How To Clean Smelly Hockey Equipment

How To Clean Smelly Hockey Equipment
Cleaning smelly hockey equipment is essential to prevent the growth of bacteria and eliminate unpleasant odors. Here are five facts to help you effectively clean your hockey gear:

1. Bacteria thrive in moist environments: The combination of sweat and moisture trapped in hockey equipment creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Regular cleaning helps remove this moisture and prevent bacterial growth.

2. Proper ventilation is crucial: Airflow is essential to prevent the buildup of odor-causing bacteria. Ensure your equipment has ample time to dry thoroughly between uses and store it in a well-ventilated area.

3. Use a disinfectant spray: Disinfectant sprays specially made for sports equipment are effective in killing bacteria and eliminating odors. Be sure to choose a product that is safe for use on sports gear and follow the instructions for proper application.

4. Hand washing is often the best option: Many hockey gear items should be hand washed rather than machine washed. This includes equipment like shoulder pads, gloves, and helmets, as the washing machine can be too rough and damage them.

5. Machine wash with caution: Some hockey equipment, such as jerseys and socks, can be machine washed. However, be cautious to remove any accessories or attachments that could get damaged in the machine. Use a gentle cycle and cold water, and consider placing the gear in a mesh bag for added protection.


1. How often should I clean my hockey equipment?
It is recommended to clean your hockey equipment at least once a month to prevent odors and bacterial growth. However, if you notice a persistent odor or visible dirt, clean it more frequently.

2. Can I use regular laundry detergent to clean my gear?
Regular laundry detergent is not suitable for cleaning hockey equipment as it may contain harsh chemicals that can damage the gear. Instead, opt for specialized sports gear cleaning products.

3. How can I remove stubborn odors from my hockey skates?
To eliminate odors from skates, you can try using odor-absorbing products like baking soda or activated charcoal. Simply place them inside the skates overnight to absorb the smell.

4. Are there any natural alternatives to disinfectant sprays?
Yes, vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can be used to clean hockey gear. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply it to the equipment. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean.

5. Can I dry my gear under direct sunlight?
While it may be tempting, avoid drying your hockey gear under direct sunlight. The heat and ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the materials, leading to deterioration.

6. Can I use a clothes dryer to dry my gear?
Using a clothes dryer is not recommended for most hockey gear, as the high temperatures and constant movement can cause damage. The best way to dry your equipment is by air-drying, preferably in a well-ventilated area.

7. How can I prevent future odors from forming in my hockey equipment?
To prevent odors, always ensure your gear is completely dry before storing it. Using odor-absorbing products like baking soda or dryer sheets can also help keep your gear smelling fresh.

Cleaning smelly hockey equipment is crucial for maintaining hygiene and preventing bacterial growth. Proper ventilation, disinfectant sprays, and regular hand washing are essential for eliminating odors. Be cautious with machine washing and always follow manufacturer instructions. By making cleanliness a priority, you can extend the lifespan of your equipment and enhance your overall hockey experience.