Hockey gear is typically bulky, and too large to fit in the washing machine. While hockey gear can become soiled quickly, it is important to know how to clean these items effectively, and with little effort required. There are some retail products that claim to clean sports equipment, but these can be costly, and no more effective than a simple homemade solution.
Jerseys, pants, pads, and gloves can be thrown right into a washing machine, with a cup of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda or washing soda (available with laundry detergent in any grocery store). This will typically remove all bacteria and odor without harming the equipment. It is best to use a front-loading non-agitating machine, which will clean the equipment without banging it around for the remainder of the wash cycle. The vinegar will work to clean and disinfect, while the soda will deodorize the gear. Let air dry, and repeat as necessary to keep gear looking clean and fresh.
Hockey helmets require a bit more care, as they cannot be placed in the washing machine. In a spray bottle, mix a solution of two cups water, one cup white vinegar, and 10 drops liquid dish detergent. Add an optional spoonful of baking soda, and spray directly onto the helmet. Wipe away with a damp cloth, and you will have a clean, disinfected, and deodorized helmet with a streak-free shine.
Large equipment requires a bit more care, as it cannot always fit into washing machines, but still collects dirt and bacteria that need to be removed. Typically, you can use the same spray-on cleaning solution mentioned above for helmets, but for large pieces that sometimes require a soaking, a bit more effort is required. In a large bin, bucket, or even clean trash can, add the hockey gear, and fill with water until all gear is submerged. Then, add three cups of washing soda or baking soda, along with three cups of white vinegar. Let soak for a few hours, then remove the hockey gear and let air dry. This will clean, deodorize, and disinfect, leaving gear looking and smelling brand new.
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