How to Clean Your Lacrosse Goalie Gear | Lax Goalie Rat

How to Clean Your Lacrosse Goalie Gear


Every lacrosse goalie who has put on the pads knows THAT smell. There’s nothing like the funk of old sweaty lacrosse gear.

If you’re a goalie, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re a goalie parent, you definitely know too!

In addition to creating an atrocious odor, not regularly cleaning your gear can also decrease its life span. And as you know, lacrosse goalie gear is not cheap. If you (or your parents) have made the investment in fully outfitting a goalie with all the right equipment, you need to take care of that gear.

In addition to prolonging its life, cleaning your gear also helps eliminate bacteria which can cause serious infections if they get into open cuts or scraps that are so common on lacrosse player’s bodies.

Assuming you don’t think cleaning your gear is complete sacrilege and will wash away all your mojo, here are some tips to make sure your teammates don’t start calling you the ‘smelly’ teammate.

First Step: Odor Prevention

The first step to avoiding putrid lacrosse gear is odor and bacteria prevention.

This means do NOT leave your sweaty or wet lacrosse gear to fester in your goalie bag.

Airing out your equipment after a practice or a game will help prevent bacteria and fungus that cause so many of those fowl odors.

So after a sweaty practice instead of tossing the gear into the closet, take it out of the bag and let it air out before storing.

Methods to Clean Your Lacrosse Goalie Gear

Here are a few additional tips I’ve picked up during my playing and coaching days and from various parents across the lacrosse world that I’ve learned from.

Glove Dogs

This device is filled with cedar chips which is a natural odor absorber and deodorizer. Hence the reason you see cedar used in closets, trunks, and shoe trees.

The glove dogs look like this. You can get them on Amazon.  I recommend a pair for both the gloves and shoes.

Glove Dogs

Sports Cleaning Sprays

What an age we live in when companies are putting out sprays specifically to tackle the problem of sweaty, stinky gear.

These sprays will deodorize and disinfect your goalie gear.

Sports Spray

With these products you simply spray onto your gear and let it dry. No need to wipe or scrub clean.  The product disinfects while it drys.

You can get this spray on Amazon.

Washing Machine

Other parents use the good old fashioned washing machine to relieve the built up funk of lacrosse gear.

Make sure to wash on delicate with mild detergent (no chlorine, no bleach, no harsh chemicals) and cold water. Then air dry – no dryers. You’ll want to squeeze out the excess water to help the drying process.

I would NOT recommend washing gloves as most varieties of gloves today contain leather which gets ruined in the wash.

Obviously any undershirts or jerseys can go through the normal wash and dry cycle just like your normal clothes.

Soak and Wipe Down Gear With Soap and Water

If none of the above methods meet your fancy, you can use a simple soak and wipe down with soap and water.

In a tub filled with cold water and mild detergent, wipe down your helmet interior (including chin strap), chest protector, goalie gloves, athletic supporter, interior of your gear bag, and any other piece of gear you use that is gathering suspicious odors.

Then let it air dry while you do lacrosse goalie drills that don’t require pads.

Deodorizers in the Bag

To help fight the eternal bad smell that emits from a lacrosse bag you can toss a few dryer sheets or a product like the Meister Crown Deodorizer.


In addition to resembling the batman symbol this product will absorb moisture and help to eliminate odors in the bag.


If your lacrosse goalie bag smells like it contains a dead rotting body, you probably need to clean your gear a little more frequently.

In addition to not smelling bad keeping your gear clean is a safety thing since bacteria and virus can grow on funky gear kept in the dark bag, wet bag.

Or if you’re one of those goalies who thinks washing the gear is bad luck, then completely ignore this post.

Until next time! Coach Damon

Any parents out there have any additional tips for cleaning lacrosse goalie gear? Would love to hear about it in the comments. 

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7 thoughts on “How to Clean Your Lacrosse Goalie Gear

  1. Since my Goalie happens to be a girl, the freshening and non-smelly aspect is nearly as important as is health and safety 🙂 Whenever possible we try to lay it out to air dry in the sun, as it is a natural (fragrance-free) disinfectant for water based bacteria. This is a little harder to do after games if the team has to hustle to make way for the next team; but for practices, there are often times when drills change or roles of the players change (for example, when she’s out of the cage and another goalie is in, she switches out her helmet for her face mask, takes off the guards or whatever she can get away with for the drills and let them it roast away the sweat in the sun. She also keeps her bag open on the field so it can get hit by the sun while it’s not in carryall mode. Obviously, this would be tougher for guys that don’t have the eye mask option, but like you said, there are things to do no helmet required. (And, for washing shorts or jerseys, I take advantage of all the allergy ‘free’ detergents, no worries about harsh chemicals). Thanks for your tips, I will try the cedar one (and probably the charcoal when we start up off-season interleague play), too!

  2. 500 gram bag of activated charcoal stuck in the bottom of the bag do wonders. No perfume smell so it does cover up the smell but it really works to keep the bag from stinking up the car. Cheap from Amazon. Takes about a week to deodorize the bag
    And then last a year.

  3. What about the atrocious smell of goalie gloves? You could probably write an entire article just about that. As a parent of a goalie, I can honestly say that is hands down the WORST, most distinctive smell of all goalie gear. My son’s hands smell so bad after games even his coaches and teammates don’t want to shake his hands. What special attention can we give to the gloves, especially if you recommend not to wash them in the washing machine??

    1. You’re right! The smell of gloves is the worst. Try the glove dogs that I recommend in this post, they really help. Then you can occasionally wash the gloves with mild detergent and water which will help eliminate the order. Good luck curing that glove smell.

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