Lacrosse gear endures a lot of abuse. It’s also expensive and parents want to maintain their child’s gear in good condition for as long as possible. With a little extra care, parents can keep their child’s gear clean, disinfected, odor-free, and looking good.
To make that process easier, parents should never let their child’s gear remain in the car overnight or in a zippered bag. To prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi, and viruses pads need to air out. Place or hang them in a cool, dry place after practices and games. It enables them to dry out and minimize odors.
Pads can be safely cleaned in a washing machine. The important thing to remember when washing lacrosse pads is to use a gentle cycle. Follow all the instructions on labels as to the use of detergent, bleach, fabric softeners, and water temperatures. Some prefer to hand wash pads and gloves and it’s often recommended. Gloves should never be placed in a washer or dryer.
Whatever method is used, it’s extremely important to thoroughly dry the gear. Pads should never be dried in a dryer. They can shrink and the material can be damaged. Pads can be laid flat to air dry or hung to drip dry which also encourages airflow.
Lacrosse sticks also get wet and the most important aspect for maintenance is not to let the pocket dry wrinkled or crumpled up. It’s helpful to pack the pocket with crinkled up newspaper to help absorb moisture while maintaining the depth and shape of the pocket.
Helmets present special challenges since they can’t be placed in a washer. Instead, spray or wipe down the inside with a sanitizing spray or wipe to aid in preventing bacteria growth and odors. Include the chin strap and face mask to help prevent acne and skin rashes. Cleats can be simply rinsed off.
Don’t forget the bag. It does no good to clean gear if it’s placed back in a bag that’s a source of bacteria and fungi. If the bag can’t be washed, be sure and spray it inside and out with a sanitizing spray or use a disinfecting wipe, being careful to include any pockets or pouches.