Guide on How to Maintain and Clean Your Inline Hockey Accessories Effectively

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Written By Mark

A seasoned inline hockey player with over a decade of experience, Mark has competed at the amateur level and has a wealth of knowledge to share.

Learning how to maintain and clean your inline hockey accessories can seem like a daunting task.

The truth is, without proper care, even the most expensive gear won’t last long.

Let’s face it – sweaty equipment stashed in a bag after an intense game or practice session creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. And that leads to that infamous “rink stink”.

But here’s the good news: By understanding how to maintain and clean your inline hockey accessories, you can extend their lifespan while keeping them fresh and safe for use.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Hockey Equipment

Keeping your hockey equipment clean is not just about aesthetics or preventing that infamous “rink stink”.

Maintaining your equipment’s cleanliness is essential for both you and the gear to remain healthy and last long.

Bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments like the inside of a damp hockey bag.

This can lead to the spread of diseases such as MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus bacteria.

Avoiding Premature Deterioration

In addition to posing potential health risks, these microorganisms cause premature deterioration in your hockey gear.

Maintaining Gear Freshness Post-Game/Practice Session

  • Drying out pads after each use prevents bacterial growth.
  • Cleaning them regularly keeps them fresh longer.
Fostering A Quick Cleaning Routine After Each Use: The Key To Longevity And Health Safety.

To keep yourself safe from infections and prolong the life expectancy of your sports gears, it’s crucial to develop a quick cleaning routine post every game/practice session.

Now let us delve into how we could prevent those unpleasant smells which are usually associated with leaving damp gear unattended.

Preventing “Rink Stink” and Bacterial Growth

The notorious “rink stink,” a term familiar to most hockey players, is caused by bacterial growth in damp gear.

Not only is the unpleasant odor of “rink stink” an annoyance, but it can also be a potential health hazard.

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Wearing Base Layers

A good preventive measure against rink stinks involves that you wear base layers under your hockey equipment.

Base layers, made of moisture-wicking material, help keep sweat away from the body and reduce contact between bacteria and your skin or gear.

Drying Out Gear After Use

An effective way to prevent odors is simply not leaving damp gear in the bag after use.

  • Taking out each piece of equipment,
  • Laying them flat on a clean towel,
  • Allowing them to air dry naturally before storing are crucial steps towards maintaining fresh smelling gears.

Choosing The Right Drying Rack for Your Hockey Equipment:

You might find using larger drying racks specifically designed for hockey equipment helpful in ensuring proper air circulation and faster drying times.

Cleaning Your Hockey Gear in the Washing Machine

Keeping your hockey gear fresh and clean not only extends its lifespan but also prevents bacterial growth. A washing machine is an effective way to keep hockey gear fresh and clean.

Selecting an Appropriate Detergent

When cleaning hockey equipment, it’s crucial to use a special detergent designed to remove stains and odors from sports gear. This type of detergent often contains enzymes that break down sweat residues without damaging fabric fibers.

A natural odor neutralizer like vinegar can be added to enhance freshness. However, always check specific cleaning instructions provided with your gear before adding any additional substances into the wash cycle.

Safeguarding Insert Liners

Prioritize separate insert liners from other parts of your equipment before tossing them into the washer. These liners are typically made out of delicate materials that could get damaged during rigorous washing cycles or when mixed with heavier items such as chest protectors or athletic supporter jerseys.

Machine-Wash Smaller Pieces

The dishwasher isn’t just for dishes – you can use it effectively to wash smaller pieces, too. Fasten velcro closures on these items prior to placing them inside so they don’t snag onto each other, causing potential damage. Here’s how you can safely do this at home.

Special Care for Helmets, Skates, and Goaltending Equipment

Cleaning your hockey gear requires special attention to certain items.

Helmets, skates, and goaltending equipment like chest protectors or athletic supporter jerseys need a different approach compared to other pieces of kit.

Helmet Cleaning Guidelines

It’s not possible to put helmets, skates, or goaltending gear like chest guards and athletic supporter jerseys in the washing machine.

Helmets, in particular, require careful handling.

You can use optional helmet holder attachments which make the cleaning process easier by allowing better access to all parts of the helmet.

Removing Helmet Liners

A key aspect when it comes down to how goaltending equipment helmets remove liners involves carefully detaching them from their fastenings before washing separately according to specific cleaning instructions provided by manufacturers.

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This not only ensures thorough cleanliness but also helps maintain longevity of both liner and shell components.

Taking care of Hockey Skates & Chest Protectors

Hockey skates tend towards accumulating dirt on blade holders – clean this using a soft cloth dampened with mild soap solution then air dry thoroughly after each game.

In contrast, chest protectors demand more detailed work: separate insert liners if possible then hand wash gently avoiding heavy cleaning solvents that might degrade material integrity over time.

Deodorizing Your Hockey Gear

The battle against persistent odors in your hockey bag is a constant one.

Even with regular cleaning, the smell can linger and become quite unpleasant over time.

Sports Gear Odor Neutralizing Spray: An Effective Solution

A sports gear odor neutralizing spray can be an effective solution to this problem. These sprays are designed specifically for athletic equipment and work by breaking down the bacteria that cause bad smells.

Vapor Fresh® Natural Sports Cleaning Spray, for example, uses plant-based cleaning agents which are non-irritating to skin without chlorine or artificial fragrances. This makes it ideal even if you have sensitive skin or allergies.

In addition to using these types of sprays regularly, consider airing out your gear after each use as well – leaving damp gear inside a closed bag only promotes bacterial growth and exacerbates the stinky hockey bag issue.

Maintaining A Clean Smell Between Uses

To maintain freshness between uses, try storing your clean towel along with other items like gloves on a dedicated hockey drying rack instead of stuffing them back into their respective bags immediately after games or practice sessions.

This will allow air circulation around all parts of the item thus preventing any moisture from getting trapped within folds where bacteria thrive best.

Now let’s move onto situations when professional help may be necessary…

When Professional Cleaning Services Are Necessary

If you’ve tried everything from washing your gear to using a sports gear odor neutralizing spray, but still can’t shake off that stinky hockey bag smell, it might be time for professional help.

The Need for Heavy Duty Solutions

Sometimes, the grime and bacteria in your hockey equipment may require heavy cleaning solvents. These are not typically found in most households due to their potent nature.

In such cases, consider seeking out professional cleaning services who have access to these powerful solutions. They’re trained on how best to use them without causing damage or deterioration of materials.

Persistent Odors Despite Regular Maintenance

A persistent foul odor could indicate deeply embedded bacteria resistant against typical home-cleaning methods. This isn’t just about eliminating unpleasant smells; remember those pesky microbes pose potential health risks too.

An experienced cleaner has specialized techniques at disposal capable of penetrating deeper into fabrics thus ensuring thorough sanitization while maintaining integrity of material structure – something crucial especially when dealing with expensive goaltending equipment like chest protectors or athletic supporter jerseys.

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Professional cleaners also offer convenience as they handle all aspects including pickup, clean-up, drying and delivery back right at doorstep. So next time if regular maintenance fails don’t hesitate reaching out professionals because ultimately goal is keeping yourself safe enjoying game love.

Maintaining Your Hockey Gear at Home

Transforming your home into a hockey equipment resource center is an essential step towards preserving the longevity of your gear.

The key to this transformation lies in establishing regular routines for airing out and drying each piece of equipment after every game or practice session.

Airing Out: The First Line of Defense Against Odor

Drying out damp gear immediately post-use can significantly reduce unpleasant odors caused by bacterial growth, making it crucial to incorporate air-drying into your maintenance routine.

Methods such as hanging items on a clean towel or using dedicated hockey drying racks, are both effective ways to keep moisture-induced smells at bay.

Hockey Drying Racks: A Worthwhile Investment?

Investing in a dedicated rack for drying sports gear might seem unnecessary initially but its benefits soon become apparent when you notice how effectively they circulate air around all surfaces of the item being dried compared with traditional flat surface methods.

This increased airflow helps speed up the overall dry time and reduces any lingering dampness that could encourage bacteria growth – which ultimately leads to that dreaded stinky hockey bag smell.

Cleaning Routine Post-Game Sessions: An Essential Habit

Besides just focusing on cleaning hockey equipment only when noticeably dirty, consider implementing small yet impactful habits like wiping down helmets and skates with antibacterial wipes right after use before leaving them open-air overnight on optional helmet holder attachments if available.

This will not only help maintain hygiene standards but also prolong their lifespan considerably.

FAQs in Relation to How to Maintain and Clean Your Inline Hockey Accessories

How do you wash inline hockey pants?

Inline hockey pants can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with cold water. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners and air dry them to prevent shrinkage.

How do you maintain hockey equipment?

Maintain your gear by airing it out after use, regularly washing removable parts in the machine, wiping down non-washable items, and using odor neutralizing sprays.

How often should you wash your hockey gear?

You should clean your gear thoroughly at least once every few weeks. However, airing out and spot cleaning should be done after each use.

Are you supposed to wash your hockey gear?

Absolutely. Regularly washing your equipment prevents bacterial growth that causes odors and potential health risks. Just remember some pieces require special care or professional cleaning services.


Understanding how to maintain and clean your inline hockey accessories is not just about prolonging their lifespan but also about ensuring a healthy playing environment.

Preventing “rink stink” and bacterial growth goes beyond aesthetics; it’s crucial for your health too.

The washing machine can be a handy ally in this battle, but remember – helmets, skates, and goaltending equipment need special care.

Deodorizing isn’t an optional step either. It can help maintain your gear’s freshness and have it prepared for the upcoming game or practice.

Sometimes professional cleaning services might be necessary to tackle persistent odors or stains that won’t budge with home remedies.

If you’re looking to master these skills further or want more insights into the world of inline hockey, consider exploring World Inline Hockey. 

We are here to guide beginners through basics as well as helping experienced players take their game up a notch. 

Dive deep into our resources at World Inline Hockey. Your journey toward becoming an expert in maintaining pristine hockey gear starts now!