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How to Wash Hockey Equipment

January 5, 2024

Have you noticed an odor coming from your hockey gear? If so, it might be overdue for a wash.

Don’t worry, as tedious as it sounds; the process is quite straightforward.

There’s just one thing to keep in mind – different equipment (e.g. gloves, elbow pads, pants, jerseys, helmets) have different care instructions, which isn’t surprising given how they’re made of different materials.

What’s the best way to wash hockey equipment? Should you use cold water or warm water? What type of detergent should you use?

Keep reading for everything you need to know about how to wash hockey gear!

How to Wash Hockey Jerseys

how to wash hockey jerseysJerseys worn by hockey players are typically made out of synthetic materials such as polyester, which is designed to keep the player dry.

Despite this, they’re often drenched with sweat by the end of a game.

That’s why it’s so important to wash them after each wear.

If necessary, you do a gear soak with a detergent and baking soda solution – that will help neutralize the odors before you get to the washing stage.

We recommend using ACTIVE Detergent as it’s formulated with enzymes that are designed to break down odor-causing grime, dirt, and sweat.

Once you’ve soaked the jersey, go ahead and put it in the washing machine. Make sure to wash it separately from your other clothes, including towels.

Run a cold water cycle (hot water can cause lettering and coloring to fade) and avoid using fabric softener or bleach.

Take the hockey jersey out of the machine once the cycle is finished and allow it to air dry.

Do not put it in the dryer as the high heat can cause the material to shrink.

Washing Machine Instructions for Hockey Socks

washing instructions for hockey socks

As with all hockey gear, socks can get soiled quickly during a fast-paced hockey game.

The good news is they’re easy to wash as you can just throw them in the washing machine.

For the best results, use one scoop of ACTIVE Detergent. Not only will it clean your smelly hockey equipment but it’ll also enhance their longevity.

To dry the socks, you can either put them in the dryer on low heat or let them air dry.

How to Clean and Deodorize Hockey Gloves and Pads

how to deodorize hockey glovesHockey gloves and pads are both easy to clean in that you can also put them in the washing machine.

Add one scoop of ACTIVE Detergent to the tub and run a cold wash cycle, ideally on a gentle setting.

If necessary, you can also add some white vinegar – it’ll act as an extra deodorizing agent for your gloves and pads.

Once the cycle is complete, remove them from the machine and hang them to dry. Do not use them until they are dry completely.

Hand Washing Your Gloves and Pads

Fill a sink or tub with warm water and mix in a bit of ACTIVE Detergent.

Once the powder is dissolved, lay the gloves and pads in the soapy solution and make sure they’re completely saturated.

Using your hands, gently massage the items – that will help loosen any dirt or oils.

Afterward, let them soak for 30 to 60 minutes.

Rinse the gloves and pads afterward with clean water until the water runs clear. Use a towel to soak up the excess water and allow them to air dry.

Pro-tip: To dry hockey gloves faster, you can use a hair dryer on a “cool” setting.

The Best Way to Wash Hockey Compression Layers

hockey compression layers washing instructionsHockey compression layers can be thrown in the wash, just like other hockey gear. Using the “delicate” setting, add a bit of ACTIVE Detergent to the machine.

For the most part, that will be enough to get rid of the stench.

If you want, you can also pre-soak the compression layers before putting them in the washing machine; this will also help to get rid of the odor.

How to Clean Your Hockey Helmet

Unfortunately, hockey helmets can’t be tossed in the washing machine like the other gear.

What you want to do instead, is use a high-quality deodorizer spray – that will help neutralize and get rid of any odors.

If necessary, you can also wipe the surface of the helmet with a wet cloth (with or without cleaner).

Pro-tip: Airing out the helmet after a game helps to prevent odors.

how to wash hockey helmetsIdeally, you’ll want to do this for at least 15 minutes before stuffing it back into your bag.

How to Deodorize & Refresh Hockey Skates

Similar to hockey helmets, it’s best to treat your skates regularly with a deodorizer spray.

Alternatively, you can stuff a dryer sheet into the skates after each game.

A disinfectant spray can also be used every once in a while to get rid of odors and all that noxious stuff.

Tips on Keeping Your Hockey Gear Clean

Besides washing your hockey equipment, there are a few things that you can do to keep them clean

Air Out Your Gear

Make a habit of airing out your gear after each game. That way, excess moisture will be able to evaporate, which will help prevent smells from developing.

Don’t Use Too Much Detergent

Don’t use too much laundry detergent when you’re washing your hockey equipment; only use the recommended amount.

Using too much will cause the fabric to cling onto dirt, sweat, and oils, which over time, can lead to odors.

Skip the Fabric Softener

Avoid using fabric softener when you’re washing your hockey gear. It’ll only make cleaning everything more difficult as it’ll leave behind a layer of residue, which will trap odors and contaminants.

If necessary, you can use white vinegar instead.

Always Wash with Cold Water

Hockey gear should always be washed with cold water. Contrary to popular belief, hot water isn’t any better at removing sweat smells from clothes. Rather, it can amplify it.

Given that, it’s best to run a cold water cycle.

Washing Hockey Gear – FAQs

What’s the best way to wash a hockey bag?

Most hockey bags are machine washable.

Make sure nothing is left inside, zip up the zippers, and place the bag in a large mesh laundry bag.

Add a bit of ACTIVE Detergent and run a gentle cycle with cold water.

Ideally, you want to wash the bag separately from your other gear (e.g. hockey pants).

Tumble dry on low after washing.

how to deodorize hockey skates

What is a hockey equipment soak?

You can clean excessively dirty hockey gear by soaking them in a detergent solution. Simply fill a tub with water, add a bit of ACTIVE Detergent, and mix.

For the best results, leave your hockey gear (including kids equipment) in the soapy mixture for at least 20 minutes.

Rinse all the soapy residue away with water afterward and you’ll have clean hockey equipment again.

How often should you wash your hockey gear?

Given how intense games can be, it’s best to wash your hockey gear after each wear. This goes for your jersey, compression layers, socks, and gloves.

Your skates and helmet should also be wiped or sanitized regularly.

Are front-loading washing machines better than top-loading machines?

Both front-loading and top-loading washers can be used to clean your hockey gear. The former, however, will typically be gentler on your items.

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Picture of Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

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