, delicate cycle—this will help to eliminate smells. If possible, place them in a mesh laundry bag. You can do the same thing with your laces.
Allow it to air dry. You can put some newspaper inside each of the cleats to help soak up the extra moisture. Don’t toss them in the dryer!
Cleaning the Spikes
Mud and rocks can easily get stuck between the spikes at the bottom. Use a brush or a cloth to clean each spike. You might have to use your fingers to remove some of the debris. When you’re done, wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
Removing Scuffs and Stains From Your Baseball Cleats
Over time, it’s not uncommon for your cleats to get scuffed. There are a few ways that you can get rid of these marks.
One of the easiest methods is to use an old toothbrush. Dip it into an ACTIVE detergent-water solution and use it to rub the marks. Try to be as gently as possible. You might have to repeat this a few times before they disappear. When you’re done, rinse the cleats clean with plain water.
Believe it or not, but toothpaste can also be effective. Apply a bit of the product onto your finger and apply it to the scuff. Use a brush to rub it in. Afterwards, rinse it off with clean water. Allow the shoes to dry fully before wearing.