How to Clean Your Lacrosse Goalie Gear
By Coach Damon on May 1, 2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.