Whether one is fourteen or forty, after a long game of hockey there is no denying the stomach-churning stench of an old, sweaty jersey. Hockey jerseys and equipment can start to smell and become moldy after only a few uses.
Without proper preventative action, hockey gear can begin to deteriorate, quickly growing bacteria and mold. Sweat seeps into the fibers of jerseys, gloves, and socks, that when left inside of a dark, warm hockey bag creates the perfect condition for bacterial growth. If left further unattended, mold and mildew will begin to proliferate, creating an even more unpleasant scent that is much more difficult to remove. This is dangerous for both the player and the gear – the bacteria and mold will begin to wear down the fibers of the jersey, while players may have an adverse reaction to the dingy jersey touching their skin, leading to rashes and potential infections. While sweating during a hockey game is inevitable, smelly equipment and mold are optional and should be avoided. Below are simple steps one can take in order to control these smells and prolong the life of your equipment.
Before even stepping onto the ice, a buffer layer between skin and equipment can stop sweat from reaching your gear, lessening the future smell and prolonging the life of the gear. After a game, the most basic step one can take to make sure their gear is well- maintained is to air them out after every use. Removing equipment from the bag and laying it out in a well-ventilated space is an incredibly easy and effortless way to prevent bacteria and mold from forming. Airing out equipment allows excess sweat to evaporate, denying bacteria the moist conditions it needs to grow. Adding a dehumidifier to the room can aid in ventilated equipment by further drying out the surrounding air. While it requires more effort, using a washing machine can completely remove sweat and smells from gear. Aside from helmets and skates, everything can be washed. After finishing a warm-water cycle, socks, jerseys, and neck guards can be placed in the drier at low heat. The rest of the equipment can be hung on a line and air dried. There is less to be done about skates, but the same principles apply – air out the insoles after every use and handwash them when they become noticeably foul. For those looking for a more professional clean, an ozone machine can completely remove any microbes and stop smells in their tracks.
But hockey jerseys do not have to be dirty and worn down if one chooses the proper gear. In order to maintain hygienic equipment, one should replace their funky jersey with a new jersey every two to three years. Quality is important – using a jersey that is professionally made with high-quality materials will prolong its life and allow you to get the most value. If you are the manager of a team, utilizing a custom jersey service can ensure that you receive the proper gear you need, and can leave the whole team looking and smelling fresh.
By Reid Arnold