Cleaning your gear

As a goalkeeper I am fully aware of the reputation we hold of being ‘stinky’. This is something I am passionate about changing. I am convinced that a pair of shin guards will smell much worse than a well looked after set of goalkeeping gear.

A few things I would suggest that may help prevent the comments and ridicule from team mates about your stench:

1. Air your full kit out after every training session or game. I guarantee you will have sweat or water on your gear through contact with the turf

2. Wash your smock, cover shorts, bandana, neck guard, pelvic protector and arm guards (if detachable) at least once or twice a week. These items should easily fit in your washing machine. Front loaders are much more gentle on the gear but top loaders are also ok. Always wash the gear separate to your every day clothes.

3. Wash your shoes every few weeks. This can also be done in the washing machine or by hand in a bucket or sink.

4. Body armour is usually the main cause for smell so must be addressed somehow. I have tried washing it in the machine but due to the size it can be difficult and also may damage the gear or the machine. The best way I have found is to take a brush (best is the brush from a dust pan and brush) and a bucket of warm soapy water. Take the gear outside and use the brush to scrub the gear all over. Do not be afraid to use plenty of soapy water. Leave it hanging outside to dry for as long as you can then you should be right to go.

5. Finally I suggest you buy some face wipes from the supermarket. These can be used to wipe out the inside of your helmet. Another area that can get quite dirty, especially your chin strap.

I hope all these tips help. If you have any ideas of your own please feel free to share them below

Skills Session 10: Cleaning your Goalie Gear |

11 thoughts on “Cleaning your gear”

  1. I do all of the above plus I make up a weak solution of dettol in a bucket of warm water and get a cloth and wipe down my kickers and legguards and also my hand protectors get a soak in the mix. I will also disinfect my helmet with the weak solution every few weeks. Everything is left out to dry for as long as possible. I have also found putting a small air freshener in your gear bag helps make your gear smell nicer for longer 🙂

  2. i wash my kit every week. usually by hand, with a brush like you’ve mentioned. i cant stand a smelly kit. make sure the bag gets lots of air as well and a good clean every few weeks.

  3. I also wash my gear very regulary (I hate smelly gear and also dislike puting on wet gear). Sometimes it is a challenge to get everything dry in time though (I play on sunday and train on monday, tuesday and thursday, so the tuesday is definetly a challenge (since I go straight from work to training, so it only has overnight to dry ;-)). But that problem I solved with getting extra goaliepants and arms.

  4. At least twice a season I fill my bath with cold water and put all my pads in the bath with a few Milton sterilizer tablets (yes the ones for baby bottle to sterilize them). I’ve been doing it for years and means its easier to keep on top of the cleaning of kit if you have a fresh base.

    Obviously dry your kit as well as you can I think is the key. Also a bit of squirt of febreze on the kit every now and then make it smell a bit better. Plus anyone doing a bit on indoor and still use or have some talc powder I always have a box in my kit in any case so that smells nicer than a smelly kit bag. Inevitably its the helmet that I always ind that stinks the most and hard to keep dry and clean. My wife can always tell if I have been playing as she says my head smells of smelly kit….top tip with the wet wipes good Idea. Having a 1 year old have plenty of wet wipes nowadays!

  5. Washing powder is fine. You dont need too much either. It certainly wont do any more damage than sliding around on a dirty turf would. The main thing to remember is dont put your gloves, leg guards or kickers in the sun for too long as they glue can melt. Everything else I suggest you soak, rinse then leave in the sun to dry.

  6. We are a family of goalkeepers, I wash the armour suits,padded pants and cover shorts in the bath. I use disinfectant concentrate – either pot pouri or lavender scent. I don’t soak them for very long – I put them in and wash them all over then take them out and hang them on the line to dry. I clean our gear as often as it needs it. We all wipe down our gear with a damp washer after each game and allow it to dry for a couple of days under our pergola – (it gets the breeze but not full sun) before repacking our kits. At the end of the season ALL kits are fully cleaned before storing for the next season.

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