As you get ready for the start of a new hockey season, it’s important to take a few minutes to make sure your equipment is ready for the long haul by ensuring that it’s not only in good working order, but that it’s clean.
Here’s a brief checklist of things to look at before packing up your hockey bag.
Considering how much sweat it absorbs during the season, the helmet deserves as much cleaning attention as any other piece of equipment. The protection padding can act like a sponge, trapping all that sweat inside. To clean your helmet, use a gentle soap and warm water to scrub it out. Then leave it outside to air dry.
To clean your mouth guard, use a toothbrush and some mouthwash and give it a good brushing. It’s probably a good idea to keep your mouth guard in a protective case to keep it clean. If you don’t have a protective case, even a zip lock plastic baggie is better than letting your mouth guard sit at the bottom of your hockey bag.
PADS AND BREEZERS (HOCKEY PANTS)
Your shoulder pads, shin pads, and elbow pads can all use a good spin through the gentle cycle of your washing machine along with your breezers. Once you’re done, hang them outside to air dry. Whatever you do, don’t throw your pads and breezers in the dryer. All sorts of terrible things can happen.
GLOVES AND SKATES
Your gloves and skates are likely the smelliest pieces of equipment in your hockey bag. You can take your gloves for a spin in the washing machine, using the gentle cycle, or soak them in the sink using some soapy water. Once again, don’t put them in the dryer.
With your skates, take out the laces and pull back the tongues. You can also use a little foot powder to get rid of the smell. Take some time to check your skate blades for rust, cracks and abnormal wear. You can always visit your local pro shop to replace the blades rather than buy a new pair of skates.
All the cleaning won’t mean much if you don’t clean your equipment bag as well. After giving your bag a good shake to get rid of all those little odds and ends that found their way to the bottom over the course of the season, spray it with a little Febreze and let it air out far from any living creatures.