Why should I wash my equipment?
Your equipment is covered with bacteria, molds, and fungus that can cause you skin rashes and serious infections. It is the active, growing bacteria that causes the unbelievable stench and also rots your equipment at the same time. You don‘t wear your gym clothes for 5 years without washing them so why treat your equipment any differently? Your equipment didn‘t smell when it was new, and it does not have to smell now.
Why haven‘t I heard of this before?
Do you remember when hockey players didn‘t wear helmets? Today, a player is not allowed on the floor without one. Why? Because research proved that the risk of head injuries could be reduced with the use of helmets, and they were made mandatory. Seat belt use is another example of how research eventually impacts society.Through independent lab tests, it was discovered that dangerous bacteria were present in equipment. Change requires research, and research takes time.
Why is it a BIG Deal?
Modern protective sports equipment, with its space age, open cell, foam padding has produced the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Of an even greater concern, the overuse of antibiotics has created a resistance to infection treatments and has allowed new strains of bacteria to evolve. They are deadly, difficult to treat, and within hours can leave a victim with permanent skin and bone damage. Some infections have even resulted in player deaths.
Who else thinks it‘s important?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC), USA Hockey, NFL, and the NCAA for starters. In 2003, they all issued warnings to athletes and sports teams to begin the routine cleaning of sports equipment due to a dramatic increase in serious infections. Hockey Canada issued instructions two years ago to regularly clean equipment.
Ways to wash your equipment?
1. Wash machine and hang to dry (NOT HELMET)
2. Professional cleaners
3. Bath tub with boiling water and cleaner