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bunnyman666

How Important is Gear Hygiene to You?

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I had a rash that would not go away years back, so I try to be festidious about drying my gear and letting it air out. 

I tried sprays of all sorts, and whilst some masked odours very well, the odour did return if not treated continously. Nothing is a substitute for good, old fashioned air.

I have discovered the Peet’s boot dryer. Others have discovered the Rocket Dryer. Some of you even have your own dedicated drying rooms!

How important is gear hygiene to you?

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I'm a germophobe so I've always been a little over the top with gear hygiene. I spray the inside/soft surfaces with disinfectant and let it air dry. I spray it, stuff it in my bag and then hang it up when I get back to my locker (I'm a high school coach and we have nice locker stalls for the coaches in our rink) or on a clothes tree at home. Never had smell issues even through college.

One of my buddies had a bag with a fan on it and also had a boot dryer that he setup in his dorm room. 

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I prefer materials like X static wherever possible. I don’t sweat it past that

wash my base layers after every skate and head bands. Air out gear and had no issues

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The main condition from my wife for me to start to play hockey again after a 25 year layoff was ensure that my gear does not stink.  To that end - base layers are washed after every skate, daily spraying of De-stink on all gear, Rocket Dryer for the CA, boot dryer for skates and gloves, and everything else air drys on a rack.

The funny part about my wife's mandate was that the only reason she knew that hockey gear stank was because she had opened my 80's era bag and almost passed out from the stench.

Conclusion - I actually like having clean gear!

Edited by beansbats
mis-spelling

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It's very important to me. After every skate I air my stuff out on my back porch, and spray everything with a water/isopropyl alcohol solution. I do my best to air stuff out where it's cold, which isn't an issue in the winter in Boston. Heat dries out your gear best, of course, but bacteria thrive in heat, and cold will help kill it. After my stuff is dry, I take an organic fabric spray and give everything another shot. I wash my base layers (long johns, long/short-sleeve tee, socks) and sweatband after every skate. 

My folks were always on my case about taking the time to unpack my gear and care for it after practices when I was a kid, and rightly so. We all pay a lot of money for all this stuff, and it's worth the time to take care of it. I'm never in the mood to take the extra 5 minutes to unpack my stuff and spray it down, but it's a good habit IMO.

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23 minutes ago, stackem30 said:

spray everything with a water/isopropyl alcohol solution

THIS!

+ a few drops of an essential oil.

I keep all of my gear in a cabinet on shelves. After a session I hang everything up, spray it with the solution and leave a box fan pointed at it overnight. 

Base layers get washed weekly. Everything else 2-3 times a year (running under hot water).

At tournaments I bring my solution with me and spray after each game and air out my gear where and when I can. I also bring my fan and dry things out well in the hotel over night. 

Guys on my team think i'm insane. They also smell terrible. 

I think my attitude towards gear hygiene really changed in my mid 20's... a few years after picking hockey back up. New gear is expensive. And if I'm forking out $500-600 on gloves or whatever I need them to last and not be disgusting. My gear room is also my workshop. And I spend a lot of time in there. So having gear that doesn't stink is essential. 

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Yes, very important to me. Undergarments get washed after every skate. Everything else goes on a rack/stand made of PVC that sits in front of a box fan in the garage. Gear all gets an oxyclean bath once every 6 months or so. 

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2 hours ago, TheGoalNet said:

I prefer materials like X static wherever possible. I don’t sweat it past that

wash my base layers after every skate and head bands. Air out gear and had no issues

x 2... Has always caused me no issues

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3 hours ago, craig said:

THIS!

+ a few drops of an essential oil.

I keep all of my gear in a cabinet on shelves. After a session I hang everything up, spray it with the solution and leave a box fan pointed at it overnight. 

Base layers get washed weekly. Everything else 2-3 times a year (running under hot water).

At tournaments I bring my solution with me and spray after each game and air out my gear where and when I can. I also bring my fan and dry things out well in the hotel over night. 

Guys on my team think i'm insane. They also smell terrible. 

I think my attitude towards gear hygiene really changed in my mid 20's... a few years after picking hockey back up. New gear is expensive. And if I'm forking out $500-600 on gloves or whatever I need them to last and not be disgusting. My gear room is also my workshop. And I spend a lot of time in there. So having gear that doesn't stink is essential. 

Can you elaborate on what you do with the essential oils? I've wondered about using them, just because we have some around the house... but I was never really sure what it would accomplish, or how I would apply it, etc.

I don't mind getting dirty or smelling like hard work, but I also reached a point where I found it unacceptable for my gear to smell like something died in it. In high school we'd draw pretty good crowds, and sometimes classmates and friends would wait around to see us after the game, make party plans, etc. Even when I took a shower right after the game, I still had that hockey glove smell on me a bit. Nobody wants to go talk to girls like that!  :laughat:

 I also have to share space with my gear sometimes, and for my wife's and my sake, I try to keep it as inoffensive as possible. For the most part, my gloves are the only thing that can smell really strong. Honestly, it's like shoveling sand against the tide, but I can only imagine how much worse they'd be if I neglected to try and keep them clean like I do. The rest of my stuff isn't so bad, it just has that general sports equipment smell.

It's a losing battle, but it's worth it.

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underlayers, sweat bands, jerseys and socks are washed after EVERY session.

If i have back to backs, I bring 2 sets.

Gear is ALWAYS sprayed then dried in the rocket dryer.

Pads always sprayed down with sport spray and aired out. 

My glove liners are washed every 3 games. 

Chesty, pants, jock and knee pads once every month and a half.

Mask is gently rinsed with antibacterial hand soap every other game. 

Skates are always sprayed and dried. Insoles are removed and washed by hand every month. 

I'd rather put in the work to maintain my gear, as it keeps materials in good shape, easy for re-sell and fetches a high value; and I'd rather not find out first hand what staph infections are like. No thanks. 

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I wash all my base layers and jersey after every game, while the rest of my gear hangs in my locker at the arena with a fan blowing air for circulation. I used to spray my gear with a water / rubbing alcohol solution, but I've gotten lazy and not done that for a couple of years. The one thing I should be more diligent about is the chin cup because I'm prone to getting acne (yeah, even at 57) occasionally. And I'm the only one who wears my front line gear. I have a backup set for loaners.

At the end of the season I wash my gloves, jock, neck protector in the front load washing machine and let it air dry. The first time I washed my gloves this way, I had a small quarter-sized piece of Jenpro abraded to the plastic on the thumb. So now I put the gloves in a pillow case through the wash. C/a gets soaked in tub with Oxyclean and air dried.

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26 minutes ago, KootenayKeeper said:

I wash all my base layers and jersey after every game, while the rest of my gear hangs in my locker at the arena with a fan blowing air for circulation. I used to spray my gear with a water / rubbing alcohol solution, but I've gotten lazy and not done that for a couple of years. The one thing I should be more diligent about is the chin cup because I'm prone to getting acne (yeah, even at 57) occasionally. And I'm the only one who wears my front line gear. I have a backup set for loaners.

At the end of the season I wash my gloves, jock, neck protector in the front load washing machine and let it air dry. The first time I washed my gloves this way, I had a small quarter-sized piece of Jenpro abraded to the plastic on the thumb. So now I put the gloves in a pillow case through the wash. C/a gets soaked in tub with Oxyclean and air dried.

Locker at the arena??

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Got a dedicated room in the house for air drying, but for the most part I air dry it outside. In Alabama, that takes 5 minutes. Hot water with a very diluted mild detergent rub down a couple times a year keeps everything clean and smelling good. Base layers are washed after every skate. Glove/blocker/skates go on the shoe dryer. Main thing is, I like keeping my gear clean and fresh smelling. I'm also shopping around for a UV-C and Ozone cleaner. Want to give that a go.

 I tried Febreeze on my chesty once. It was like it closed all the pores on the chesty so I had no air movement. Got so over heated I threw up. Needless to say, I don't use it any more.

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8 hours ago, TheGoalNet said:

I prefer materials like X static wherever possible. I don’t sweat it past that

wash my base layers after every skate and head bands. Air out gear and had no issues

x3 here. 

I occasionally wash my blocker palm in the wash now that it's removeable. Seems to do fine enough. 

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1 hour ago, IPv6Freely said:

I would pay that in a heartbeat if it was ventilated to dry my gear... also if I didn't play at multiple rinks... 

Well I live in a small town so there's only one rink.

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Wish more players were like us! I pass some of these guys and nearly puke from the smell! My gloves don’t smell wonderful, but certainly smell better than most player gloves!

I use a motorcycle helmet freshener in my helmet. Anything close to my body gets washed, as does the sweatband.  Sweater gets washed every time. I use either a blow dryer or Peet’s boot dryer for boots and my gloves. My breezers and chesty gets a big fan. 

My biggest regret was NOT wearing socks in my VH skates. I will NOT make that mistake again with my next pair. I can wear them now as the liner has loosened up. I DETEST smell. 

My player gear smells fantastic! But player gear is SUPER easy to keep smell-free, IMO.

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Don't be a stink bomb is all I gotta say. It's your health after all.

My gear is about 10 years in general and nothing stinks. For the price I pay for gear, I want it to last and be pleasant to wear.

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22 hours ago, stackem30 said:

Can you elaborate on what you do with the essential oils?

I usually put 10 or so drops in my spray bottle with 50% alcohol. I usually try to use something mint or citrus. Scents are supposed to have lots of positive effects...but I don't really know much about that.It doesnt' hurt to have nice smelling gear though. 

I'd love to invest in a rocket dryer for my gloves for sure. But spraying them down post game and really opening them up to get air on them goes a long way.

Masks I also spray down and wipe. And change out the foam every 6 months or so if used regularly. 

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I spray captodour on it when i put it in my bag spray it again when i put it on the drying rack and every summer i get it washed at a local store that have the same washing machine has the nhl team.

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It is interesting to read some of your methods ;). I´m known among my goalie friends that I care about equipment more than it is normal :D. Washing clothes, jersey or hockey socks after every session (or change them for fresh ones at tournaments every game) is essential. On goalie camp, where it was not chance to use washing machine, it take a lot of stuff with me and wash them by hand after every use, just to have clean clothes on every practice.

Other thing is I wipe my gloves, pads and skates with microfibre cloth after every use and never put my equipment on the ground at the locker room. Everything dried after each game. When my gloves are not enough dry for next game, I use my replacement set. I allways use cotton gloves and sweat bands under my goalie gloves (can´t stand the smell and slippery feel).   

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I wouldn’t expect the guys who think airing out their gear means unzipping their bag would hang out on a forum like this.

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