Did you know that more than 621,000 Canadian kids are registered to play on a local hockey team this year! The stats are impressive, the game is exciting, and some may go as far to say we were born to play it. And, although we didn’t conduct a focus group, hockey parents unanimously agree that hockey’s only downside is the ghastly, horrendous, unspeakable odour that emits from hockey bags – young and old.
In a national Leger survey conducted for Purex in 2018, the reason for that stink was made clear: 77% of Canadians admitted that they only washed their hockey gear once or less a year! And, if we break that 77% down even further, a shocking 36% of participants said they never wash their gear; 23% admit that they wash it less than once a year; and the other 18% only wash on an annual basis.
Digging even deeper into those that never wash their gear, 25% said they didn’t even know you could wash it, 15% thought it would be too difficult, and 9% didn’t think they could use laundry soap on hockey equipment. What? Of course, you can! And most of that gear can be washed in the washing machine, except for goaltending equipment.
A few steps is all it takes to remove that revolting rink stink. Sharing is caring, so make sure to print off these tips or electronically share them with every hockey parent or every one of your teammates.
- Wear a base layer under your gear and a fresh pair of socks on your feet. A base layer can be washed after every game and practice.
- Hang all your equipment on a drying rack after use to reduce bacteria growth. A rack improves circulation around each item so they dry quicker. Make sure all your gear is completely dry before repacking your hockey bag.
- Consider adding a boot and glove dryer to your arsenal. Not just for boots and gloves, many dryers come ready for optional helmet holder attachments. And its compact size makes it ideal for condos and apartments.
- If your hockey stuff is particularly stinky, give it a good soak in the washer first. Add a cup of white vinegar to the water to help kill the bacteria and let it soak for 15 minutes, then drain, add detergent and begin a new washing cycle.
- Use warm water, regular detergent and the gentle cycle. Wash all protective equipment (except your helmet and skates) at least once a month. Fasten velcro so that it doesn’t snare and pull on other items while washing.
- Don’t overload your washer. Yes, it may take 2 or 3 loads to wash all your gear. And remember: don’t use bleach (or a detergent with bleach in it). Bleach is too harsh and will break down your equipment.
PRO TIP: Machine washing, or thoroughly soaking your goaltending gear is not recommended because the gear can’t dry completely, which will encourage the growth of bacteria and mildew. Complete immersion can also damage your equipment by causing the separation of some material.
Spending more time at the rink than in your home this winter? If you’d like some assistance achieving a clean and stress-free home, just find your local MOLLY MAID.