Proper Cleaning and Maintenance of Inline Hockey Apparel

Photo of author
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.

Knowing how to properly clean and maintain inline hockey apparel can be a game changer.

In fact, when it’s time to step up your game, the #1 hurdle is…

Maintaining that fresh gear smell.

Many players have NO idea how to do it. But this is what separates the amateur skater from the professional player. If you don’t know how to keep your gear in top shape sustainably, you’ll never reach peak performance on the rink.

The Importance of Cleaning and Maintaining Inline Hockey Apparel

Inline hockey is a high-intensity sport that can lead to sweaty, smelly gear if not properly cared for. It’s crucial to understand the importance of maintaining your hockey equipment clean.

Bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments like damp hockey bags. These microorganisms are more than just odor-causing nuisances; they can spread diseases among players on and off the rink.

Moreover, bacterial growth coupled with moisture could cause your beloved hockey gear to deteriorate prematurely. This might result in you having to replace pieces frequently – an expensive endeavor considering quality goaltending equipment helmets or skates don’t come cheap.

Disease Prevention through Proper Maintenance

Maintaining cleanliness isn’t only about eliminating odors from your athletic supporter jersey or base layers socks after each game. The study showed that wearing unclean protective sports apparel increased the risk of contracting staph infections by 56% compared to those who regularly cleaned their kits.

A study published by The American Journal of Sports Medicine found athletes who wore dirty protective sports apparel were 56% more likely to contract staph infections compared those who maintained their kits clean regularly (source). Hence proving how vital proper cleaning practices are when it comes sporting gears.

Stay tuned as we delve into effective ways prevent “Rink Stink”, ensuring both longevity for your inline hockey apparel and safety for all participants involved.

Preventing “Rink Stink”

The odors emanating from your hockey gear, often referred to as “rink stink,” can be a significant issue for many players.

This unpleasant smell is primarily due to bacteria that thrive in warm and moist environments like damp hockey equipment.

Wearing Base Layers Socks

A simple yet effective method of preventing rink stinks involves wearing base layers socks during games or practice sessions.

See also  Selecting the Right Inline Hockey Stick for Your Style

These special types of socks are designed to wick away moisture, reducing the chances of bacterial growth and subsequent odor development within your skates or shoes.

Drying Out Gear After Use

An essential step towards eliminating odors is drying out your gear immediately after use.

If you have space at home, consider investing in a larger hockey drying rack; if not practical due to space constraints, smaller boot and glove dryers could serve as an alternative solution.

Using Drying Racks Effectively

A well-designed Hockey drying rack, whether large or small-scale versions will help circulate air around all parts of your kit effectively.

This ensures faster evaporation rates hence killing off any lingering bacteria while simultaneously speeding up the overall drying process.

Cleaning Your Hockey Gear in the Washing Machine

Keeping your hockey gear clean is not just about maintaining appearances, it’s also crucial for durability and performance.

Understanding how to properly wash these items can extend their lifespan significantly.

Pre-soaking Gear with Vinegar

A good starting point before a gentle wash cycle involves pre-soaking your athletic supporter jersey or other similar equipment pieces in vinegar, as recommended by many professional cleaning services, helps neutralize odors effectively.

Vinegar has properties that break down bacteria responsible for foul smells without damaging the fabric of your gear like heavy cleaning solvents might do.

The Actual Wash Cycle: Dos and Don’ts

  • You should always separate insert liners from pads if possible; they often require different care instructions than outer materials.
  • Avoid using highest heat wash settings on washing machines when dealing with sports apparel such as base layers socks because high temperatures could cause shrinkage or warping over time. Instead opt for warm water cycles which are less harsh but equally effective at eliminating dirt and grime.
  • Bleaching agents must be avoided too since they can discolor fabrics or weaken them leading to tears during gameplay.
  • Last but certainly not least, ensure all velcro closures are fastened prior to placing items into the machine so hooks don’t snag onto loose threads causing potential damage.

    This simple step goes a long way towards preserving integrity of each piece while ensuring thorough cleanliness.

Quick Cleaning Routine After Each Game

A swift yet effective cleaning routine after each game or practice can keep your hockey gear fresh and extend its lifespan.

Maintaining Cleanliness with Odor Neutralizing Spray

Spraying your equipment with a sports gear odor neutralizing spray like Vapor Fresh® Natural Sports Cleaning Spray, right after use, helps in maintaining cleanliness. This is an excellent home hockey equipment resource center tip that aids in eliminating odors from the get-go.

The active ingredients work to break down sweat residues that are often responsible for unpleasant smells. It’s quick, easy and doesn’t require any heavy-duty washing immediately post-game.

Emptying Your Hockey Bag Post-Game

To prevent moisture build-up leading to bacterial growth – which results in what players commonly refer to as “rink stink” – it is important not just clean but also dry out all items properly before packing them back into the bag. Hence using a larger hockey drying rack might be beneficial if space allows at home.

If you find such large-scale solutions impractical due to limited space availability or travel constraints, consider investing in portable boot and glove dryers instead. These compact devices help air-dry smaller pieces of kit effectively while taking up minimal room when stored away between uses.
Remember: The key here is not merely about masking bad smells; it is about preventing bacteria buildup through proper care routines.

Specific Cleaning Instructions for Helmets, Skates, and Goaltending Equipment

Cleaning hockey gear is not a uniform procedure. Different pieces of equipment require different cleaning methods.

Helmets: Optional Helmet Holder Attachments

Your helmet is an essential piece of safety gear that needs regular attention. Before you start the cleaning process, remove any optional helmet holder attachments if present.

Use warm water with mild soap to clean the outer shell gently. For interior padding or liners, check specific cleaning instructions provided by manufacturers before proceeding further.

Skates: Fasten Velcro Closures

The next on our list are skates which often come with velcro closures. Always fasten these closures before washing to prevent them from catching onto other materials in the wash cycle.

Avoid using heavy cleaning solvents as they can damage skate material over time instead opt for gentle detergents designed specifically for sports gear like Nikwax BaseFresh® Deodorizing Conditioner.

Goaltending Equipment: Remove Helmets First

Last but not least comes goaltending equipment – bulky yet vital part of every goalie’s arsenal.

Start off by removing helmets first then follow similar guidelines mentioned above while paying extra care towards pads due to their larger surface area exposed during games leading to more dirt accumulation.

As we move into professional services available out there let’s remember; maintaining cleanliness should be consistent rather than periodic deep cleans only when odors become unbearable.

Professional Cleaning Services for Hockey Gear

If your hockey gear is heavily soiled or has stubborn stains, it might be time to consider professional cleaning services.

These experts use specialized equipment and techniques that can effectively clean your gear without damaging it.

The Benefits of Professional Cleaning Services

Hiring professionals offers several advantages. They have access to heavy-duty machines capable of handling larger items like goaltending equipment which may seem impractical with a home setup.

Besides, they are familiar with specific cleaning instructions for different types of materials used in hockey apparel. This ensures each piece gets the care it needs while preserving its durability and functionality.

Finding Reliable Professionals

One such professional service provider specializes in sports gear maintenance.

  • They provide comprehensive deep-cleaning solutions targeting bacteria and fungus responsible for foul odors.
  • Their process involves ozone treatment known to eliminate 99% germs thus ensuring maximum hygiene.
  • In addition, they also offer repair services fixing any wear-and-tear issues you might face over prolonged usage.

However, remember not all pieces need professional attention regularly.

A good practice would be washing smaller pieces at home following proper guidelines as discussed earlier.

Keep this option reserved only when necessary; maintaining regular cleanliness habits should suffice most times.

Proper Drying Techniques for Hockey Equipment

The final, but equally crucial step in maintaining your hockey gear is allowing it to dry completely. This ensures that you eliminate odors and prevent bacterial growth.

Why Dry Completely?

A common mistake made by many players is packing their equipment back into the hockey bag before they’re fully dried. This can lead to a resurgence of bacteria causing unpleasant smells again.

To avoid this, consider using a larger hockey drying rack, especially if space isn’t an issue. If not possible due to spatial constraints or finding such racks impractical, there are other effective methods too.

You could hang items like base layers socks on hangers or spread them out flat on clean surfaces where air circulation is good enough for natural evaporation process – remember the goal here: let them air dry.

Dry Smaller Pieces Separately

  1. Helmets with optional helmet holder attachments should be placed upside down so water drains off easily while drying naturally under ambient conditions.
  2. Gloves and skates may need special attention as these often contain separate insert liners which must also be removed and allowed to dry separately.
  3. If time permits after washing smaller pieces like athletic supporter jersey etc., lay each piece flat individually ensuring maximum surface area exposure towards airflow direction until they’re totally moisture-free.

This might seem tedious initially but making sure all parts of your beloved sportswear get adequate ‘dry-time’ will significantly extend its lifespan besides keeping those pesky microbes at bay. So next time when you take out any item from your hockey bag, don’t forget – wash well & then let it ‘air’-out thoroughly.

FAQs in Relation to How to Properly Clean and Maintain Inline Hockey Apparel

How do you clean and disinfect hockey gear?

Clean your hockey gear by pre-soaking in vinegar, washing it on a gentle cycle in the machine, and air drying. Disinfect with sports gear odor neutralizing spray.

How do you clean used hockey gear?

Used hockey gear can be cleaned similarly to new equipment: pre-soak, wash gently without harsh chemicals or high heat, then thoroughly air dry.

How do you maintain hockey equipment?

Maintain your equipment by cleaning regularly after each game or practice. Use a drying rack for effective airing out and consider professional cleaning services for stubborn stains.

Are you supposed to wash your hockey gear?

Absolutely. Regular washing of your inline hockey apparel is crucial not only for hygiene but also for prolonging the life of the equipment.


Keeping your inline hockey apparel clean and well-maintained is more than just about aesthetics. It’s an issue of well-being, execution, and durability.

How to properly clean and maintain inline hockey apparel?

Bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments like damp gear bags. They can spread disease among players and cause your gear to deteriorate prematurely.

Avoiding the notorious “rink stink” involves wearing base layer socks, drying out gear after use, practicing good hygiene habits, and employing effective tools such as hockey drying racks or boot and glove dryers.

Cleaning your equipment properly requires care – gentle wash cycles are key; harsh solvents are enemies. And sometimes it’s necessary to separate insert liners before washing or even pre-soak with vinegar for odor neutralization.

Post-game routines make a difference too! A quick spray down with sports gear odor neutralizing sprays keeps pads fresh longer between deep cleanses.

Helmets? Skates? Goaltending Equipment? Each has its own cleaning quirks that you need to know – from optional helmet holder attachments to velcro closures fastening during cleaning process considerations

Sometimes professional help might be needed for stubborn stains on heavy-duty items. But remember: all washed items must air dry completely before packing them back into the bag!

World Inline Hockey, we provide helpful information about Inline Hockey for beginners looking to learn the basics or experienced players looking to take their skills up a notch. Visit our website today!