How to Clean Hockey Equipment

The smell that emits from dirty hockey equipment is truly one of a kind, and it is so notably unpleasant that it has even garnered its own name – “rink stink”! Rink stink is a special kind of stench that burns through your nostrils and can leave you feeling queasy. It is the result of the bacteria that grows in the blood, sweat, and dirt that build up on hockey equipment over time, and in addition to smelling horrible, it can also cause infections to spread. The only way to effectively deal with rink stink is to give your hockey gear a good wash and we’re going to let you in on how to do just that!

How to Prevent “Rink Stink”

Prevention is a crucial component when it comes to combatting rink stink. Here are some preventative methods you can use to stop the stench on your hockey equipment from getting out of hand:

1. Wear Full-Body Base Layers

Using pants, socks, and shirts made of the appropriate compression or wicking material will create a much-needed barrier between you and your hockey gear. Base layers also effectively absorb the sweat and dead skin particles that cause bacteria to grow and create unwanted odours.

2. Always Dry Your Hockey Equipment

Habitually hanging your hockey gear on a drying rack after practice is an absolutely essential step to take to prevent bacteria from growing and spreading. Bacteria thrive in moist environments and drying racks allow for the optimal amount of air circulation, which effectively dries the gear and kills bacteria on it. Be sure to hang all your equipment, even your athletic bag, to ensure no bacteria is left behind!

3. Air Out Your Skates

The soles of your feet have more sweat glands on them than any other part of your body, which leaves your skates extra vulnerable to acquiring a stench. Make sure you remove your skate inserts, pull open the tongue on your skates, and give them a chance to air out after every use. Not only will this stop funky smells in their track, but it will also prevent the blades from rusting.

Washing Away the Stench

Using preventative methods to keep your hockey equipment from getting smelly can only take you so far, and eventually, you’ll need to give your gear a good ol’ wash. Here are some hockey equipment washing do’s and don’ts:

Do’s

·      Machine wash your base layers after every use. These layers must be kept clean to prevent bacteria buildup from getting past the point of no return.

·      Machine wash your gloves, elbow pads, shoulder pads, shin pads, hockey pants, shorts, jersey, and jock at least once a month. Since your base layer creates a barrier and absorbs most of your sweat, your protective equipment doesn’t have to be washed as frequently.

·      Use warm water, a gentle cycle, and regular detergent to clean your gear. This cycle will thoroughly clean your gear without ruining the materials.  

·      Use the “pre-soak” feature if your equipment is especially stinky. This will give your gear time to soak up the water and ensure it gets cleaned properly instead of just floating to the surface.

·      Make sure all Velcro closures are securely fastened. When Velcro is left exposed, it can catch on to other materials and cause your equipment to tear.

Don’ts

·      Machine wash your skates and helmet. Your washing machine may not survive the cycle if you put these items in there. 

·      Try to wash all your equipment in one go and pack your washing machine to the brim. Again, your washing machine can only withstand so much, and hockey equipment can be pretty bulky.

·      Use bleaching agents or detergents with bleach. Bleach can deteriorate the foams and bonding agents in your equipment.

·      Put the gear in the dryer before you check the manufacturer’s label. It is generally safe to put your socks, jerseys, and other garments in the dryer, but putting your base layers and under armour in there is a big no-no.

That’s it! With this guide on how to clean hockey equipment, your gear (and your nose) will survive and thrive this hockey season.

Why Love Your Gear

Love Your Gear is the leading hockey equipment cleaning facility in Southern Ontario. We have over 30 years of hockey gear cleaning experience, and we eliminate all bad odours, bacteria, and viruses with our state-of-the-art cleaning technology, guaranteed. Contact us today to get rid of those remnants of rink stink!

How Football Equipment Has Evolved

football gear

Football has become an integral part of North American culture, and Super Bowl Sunday has practically become an annual holiday at this point. The sport is filled with excitement in the form of rambunctious running plays, epic tackles, and last-minute touchdowns. It’s no wonder it has gained so much popularity.

With that said, football isn’t all fun and games, and it can actually be quite dangerous for players. Strains, sprains, dislocations, fractures, and even concussions are commonplace in this full-contact game, and there’s only one thing that can protect players from the physical demands of football – equipment.

In today’s blog, we’ll be divulging everything you need to know about the evolution of football equipment.

football gear

Helmet

Football helmets are probably the most critical piece of equipment that players wear. They serve as a barrier to protect player’s heads from hard hits and life-altering head injuries that can occur during a game. Today, football helmets are composed of a hard plastic shell with thick padding inside, a face mask, and a chinstrap. While the design of football helmets has proven effective in terms of reducing the overall amount of concussions, this hasn’t always been the case.

Early forms of football helmets that were used during the 1920s consisted of leather with some padding on the interior. These handmade helmets didn’t have any sort of facemask and, not surprisingly, they provided very little protection.

The first plastic helmet first became available in 1939, but it took ten years for the NFL to officially adopt plastic helmets. In the mid-1950s single face bars were added to the plastic helmets, and by the 1980s Riddell added circular earholes, a rounded dome, and clean face mask lines to their helmets.

football helmets

Shoulder Pads

The first shoulder pads came to be in the late 1980s when players DIYed them out of pillows that were connected via a cord. By the turn of the century, shoulder pads became more widely adopted, and manufacturers began creating leather shoulder pads that could be sewn into players’ jerseys.

By the time the 1940s came around, harness shoulder pads were introduced. This pad resembled the same style used in modern-day football – they were placed over the head and sewn to the chest. Forty years later, another revolutionary change came about in the form of synthetic pads. The synthetic material was a real lifesaver for players as it was lighter and stronger than previously used materials.

shoulder pads

Pants

Pants are probably the piece of equipment that have experienced the least amount of change over the years. Padded football pants were adopted in the 1880s, though the pants were composed of canvas and the pads were sewn into the thigh and knee regions.

Hip padding was added to the mix at the close of the century, and since then the materials used in football pants has changed drastically. Like other football equipment, pants made the transition from materials like wool and canvas to more synthetic and practical materials including nylon and rubber.

Shoes

Early forms of football shoes are a far shot from what they are today and resembled a boot more than an athletic shoe. It was only at the turn of the 20th century that football shoes took the form of cleats after players expressed an interest in playing in various field conditions.

The first cleats used were made by players that attached a cleat-like metal to the soles of their shoes. Manufacturers began to catch on to the popularity of this style shoe shortly afterwards, and ready-made versions were produced.

Today, there are a wide-array of cleats available that are designed specifically for different climates and field positions. Player’s shoes are lighter than ever before, and they come in leather and synthetic materials.

football gear

Evidently, football equipment has come a long way over the years, but despite revolutionary advancements in the technology of materials, they still retain sweat and can get very smelly. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to completely eliminate bacteria, viruses, and odour at Love Your Gear. Our state-of-the-art machines and experienced odour elimination technicians can remove all odours and bacteria from your football equipment. Contact us today to get a free quote.