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The Complete Wrestling Gear Cleaning Guide

May 12, 2019

Wrestling is a popular sport that involves various grappling techniques such as takedowns and throws. What makes it unique, though, is that it can be competitive or theatrical—that is, it can count as a form of entertainment. Take the WWE, for instance, they’re a well-known company that’s known for their wrestling programs!

As expected, there are a number of benefits that are awarded to wrestlers who dedicate themselves to the sport. For one thing, it helps to improve their reflexes, coordination, balance, and speed. Not to mention their functional strength as well! After all, it requires a great amount of cardiovascular endurance to recover in the ring!

What Kind of Gear is Needed For Wrestling?

As mentioned earlier, wrestling is a combat sport. Considering this, it only makes sense that you’d need a bunch of protective gear. For instance, you’ll probably need some sort of headgear, mouth guards, and knee pads.

different types of wrestling gear

In terms of clothing, you’ll need a singlet. What’s a singlet? It’s a type of one-piece that is meant for wrestling. Close-fitting, these uniforms are usually made from nylon, spandex, or lycra. Aside from that, it’s important to invest in a good pair of shoes.

Unlike regular footwear, they come with ridged soles that grip onto the wrestling mat. Designed to mimic the barefoot feel, they feature higher arches that allow athletes to go for more speed. Lightweight and flexible, they also protect the wrestler from fungal infections, which can easily be picked up from toenail scratches.

Why It’s Important to Keep Your Wrestling Gear Clean

Wrestling matches can be quite intense. If anything, they’re quite the high-intensity sport. Given that, it’s not surprising to know that it can result in a lot of sweat. As you can imagine, that can be a bit of an issue if it comes into contact with your gear—which it will.

For one thing, it will cause your gear to smell. Why? The sweat from your skin will encourage the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Leave the item alone and the odor will only get worse with time. This is why you want to wash everything on a regular basis—ideally after a match.

Not only would the smell be problematic, but there’s the issue of skin irritation as well. Not to mention the possibility of infections! After all, this is bacteria that we’re talking about.

The key point is that you should always keep your wrestling gear clean. Trust me, it’ll allow you to perform a lot better in the ring! What’s that? You’re not too sure how to wash your gear? That’s no problem at all—we’ll be going over some of the washing instructions below. By the time you’re done with the post, you’ll be a washing expert!

Washing Instructions for Wrestling Singlets/Uniforms

wrestling singlet

Wrestling singlets should always be washed after a match. Given how close-fitting they are, you can only assume that they’d be drenched with sweat! You wouldn’t want to go into your next match wearing a sweaty uniform, right? Fortunately, these garments are relatively easy to wash.

Putting Wrestling Singlets/Uniforms in the Washer

You’ll be glad to know that wrestling singlets are machine washable—for the most part, anyway. As a general rule, you always want to check the care tag label first before doing anything. That way, you’ll know exactly what to avoid!

The first thing that you want to do is to turn the singlet inside out. This is crucial for two reasons; it will prevent the colors from fading and it will make it easier for the detergent to penetrate into the clothing fibers (after all, you’re exposing it to the water). Once you’ve done that, you can pop it in the machine. For those who are curious, yes, you can wash them with other items. Just remember to separate the load by colors; otherwise, you can run into bleeding issues.

Pro-tip: Want to be extra gentle with your singlets? Consider putting them in a net laundry bag. That will minimize the amount of rubbing that they’ll do with the rest of your clothes. In other words, your uniform will last longer.

Take your ACTIVE detergent out and pour in a scoop (you might have to add more if you’re washing a lot of clothes). Choose a gentle cycle—this is important, any other settings can damage the delicate fibers of the uniform. From there, wash with cold water. Avoid using hot water as heat can deteriorate your singlet over time.

Note: Pass on the fabric softener. The way that they’re made, your wrestling singlet has a moisture-wicking finish. In other words, it’s designed to pull sweat to the fabric’s surface, where it can evaporate. Products such as fabric softeners will hinder its ability to do so.

Remove your wrestling singlet (and other clothes) once the washing is complete. Lay it flat to dry on a clean surface. You can also let it air dry on a clothesline. Avoid putting the uniform in the dryer. As mentioned earlier, the fabric does not do well with heat. You wouldn’t want to have to buy a new singlet now, would you?

Washing Wrestling Singlets by Hand

Want to save a bit of power by skipping the washing machine? No problem—you can wash your singlets just as easily by hand. The first step is to fill a sink or tub with water (ideally cold water). Mix in a scoopful of ACTIVE detergent. Agitate the liquid gently to mix the powder. Carefully put your wrestling uniform in once you see bubbles. Make sure that the entire thing is submerged by pressing down on the fabric. Let it sit and soak for upwards of 30 minutes.

Pro-tip: Have a stain on your singlet that you want to get rid of? Apply ACTIVE detergent (pre-mixed with water, of course) directly to the area. Saturate the stain and let it soak through for 20-30 minutes before washing the item normally.

Pick up the singlet from the sink and swirl it around in the detergent mixture a few times. From there, you can wash the fibers by rubbing them gently with your hand. When you’re finished with that, you want to rinse off the soap with clean water. You can do this by putting the singlet under the faucet or by refilling the sink with clean water. Either way, you want to rinse out all of the detergent.

Put the wrestling singlet on a clean surface. Use a towel to soak up some of the moisture before laying it flat to dry. Avoid putting it under direct sunlight. Do not tumble dry as the heat can deteriorate the fibers.

Best Way to Clean & Deodorize Wrestling Headgear

how to clean wrestling headgear

Your headgear can get quite icky by the time you’re done a match. Want to know how to clean it? Just follow these steps!

Cleaning Your Headgear with ACTIVE Detergent

First things first, you want to prepare a cleaning solution. Fill a small bowl with water and mix in 1/2 scoop of ACTIVE detergent. You can also add a bit of white vinegar, which will help to eliminate odor.

Dampen a clean cloth with the detergent mixture and use it to wipe the outside of headgear. Pay extra attention to the forehead area as sweat tends to accumulate there. Depending on the type, you might be able to remove some of the inner liners. That would be ideal as that would allow you to wash them separately (soaking them in the soapy solution is a good idea).

Allow the headgear to dry completely before wearing it again.

Cleaning Your Headgear with Rubbing Alcohol

You can also sanitize your headgear with rubbing alcohol. Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and water in a 1:1 ratio. Spray it onto the outside of your headgear and wipe it down with a clean cloth. Do the same with the inside—pay extra attention to the chin and forehead areas.

Once you’re finished, allow it to air dry.

How to Wash Wrestling Shoes

cleaning wrestling shoes

Wrestling shoes can still get dirty despite the fact that they’re only supposed to be worn indoors.

Cleaning Your Wrestling Shoes with Detergent

Start by removing the shoelaces. Wash them separately in a tub—you’ll want to soak them in a detergent first.

For the shoes themselves, you’ll want to mix ACTIVE detergent with warm water in a small container. Dip a piece of old cloth in the mixture and work on the outside of the shoes one area at a time—circular motions work great. Avoid scrubbing vigorously as that can damage the fabric. Depending on how dirty the shoe material is, you might have to rinse the cloth often.

Allow the shoes to dry completely away from sunlight or direct heat. Stuffing newspaper into them will help to get rid of moisture. Put the laces back on once they’re dry.

Pro-tip:  Anti-fungal sprays can be used to prevent athlete’s foot. Simply spray it into the shoe after each wearing.

How to Remove Odors from Wrestling Knee Pads

knee pads

Wrestling knee pads are important—after all, you can get serious injuries from unprotected knees. Here’s how to wash them.

Are Wrestling Knee Pads Machine Washable?

Yes, they are—most of them, at least. Before tossing them in the machine, double check the care instruction label.

Start by putting the knee pads in a mesh laundry bag. This will prevent them from getting tangled with your other garments. Make sure that you’ve secured all of the velcro and snaps on the pads before closing the bag.

Pro-tip: Don’t have a mesh laundry bag? You can make do with a spare pillowcase!

Load the knee pads in. Put a few shirts or towels (avoid delicate items) in as well to prevent the pads from hitting against each other or the machine. Ideally, you want the washer to be half full. Take a scoop of ACTIVE detergent and pour it into the washer. If necessary, you can add a cup of white vinegar to neutralize odors. Choose a gentle cycle with cold water, and press start.

Take the knee pads out of the laundry bag once the cycle is finished. Hang them up to air dry; you can also lay them flat on a clean surface. Do not put them in the dryer—the material can warp or shrink due to the heat, which would affect its fit.

Washing Wrestling Knee Pads by Hand

Fill the tub halfway with warm water and add in a scoopful of ACTIVE detergent. You might also want to add a capful of white vinegar to eliminate odors. Put your knee pads in and saturate them by swirling them around. Don’t be alarmed if the water changes color—you’d be surprised just how dirty these pads can get!

Leave the knee pads in the solution for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the detergent to get rid of the bacteria and dirt. Once the time is up, rinse each of them under the faucet. You might have to gently squeeze them to expel some of the excess water.

Blot them dry with a clean towel before hanging them up in a well-ventilated area. Do not put them in the dryer. As mentioned earlier, the high temperature can cause it to warp.

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