We often hear moms complain about one common thing when their children are in sports. The SMELL ! of the equipment.
Well it doesn”t have to cost a fortune to keep that equipment smelling like the day you bought it. Trust us. It will however require that you do ONE thing and you can never forget that ONE thing if it’s the only thing you can do at that moment.
The equipment needs to AIR out after EVERY use….
That’s it ! You just need to AIR it out.
Stop buying expensive equipment sprays that only mask the scent, one day you’ll forget the spray and that odor of a sweaty changing room will creep up your nose and discourage you to no end.
Just AIR out the equipment after EVERY use.
Every. Single. Use.
Some people will tell you to open the bag and leave it in the garage, which, you know, could work if your garage smells sparkly clean… NOT.
So follow these steps regiously after every use or even better get your kids to do it… religiously. Trust us, this is one task that is required.\
********Be sure to ALWAYS fasten velcros on items before throwing them in the washer. If you forget, your jerseys and other items in your washer will be ruined. You have been warned !
********Fabric softeners deteriorate garments that contain spandex. Use sparingly.
FABRIC ITEMS: Open bag and haul out all the fabric items such as socks, jerseys, under-garments, jock strap (remove cup and set aside) and neck guard. Throw these items in the washer or if there’s no time, hang them to dry. We find this little hanging dryer from Ikea really practical.
Do not put neck guard in the dryer, hang to dry. Make sure you’ve realigned the velcros on the jock strap so that when it goes into the dryer they don’t attach themselves to the jersey (please avoid, you can ruin a jersey !)
Pull out skates, loosen the laces, pull out the tongue, set aside to air dry.
HELMET, MOUTH GUARD, CUP:
Pull out helmet, mouth guard (if used) and get the cup that you removed from the jock strap in the first step.
Use a cloth and mild soap to wipe the inside of the helmet, especially the portions that touch the face as well as the inside of the cup because ‘that’ *gulp* gets reaaaaaal sweaty.
We use Lysol wipes on helmet and cup to go faster but that may be irritating to some children’s skin. If you used a mild soap, rinse and set items aside to air dry.
ELBOW PADS, SHIN GUARDS, CHEST PROTECTOR:
Pull out elbow pads, shin guards and chest protector, hang to air dry.
GLOVES: Pull out the gloves. There is a little flap inside some gloves. Pull that flap out of the glove interior to ensure a proper flow of air circulating in there.
If possible, place the gloves near a heater like you would for wet boots. You really want to give the gloves a chance to dry properly because these suckers harbor bacteria like there’s no tomorrow.
GENERAL BAG DUMP: Pull out any garbage, used tape or forgotten snacks out of bag and throw them away. Keep bag propped open to allow for it to dry properly.
Add an old (clean) sock filled with baking soda and tea tree oil (or any other essential oil that is just as potent) and keep at bottom of bag.
And that’s it for hockey equipment maintenance. If you follow these steps, your kid’s equipment should remain relatively stink free. If you’ve bought second hand equipment that is already a little stinky, check with your nearest specialty sports store if they can have them professionally washed for you.
Placing the equipment in a freezer for 24 hours can also help kill the STINK.
Though there aren’t as many items in a soccer equipment bag, it’s just as important to keep each item smelling ”fresh”.
JERSEY, SHORTS SOCKS: Pull jersey (turn inside out), shorts and socks from bag, rinse off items in a sink to remove as much loose dirt and mud as possible, throw in the washer on cold.
If your equipment is white a pre-wash spray and Oxyclean is recommended. Hang to dry away from direct sunlight.
CLEATS:Pull cleats out, loosen laces, pull tongue out in order to get the air flowing through as much of the shoe as possible.
SHIN AND LACE GUARDS: Pull shin and lace guards out of bag and soak in a bucket or sink of liquid laundry detergent and water, allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour, remove and inspect, scrub remaining dirt, rinse and set items aside to dry.
GENERAL BAG DUMP:Pull out any garbage or forgotten snacks out of bag and throw them away. Keep bag propped open to allow for it to dry properly. You can add an old (clean) sock filled with baking soda and tea tree oil (or any other essential oil that is just as potent) and keep at bottom of bag.