Cleaning a hockey jersey can be as difficult as doing a crossword puzzle.
Look, even though the jersey is exposed to dirt, sweat, and grime while on the field, you need to wash it without causing harm in any way. You cannot throw the jersey in a dryer otherwise, if you are not careful, you’ll end up damaging or shrinking the jersey- and you don’t want that.
You need to be careful about the detergent and fabric softener you use. You need to be careful about the color, fabric, and the whole cleaning process not to shrink the jersey.
However, there is no need to worry as this article takes you through the various steps on how to wash your favorite ice hockey jersey. We’ve also shared some cool tips and tricks on how to take care of the other hockey outfit as well. Read on!
Get to Know Your Hockey Uniform
In most cases, hockey uniforms are made from heavy-duty, stretchy mesh or synthetic knit. This kind of material is known for being durable and stretchy to facilitate movement and is designed with moisture-wicking capabilities. Also, they require less maintenance than cotton.
While pants and jerseys are rugged and tough enough to take all the beating, you will need to clean them carefully to avoid shrinking. Washing a hockey jersey might seem easy on the surface but it is not just about putting it in the washing machine and starting it up.
How to Wash Your Ice Hockey Jersey
Turn Your Ice Hockey Jersey Inside Out
First things first: make sure you flip your hockey jerseys inside out before tossing them in the washer. Similar to other jerseys, this will help keep the exterior away from harsh detergents, prevent color fading, and even protect numbering, lettering, stitching, and crest on your jersey.
Exploit The Pre-soak Strategy
Your uniform needs to be presoaked in order to be clean. So, after the game, wash the uniform in a utility sink with cold water to get rid of any remaining body odor, blood, and loose dirt.
Then put warm water, (not hot) in a large bucket or sink. To eliminate odor, mix one cup of baking soda with a capful of strong washing detergent, then soak the uniform for at least an hour. If it can soak for the entire night, the better.
That said, it’s good to know whether the water in you’re using is soft or hard. This is because there tend to be too many minerals in hard water and detergents may be less effective at eliminating them.
That means your ice hockey jersey will be more difficult to clean with hard water, and you’ll need to add extra water conditioner to the presoak bucket. Note that this is not really a fabric softener, is an ingredient or additive that makes the detergent perform more effectively.
Watch The Colors
Your ice hockey jersey is now ready for cleaning. However, bear in mind that you must consider a jersey’s color before you start cleaning.
Ideally, hockey jerseys should be washed separately or with items of the same color so that the jersey maintains its original color and quality. Otherwise, your jersey color can deteriorate. Here’s how you can ensure maximum color protection:
The hockey jerseys shouldn’t be mixed with other clothes. If the jersey is black or white, wash them separately from anything else that is colored. Do not mix the hockey jerseys with other clothing. You shouldn’t mix white and black things, either!
To make sure you don’t ruin the patches, stitching, or letters on your jersey, turn it inside out before you send it to the barrel. And never add colored jeans or pants into the barrel with your jersey because a blue colorant, for instance, can leave traces on your hockey sportswear.
Go With Cold Water
Another important piece of advice is to only use cold water when cleaning your hockey jerseys. This is because hot or warm water can harm or ruin the fine details on your jersey.
Besides, it’s possible that the jersey will possibly shrink as time goes by. This explains why it’s better to wash your jersey in cold water. This goes for the washing, not really soaking.
What about blood stains? You ask. Well, such stains blood/food stains will only become permanently established in hot water, making them nearly impossible to remove.
Most stains can be removed using the presoaking methods. So check your jersey for any stains and simply wash them with a stain remover or some extra liquid or laundry detergent. Also, you can soak overnight to assist with the process.
Put Your Jersey On Gentle Cycle
Well, hockey players need to take the time to properly wash their jerseys in order to keep them looking nice. Therefore, it is advised to only use the gentle cycle setting on your washing machine. This helps to keep the material from being damaged or maybe roughed up afterward.
Make Sure You Check The Detergent Labels
Now coming down to selecting the best detergent for washing hockey jerseys, be sure to pick one that is kind to the fabric of the fabric you’re cleaning. And it turns out that the best option is a bleach-free, color-safe laundry detergent.
However, it’s always important to check the labels carefully as some liquid detergents could have wrong chemical compounds and harsh laundry products that can ruin your hockey jersey. So always take the components and the ingredients into account when buying the detergent.
Never Use Chlorine Bleach.
Although it may be tempting, chlorine bleach is ineffective on polyester textiles and can have adverse effects on white and even gray jerseys. The inner core of the white polyester strands is yellow. The fabric can therefore become permanently dull following the chlorine bleach’s reaction with the fiber and subsequent removal of its outer layer.
Instead, consider mixing cool water with a solution of oxygen-based bleach (brand names include Country Save Bleach, Clorox 2, Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach, or OxiClean).
As for how much product to use per gallon of water, follow the instructions on the container. Put the jersey wholly submerged, and let it soak for at least eight hours.
Check your jersey for stains. If there’re no stains, and the color appears brighter and whiter, proceed and wash it as usual.
However, if the problem persists, make a new solution and try again. Note that sometimes it can take several soakings to get rid of the stains and restore the whiteness.
Don’t Put Your Jersey in A Dryer
After the game, forget about the heat. It’s that simple. Never dry hockey gear or jerseys in a dryer. High heat can degrade colors, cause stains to set in, and cause shrinking. So simply hung your jersey to dry naturally away from direct sunlight.
It’s good to note that the use of fabric softeners on ice hockey jerseys is not always recommended. Chemicals in this product may have the potential to change the texture of the jersey, which could end up compromising the overall quality and integrity of the sportswear.
Taking Care of Other Ice Hockey Outfit
After knowing how to wash hockey jerseys, it will be helpful to get some advice for caring for the other components of the outfit as well.
In most cases, hockey equipment- aside from the helmet, stick, and skates- can be washed in a typical water cycle in the washing. This includes shin guards, elbow pads, gloves, and chest protectors.
How To Machine Wash Hockey Socks
Of course, ice hockey players often wear hockey socks as part of their clothing. These socks are mostly made of cotton and are usually form-fitting. They are also designed to shield the legs from getting hurt or cut by skate blades as they’re generally thicker than conventional socks.
As you may guess, during a frantic hockey game, these socks will definitely become filthy. After all, whether you’re on the offensive or defense, your feet are always moving on the ice and the socks receive a fair share of the beating.
It only makes sense, given everything, that they would have the sweat smell after a game.
Luckily, hockey socks are easy to clean in the washing machine. Any kind of cleaning will work for this, but ACTIVE detergent tends to work much better. When the cycle is over, hang them to air dry. You might alternatively dry them on low heat, but this is usually not recommended.
How to Deodorize/Wash Hockey Gloves and Pads
Hockey gloves are important for protecting hands from injury while playing. They usually have a lot of padding inside as they’re meant for protection against flying pucks and hockey sticks.
Their cleaning is simple, though. You can throw them in the washer just like you would with socks and jerseys. Simply add a little cleaner—like the ACTIVE detergent; do not use bleach as it can harm the cloth. Then wash them for 15 minutes with cold water.
You might want to use some vinegar that can be added if necessary, as it will assist in getting rid of the unwanted odor from the gloves. Get them out of the machine after the cycle is over and hang dry them. Let the items dry completely before using them.
How to Clean Hockey Compression Layers
As a hockey player, you will also need to put on a base layer under your gear. These compression clothes are made to fit closely against the skin, as you might have guessed. They help to improve blood flow as well as facilitate faster muscle recovery after exercise.
Hockey compression layers can be washed in the same manner as the jerseys, gloves, and socks. You might want to add a small amount of laundry detergent to the machine using the “delicate cycle” setting or gentle wash cycle. That should be enough to help remove the odor.
If necessary, you can pre-soak your compression layers before throwing them in the washer to further help remove the unwanted smell.
The Best Way to Clean a Hockey Helmet
Helmets are an important component of head protection. However, as players move up and down the rink, they often end up drenched in sweat. So how do you clean your hockey helmet?
Unfortunately, you cannot throw them in the washer like socks and gloves because it is comprised of metal and plastic. Instead, you should apply a quality deodorizer spray to help neutralize and eliminate the smell. Where necessary, you can also use a wet cloth to wipe the helmet’s surface with/without cleaner.
Tip: After a game, air out the helmet to help keep odors at bay. This should be done for at least fifteen minutes before putting it back into the bag.
How to Deodorize And Refreshen Your Hockey Skates
Hockey skates can smell bad really quickly considering that your feet are always on the move. Similar to the helmet, hockey skates should be cleaned using a deodorizer spray regularly.
You can put a dryer sheet into both skates or use a disinfectant spray to eliminate bacteria. Also, you’d be wise to let the skates air out after exercise, just like with the helmet.
Hopefully, you now know how to wash your jersey and how to care for your ice hockey outfit. Just check the tips every time your sportswear needs to be cleaned and freshened after a game!
Remember it’s usually better to wash your jersey by itself, turn it inside out, use cold water, put it through a gentle cycle, and use a color-safe detergent. This will help achieve better results and help keep it looking new. Lastly, hockey jerseys should never, ever be dried in a dryer.