How To Clean Hockey Shoulder Pads

How to Clean Hockey Shoulder Pads
Keeping your hockey gear clean is essential for maintaining good hygiene and prolonging the lifespan of your equipment. Shoulder pads, in particular, can become sweaty and smelly due to intense physical activity. Here are five supporting facts on how to clean hockey shoulder pads effectively:

1. Regular cleaning prevents bacteria buildup:
Sweat and dirt can accumulate in the padding of your shoulder pads, creating an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Regular cleaning helps eliminate bacteria and prevent unwanted odors.

2. Hand washing is recommended:
Most shoulder pads are not suitable for machine washing, as the agitators can damage the padding or dislodge the plastic molds. Hand washing allows for more control and gentle cleaning.

3. Use mild detergent and lukewarm water:
A mild detergent, such as dish soap or laundry detergent, mixed with lukewarm water is sufficient for cleaning shoulder pads. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach as they may cause damage to the padding or straps.

4. Spot clean heavily soiled areas:
If specific areas on your shoulder pads are heavily soiled, you can use a soft cloth or sponge to spot clean those areas. Gently scrub the dirt away without applying excessive force.

5. Proper drying is crucial:
After washing, squeeze out the excess water from the shoulder pads and allow them to air dry completely before using them again. Hang them in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, to speed up the drying process.


1. Can I put my shoulder pads in the washing machine?
No, it is generally not recommended to put shoulder pads in the washing machine as the agitators can damage the padding or dislodge the plastic molds.

2. How often should I clean my shoulder pads?
It is advisable to clean your shoulder pads after every few games or whenever they become noticeably dirty or smelly. Regular cleaning helps maintain good hygiene and prolongs the lifespan of the equipment.

3. Can I use bleach to remove stains from my shoulder pads?
No, bleach should be avoided as it can cause damage to the padding or straps of your shoulder pads. Stick to mild detergents and gentle cleaning methods.

4. Can I machine dry my shoulder pads?
No, machine drying is not recommended for shoulder pads. Instead, squeeze out the excess water and allow them to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area.

5. How long does it take for shoulder pads to dry?
The drying time can vary depending on the padding and the level of humidity in the air. On average, shoulder pads may take 24 to 48 hours to dry completely.

6. How can I remove odors from my shoulder pads?
To remove odors, you can try using odor-neutralizing sprays or leaving them outside in direct sunlight, as UV rays can help kill bacteria that cause odor.

7. Can I use fabric softener on my shoulder pads?
It is not recommended to use fabric softener on shoulder pads as it can leave a residue that may reduce the padding’s effectiveness or cause skin irritation.

Regularly cleaning your hockey shoulder pads can help prevent bacteria buildup and unpleasant odors. Hand washing with mild detergent and lukewarm water is the best method, and spot cleaning heavily soiled areas can be done gently. Proper drying, without using machines, is crucial for maintaining the quality of the shoulder pads. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid using bleach or fabric softener.