Lacrosse is a team sport in which players try to hit a ball into a goal or net. Fast paced, it is similar to hockey in many ways. For instance, they both require incredible stick skills; both games also feature five players and a goalie. Played by men, women, and children, it is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing sports in the country. Since 1967, the World Lacrosse Championships have been held every four years.
As one would expect, lacrosse comes with many health benefits. For one thing, it helps to build your cardiovascular endurance. Not only that, but it strengthens your muscles—the game involves lots of running, after all. On top of that, it improves your hand-eye coordination.
What Kind of Gear Do You Need For Lacrosse?
As mentioned earlier, players require their own lacrosse sticks. Sometimes called a crosse, these sticks are used to handle or strike the ball in the field. Relatively long, they come with a small netted head at one end, which makes it easy to catch the ball.
Aside from that, players need to have proper attire for the game. Generally speaking, most will wear jerseys, shorts, gloves, and pads; cleats are also required for proper running. Last but not least, helmets are worn to protect the head from injury. At the end of the day, lacrosse is a contact sport.
Why It’s Important To Keep Your Lacrosse Equipment Clean
Lacrosse is a high-intensity sport. Ultimately, what this means, is that you’ll likely be drenched with sweat after a game. Given that, it only makes sense that your gear would get sweaty. As it is, this tends to lead to a bad odor. Not only would things get stinky, but it’s overall bad hygiene. After all, bacteria are responsible for the smell. Assuming that you have an open wound, there is even a possibility of infection!
For these reasons, you should always strive to keep your lacrosse gear clean. Ideally, you would want to wash them as soon as you’re home; this will prevent the proliferation of icky bacteria. But wait, how exactly should they be washed? Are there certain things that you shouldn’t do? Can you toss certain items into the washing machine? These are some of the topics that we will be discussing about below.
The Best Ways to Wash Your Lacrosse Jersey
Lacrosse Jerseys are typically cut from polyester. A type of man-made material, it is often used for activewear due to its moisture-wicking properties. In other words, it naturally pulls moisture, such as sweat, away from the body; this allows you to stay dry during an intense match.
In some cases, other synthetic fabrics such as nylon or spandex are used. Either way, these jerseys can safely be put in the washing machine.
The Proper Way to Wash Your Lacrosse Jersey in the Washer
Synthetic materials should always be washed with cold water. While it’s not as effective for removing stains, it helps to prevent shrinking and color bleeding. Speaking of which, you should only wash your jersey with like-colored items (if necessary, separate them into different loads). Avoid washing them with jeans, or clothes with zippers as the material can get snagged.
Measure an appropriate amount of ACTIVE detergent and pour it into the machine. Flip your jerseys inside out and put them into the washer. Not only will this prevent the colors from fading, but it will make it easier to get the oils out (since they’re exposed to the surface). Close the door, select a delicate cycle, and wash with cold water.
Note: Fabric softener should not be used on jerseys; the chemicals will inhibit the fabric’s moisture-wicking abilities. Chlorine bleach should also be avoided.
Remove your jerseys from the washer when the cycle is done. If you want to extend their life, do not put them into the dryer. Instead, allow the items to drip or air dry; polyester and other synthetic fabrics are known for being quick-drying.
Hand Washing Your Lacrosse Jersey in the Sink
Alternatively, you can wash your jersey in the sink (or a container). Fill it with cold water (warm water can also be used); add a small amount of ACTIVE detergent to create a soapy mixture. Be careful not to add too much detergent, this is especially true if you’re only washing a few items.
Put your lacrosse jersey into the sink—make sure that the entire thing is immersed in the solution. Soak it for at least 15 minutes (longer if there is a particular odor). Afterwards, wash the jersey by gently scrubbing the fabric; rubbing the item in the soapy water also helps. When that’s done, rinse it off with plain water; repeat until all the soap has run out (the water should be clear).
Pro-tip: For stains, try applying a bit of extra ACTIVE detergent to the area. Rub it into the fabric before soaking the item in the solution.
Lightly squeeze out the extra water. If necessary, use a dry towel to get rid of the water. Hang it on a clothesline to dry. Do not use the dryer.
How to Clean and Deodorize Lacrosse Gloves
Lacrosse gloves are designed to protect a player’s hands and wrists. For this reason, they are heavily padded on the back of the hand. More often than not, the forearm is also covered in leather. Due to the nature of shots, goaltenders tend to have thicker gloves.
Hand Washing Your Lacrosse Gloves
Hand washing is best when it comes to lacrosse gloves. Fill a bucket (or the sink) with cold water. Add some ACTIVE detergent; mix it by swirling the liquid with your hand. Put your gloves into the soapy water. Allow it to soak thoroughly—you want the soap to penetrate into the inner layers.
Afterwards, wash it by softly rubbing the material together. Be gentle—especially around the leather area. Rinse off the detergent with plain water; you can do so with another bucket or by putting it under the faucet. Hang it up and give it time to dry. Do not put your lacrosse gloves into the dryer.
Pro-tip: Do not wash your gloves on the same day as a game; they will not dry in time. Do not use them until they are completely dry.
Is it Safe to Put My Lacrosse Gloves Into the Washing Machine?
While it’s not ideal, you can put them into the washer. However, they will likely deteriorate much faster. If you want them to last longer, you might want to for the hand washing option.
As far as settings go, wash your lacrosse gloves with cold water on a delicate cycle. Do not use hot water—it can lead to shrinkage, especially with the leather. If you’re washing them with other clothes, it might be a good idea to put them into a mesh laundry bag; that will prevent them from getting caught on your other items.
When the wash cycle is finished, take the gloves out and put them on the hard surface with the fingers up—this will help the water to drain out. To speed up the drying process, you can use a fan. For the most parts, though, hanging them up in a well-ventilated area will do the job.
Preventing Your Lacrosse Gloves From Getting Stinky
Ideally, you don’t want to wash your gloves too often; water and soap over time will cause them to deteriorate quickly. Ultimately, this is why you want to prevent them from getting stinky in the first place. As it is, there are a few things that you can do to ward off the odor.
For instance, you should always air them out after practice; the air flow will prevent them from getting too stinky. Avoid throwing them into your bag—that will only encourage bacteria growth, which will lead to an even greater odor.
Alternatively, you can use dryer sheets. Simply put them in your gloves when you’re not using them; this will freshen them up a bit. Keep a few extras in your bag as a backup.
How to Properly Clean Your Lacrosse Shoulder Pads
Aside from helmets, players also wear shoulder pads to protect themselves on the field. Designed to be lightweight, most are made from foam panels.
Washing Your Lacrosse Pads By Hand
The best way to wash the pads is to gently scrub them with your hands. As with the gloves, however, you want to soak them first in soap and water; this will help to remove the dirt and sweat. As a general rule, you’ll want to let them sit in the solution for at least 15 minutes.
From there, wash the pads by lightly rubbing the material. Eventually, when you’re done, rinse off the detergent with clean water. Allow them to air dry. Do not put them into the dryer—that will damage the foam.
Are Lacrosse Pads Machine Washable?
Generally speaking, you want to avoid putting your pads into the washing machine. If necessary, however, you can wash them with cold water on a delicate cycle. Allow them to air dry for a couple of days.
Best Way to Deodorize Your Lacrosse Helmet
Lacrosse helmets come in contact with a lot of sweat. For this reason, you should clean them regularly to prevent the development of odor.
Cleaning the Outside of the Helmet
The easiest way to clean the surface is to wipe it with a clean, damp cloth. Alternatively, you can use sanitizing wipes. Don’t forget to clean the chin guard and face mask as well!
Cleaning the Inside of the Helmet
Dirt and sweat can easily get embedded in the inside of your helmet. Luckily, the padded liners can be removed; this allows you to clean them with ease. All you have to do is soak them with warm soapy water. For the most parts, that will be enough to get rid off the smell.
Never put your helmet into the washing machine; that can compromise its construction.
How to Wash Your Lacrosse Cleats & Remove Odors
Cleats can get quite dirty from the dirt and grass. Fortunately, they’re pretty easy to wash!
Hand Washing Them with Soap and Water
The first step is to soak your cleats in warm water and ACTIVE detergent. Afterwards, scrub the surface with a soft-bristled brush. When you’re done, rinse the soap off with clean water. Remove the excess water from the cleats using a dry towel. To help them keep their shape, you can stuff them with a washcloth. Set them outside and allow them to dry. Do not put them into the dryer.
Can You Put Lacrosse Cleats Into the Washing Machine?
Occasionally, you can put them in the washer if they are particularly dirty. Use ACTIVE detergent and wash with cold water on a gentle cycle. Put them into a pillowcase to prevent them from being tossed around. Do not wash them with other clothes.