2024 Guide: How to Clean Your Hockey Gear

2024 Guide: How to Clean Your Hockey Gear

The Essential Guide to Clean Hockey Gear

Hockey player evaluating gear cleanliness

Welcome to the ultimate guide for maintaining and ensuring clean hockey gear in 2024. As any seasoned hockey player knows, the sport is exhilarating, fast-paced, and, quite frankly, sweaty. This combination often leaves hockey gear in less-than-ideal condition. However, clean gear is not just about aesthetics; it's crucial for hygiene, performance, and the longevity of your equipment. In this comprehensive post, we'll delve into the various aspects of keeping your hockey gear clean and well-maintained. From understanding the different types of gear and their specific cleaning requirements to preparing your equipment for cleaning, and finally to the actual cleaning process, we've got you covered.

Section 1: Understanding Your Hockey Gear 

Types of Hockey Gear

Hockey players are equipped with a range of gear, each serving a unique purpose and requiring specific care. Key items include:

  • Helmets: Protecting your head, a helmet is a vital piece of equipment.
  • Gloves: Offering both protection and flexibility, gloves get a lot of wear during games.
  • Pads: Shoulder, elbow, shin, and knee pads are all essential for safety.
  • Skates: The foundation of your movement on the ice, skates are intricate and require special attention.
  • Jerseys and Apparel: These not only represent your team but also bear the brunt of sweat and stains.

Materials Used in Hockey Gear

Understanding the materials your gear is made of is crucial for effective cleaning:

  • Plastics and Foams: Used in helmets and pads, these materials require gentle cleansers to avoid degradation.
  • Leathers and Synthetics: Found in gloves and skates, they need special care to maintain their flexibility and integrity.
  • Fabrics: Jerseys and other apparel often require specific temperature settings and detergents to preserve colors and fabric strength.

Section 2: Pre-Cleaning Preparation

Inspecting Gear for Damage

Before cleaning, inspect your gear for any signs of wear and tear or damage. Look for cracks in helmets, tears in padding, or loose stitching in gloves and jerseys. Addressing these issues beforehand ensures that cleaning doesn’t exacerbate any existing damage.

Removing Loose Dirt and Debris

Shake off or brush away any loose dirt, debris, or ice shavings from your gear. This step prevents the dirt from embedding deeper into the materials during the washing process.

Tools and Cleaning Agents for Effective Cleaning of Hockey Gear 

Gathering the right tools and cleaning agents is vital for effectively cleaning your hockey gear:

  • Soft Brushes and Cloths: Ideal for gently removing dirt without damaging the material.
  • Disinfectant Wipes: Disinfectant wipes can be your replacement for soft brushes if you have the wipes.
  • Mild Detergent: A gentle detergent is crucial for most hockey gear, especially fabrics.
  • Disinfectant Sprays: Non-harsh disinfectants help in sanitizing gear, especially crucial for helmets and pads. Matguards disinfectant spray was made specifically for sports gear in mind. 
  • Sports Gear Deodorizer: Great for neutralizing odors, especially in gloves and skates. We recommend our disinfectant spray, disinfectant wipes, and surface spray for keeping your surrounding items clean like the locker room. 

With these basics covered, you are now ready to dive into the actual cleaning process, ensuring your hockey gear remains in top condition for every game. Stay tuned for the next sections, where we will guide you through the detailed steps of cleaning each type of hockey gear, ensuring you maintain that crucial edge on the ice. Remember, clean hockey gear not only performs better but also reflects your commitment to the sport and your personal hygiene. Let's make sure your gear is as ready for the game as you are!

Section 3: Step-by-Step Cleaning Guide for Clean Hockey Gear

Helmets and Masks

Disassembling hockey helmet for cleaning

  • Disassembly Tips: Carefully disassemble the helmet, removing any detachable pads or guards. This allows for thorough cleaning of each part.
  • Cleaning Methods and Solutions: Use our disinfectant wipes to give your helmet a quick wipe down, then apply our disinfectant spray to the helmet's shell. 
  • Drying and Reassembly: Air dry all components in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight. Once dry, reassemble the helmet, ensuring all parts are securely fastened.

Gloves and Pads

  • Techniques for Removing Odor and Sweat: Soak the gloves and pads in our disinfectant solution. For persistent odors, adding a bit of vinegar to the soak can help neutralize smells.
  • Drying Tips to Prevent Mold and Mildew: After washing, air dry the gloves and pads in an open, ventilated area. Do not use a dryer as the high heat can damage the materials. Ensure they are completely dry before storing to prevent mold and mildew growth.


  • Blade Care and Rust Prevention: Wipe down the blades with a dry cloth after every use to remove moisture. For deep cleaning, use a mild detergent and water, ensuring you dry the blades thoroughly afterward. Applying a light layer of oil can help in preventing rust.
  • Cleaning and Drying the Boot: For the boot, use our disinfectant wipes. Pay special attention to the insoles, which can be removed and cleaned separately. Ensure the boots are completely dry, preferably in an open area, before using them again.

Jerseys and Apparel

  • Washing Machine Settings and Detergents: Use a gentle cycle with cold water to prevent shrinking and fading. Opt for a mild detergent and avoid bleach to keep the fabric and colors intact.
  • Tips for Preserving Prints and Colors: Turn the jerseys inside out before washing to protect the prints. Avoid overloading the washing machine, as this can lead to uneven cleaning and damage to the fabric.

Accessories (Bags, Socks, etc.)

  • Best Practices for Regular Maintenance: For hockey bags, a regular wipe-down with a disinfectant is essential to keep it clean and odor-free. Socks and other fabric accessories should be washed after every use, following the same guidelines as for jerseys. 

By following these detailed steps, you can ensure your hockey gear remains clean and in top condition. Remember, regularly cleaning your hockey gear not only extends its lifespan but also ensures better performance and hygiene on the ice.

Section 4: Deep Cleaning and Deodorizing Techniques for Clean Hockey Gear

Natural vs. Chemical Deodorizers

  • Natural Deodorizers: Options like baking soda, vinegar, or essential oils are great for those preferring eco-friendly solutions. They can be sprinkled or sprayed onto gear to neutralize odors without harsh chemicals.
  • Chemical Deodorizers: Commercial sports gear deodorizers are more potent and can offer a quick fix for strong odors. However, it's important to choose ones that are safe for the specific materials of your hockey gear. Matguard's products were made specifically with athletes in mind, so you're guaranteeing a clean, trusted, chemical-free product. 

DIY Cleaning Solution Recipes

  • For Fabrics (Jerseys, Socks): Mix one part white vinegar with two parts water and a few drops of a gentle detergent. This solution can help remove sweat stains and odors without damaging the fabric.
  • For Hard Surfaces (Helmets, Pads): A mixture of mild dish soap and water can effectively clean these surfaces. For tougher grime, a paste made from baking soda and water can be gently scrubbed on and then wiped off.

Addressing Common Issues Like Mold, Mildew, and Stubborn Stains

  • Mold and Mildew: Matguards disinfectant products can help kill mold and mildew. Ensure the gear is thoroughly dried afterward to prevent recurrence.
  • Stubborn Stains: For tough stains, applying our disinfectant spray and or blood spray,  leaving it to sit for a few hours before washing, can be effective. Gentle brushing can also help lift the stains.

Section 5: Maintenance Between Cleanings to Keep Hockey Gear Clean

Proper storage solutions for hockey gear maintenance

Daily Care Tips to Extend the Life of Gear

  • Air Out Regularly: After every use, air out your gear. This prevents the buildup of moisture, which can lead to odor and deterioration.
  • Wipe Down: Use a dry cloth to wipe down hard surfaces like skates and helmets to remove moisture and prevent rust or material degradation.
  • Spot Clean: Address small stains or spots immediately, rather than waiting for a full cleaning session.

Storage Solutions to Prevent Odor and Damage

  • Proper Ventilation: Store your hockey gear in a well-ventilated area. Avoid plastic bags or enclosed spaces where air cannot circulate. Storing sports equipment is a crucial part of keeping it clean, check out our guide on storing sports equipment for more information. 
  • Use Gear Trees or Racks: These help keep gear like skates and gloves in shape and aid in air circulation.
  • Moisture Absorbers: Placing moisture absorbers or desiccants in your storage area can help keep your gear dry and prevent mold growth.

Implementing these deep cleaning and maintenance techniques will not only keep your hockey gear clean but also enhance its longevity and performance. Regular care and proper storage are key to ensuring your gear is always game-ready. Remember, clean hockey gear is a reflection of a dedicated and conscientious player.

Section 7: Health and Hygiene Considerations for Clean Hockey Gear

The Importance of Cleanliness for Player Health

  • Preventing Bacterial and Fungal Infections: Regularly cleaning hockey gear is crucial in preventing the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to skin infections.
  • Reducing Risk of Illness: Clean gear minimizes the risk of respiratory issues caused by inhaling bacteria and mold spores, particularly important in a sport demanding high lung capacity.

How Regular Cleaning Can Prevent Skin Infections and Other Health Issues

  • Routine Washing: Consistently washing gear, especially items in direct contact with the skin like jerseys and socks, reduces the risk of skin infections.
  • Disinfection: Using appropriate disinfectants on gear can eliminate pathogens that cause health issues.

How to Responsibly Dispose of or Recycle Old Gear

  • Donation: Consider donating gear that's still in good condition to local clubs or charity organizations.
  • Recycling Programs: Research recycling programs that accept sports equipment.
  • Repurposing: Creative repurposing of old gear in DIY projects can give it a new life outside the rink.

Latest Trends and Innovations in Gear Cleaning (2024 Updates)

New Products and Methods on the Market

  • Advanced Cleaning Solutions: The market has seen an influx of advanced, sport-specific cleaning solutions designed to be more effective and less harmful to the gear. Matguard USA being a pioneer in advanced, sport-specific cleaning solutions. 
  • Odor-Neutralizing Technology: Products that not only clean but also neutralize odors at a molecular level are becoming increasingly popular.

Incorporating these health, hygiene, and sustainability considerations into your routine to clean hockey gear ensures not only the longevity of your equipment but also your well-being as a player. Staying updated with the latest trends and innovations in gear cleaning can further enhance your maintenance routine, keeping you ahead in the game both in terms of performance and equipment care. Remember, clean hockey gear is essential not just for the game, but for the player's overall health and the environment.

The Key to Clean Hockey Gear

Hockey player with well-maintained and clean gear ready for a game.

In summary, maintaining clean hockey gear is essential not only for optimal performance on the ice but also for your health and the longevity of your equipment. We've covered everything from the basics of cleaning different types of gear, deep cleaning techniques, to the importance of regular maintenance and the latest trends in gear cleaning for 2024. Remember, consistent care and cleaning of your gear can prevent a host of issues, including unpleasant odors, skin infections, and premature wear and tear. We encourage all hockey players to establish a regular cleaning routine, embracing the tips and methods discussed in this guide to ensure your gear remains in prime condition for every game.