I've been asked many times over the 8 years we've been cleaning sports gear, "How often should I clean my hockey gear?"
"Is it contaminated with bacteria again when I sweat into it?" Also, "How bad is it and how risky is it to wear again?"
Each time we sweat into our clothing or protective sports gear we introduce moisture and bacteria. Perspiration is how the body cools itself and also one of the ways the body expels toxins.
How much bacteria is generated after each use?
Significant bacteria is introduced to our clothing or sports gear each time we sweat. However, what we do with the gear after we sweat into it can be an even greater contributor to bacteria buildup.
What storage conditions contribute to rapid bacteria cultivation?
Bacteria thrives in warm, wet and dark conditions like hockey bags and locker rooms. Washing the pads in your washing machine or with a “pressure washer”, adds more moisture to the gear and toxic black mold may result.
How can you reduce the risks of skin infections and MRSA?
1) CLEAN YOUR HOCKEY EQUIPMENT REGULARLY: NATA (National Athletic Trainers Association) official direction is to clean athletic clothing after each use and clean protective sports gear REGULARLY. If you clean your underwear, socks and t-shirt after every use, how long should you wait to clean your gear?
We recommend sanitizing your sports gear a minimum of every 6 weeks or 15-20 uses. Ask about the Ultimate Clean Package at your local Fresh Gear outlet. If available, it provides UNLIMITED cleaning for 1 full year at one low price.
If this is not practical for you, it is beneficial to apply a good alcohol based antibacterial spray, like Fresh Shield, after each time you wear your sports gear, to slow the regrowth of bacteria until the next Fresh Gear sanitizing treatment.
Fresh Shield is available from your local Fresh Gear operator or you can order online.
2) DRY YOUR SPORTS GEAR in a cool, dry and well ventilated location after each use. Get it out of the equipment bag!
That is easily the worst place for your gear.
The Fresh Gear process kills up to 99.99% of bacteria in your hockey equipment, football pads and lacrosse gear.
Protect your health and extend the life of your equipment.
Include Fresh Gear in your good hygiene routine.
by James Antinozzi
James Antinozzi has been in the ozone sanitizing business since 2005, when Ozone Nation Inc. was founded and launched it's flagship product, Fresh Gear.