How To Clean Your Ice Hockey Equipment Prevent Stinking – Wash Hockey Pads And Stop Bad Smell

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After you’ve been using your hockey equipment for a season or two, its likely to have picked up a terrible odour, unfortunately this is one of the unwanted “perks” of hockey. In this article, I’ll show you how to prevent your equipment from stinking. If your to late in finding this article and you already have stinky equipment, I’ll show you how to remove the stink out of your hockey equipment.


How To Clean Your Ice Hockey Equipment Prevent Stinking - Wash Hockey Pads And Stop Bad Smell 1Don’t forget about the video covering all of this at the bottom of the article ! 


There are multiple ways to prevent your hockey equipment from smelling, its about being proactive and NOT LAZY.

Separate your body from your equipment to reduce sweat build up – Under Armour is underrated, it will soak up and absorb a massive amount of sweat (as nasty is that sounds) It will also keep dead skin and body oil off your pads. This will keep a surprising amount of “body deposits” off your pads. You can pick this stuff up for less than £50 for a full adult suit from the one and only place to shop hockey Puckstop. Not only will it keep your pads in better condition, but its also very comfortable and also helps to keep you warm when on the bench. Bad smell is create by a build up of bacteria, if you keep these points above in mind, your equipment will be MUCH better off.

Check out different base layers from Puckstop here – Base layers 

How To Clean Your Ice Hockey Equipment Prevent Stinking - Wash Hockey Pads And Stop Bad Smell 22

Hockey Socks?

I also recommend never using the same socks you’ve use throughout the day in your skates. This will only mean the sweat from the whole day will filter right into your skates causing them to eventually smell. I like to use a clean pair of socks with my skates each time.

Other get tip is when you finish at the rink, try and separate the wettest things inside your bag from each other. This will really help to stop bacteria spreading and creating more stink. As my under armour is always the wettest, I like to place that into a separate bag, nothing special, just a plastic bag which keeps it off my other pads. This really helps to keep my bag and pads smelling fresher.

What goes into my plastic separate bag:

  • Under armour
  • Jock shorts
  • Socks
  • Jersey
  • Hockey Socks
  • Boxers
  • Towel
  • Skates cloth


Let your equipment breath – DO NOT LEAVE IT IN YOUR BAG

The most crucial tip is after playing or training, your equipment will be wet inside your bag. Take it out and do not let it sit there wet and damp or it will smell. Airing your equipment out is the best way to delay the stink and keep your equipment smelling fresh. This is the most important tip.

How To Clean Your Ice Hockey Equipment Prevent Stinking - Wash Hockey Pads And Stop Bad Smell 11

Everything that goes into my plastic separate bag goes into the washing machine IMMEDIATELY. Everything else is hung up to air out.

How To Clean Your Ice Hockey Equipment Prevent Stinking - Wash Hockey Pads And Stop Bad Smell 6

Ever since I picked up my Rocket Dryer, everything that I don’t wash the same day after training goes into the Rocket Dryer. This a hockey equipment Dryer that takes your equipment from wet to dry in around 60 minutes. Check out the review on the Rocket Sports Dryer. Pick one a Rocket dryer here ! 

If you don’t have a Rocket Dryer, you simply need to take your pads out of the bag and hang them out somewhere with a good circulation of air and allow them to dry. It’s important not to put the pads somewhere that it’s very moist like the garage or  basement, leave them somewhere that they will be able to dry at room temperature. If you live in a hot country then you might have the convenience of having your equipment dry outside.

  • Shoulder Pads on a clothes hanger drying
  • Elbow pads hang up somewhere elevated to dry
  • Gloves also elevated to dry
  • Shorts left open so they get plenty of air inside to help the drying process
  • Shin and Knee pads leave open to dry


How to stop your skates from smelling and drying them?

Your hockey skates can be a particularly tricky one to dry, if these already stink it can be very difficult to get the smell out. You can’t just throw your skates into a washing machine. Previously when I was younger, I wash my skates in a bath tub. this isn’t something I would ever recommend doing!. To prevent your skates from smelling, it is very important that after practice or a game you open the tongue completely so I air can get inside and dry the skate properly. The best tip I can give is to remove the footbed to allow the bottom of the skate to dry. If you don’t, the bottom will still hold water and cause your skates rivets to rust and smell.

How To Clean Your Ice Hockey Equipment Prevent Stinking - Wash Hockey Pads And Stop Bad Smell 33

Tip – If your skates already smell really bad, remove all the laces and open the tongue right out. Fill an empty spray bottle with some vinegar and spray it all over the inside of the skates. This will kill the bacterial and fight that smell. Let them sit open for a few days and repeat if necessary.

  • Undo laces
  • Open up the tongue so air can flow into the skate
  • REMOVE THE FOOTBED so the bottom of the skate can dry


Now I know this might seem like a hell of a lot of work to do after every time you leave the ice, but if you think about how much your equipment costs? they are very easy steps to take to make sure it lasts long and smells fresh.

What to you put your equipment on?

You can pick up cheap shelving units if you don’t already have somewhere to put your equipment. A sports drying rack is also an option, there are several types that you can pick up. I still seriously recommend the Rocket Dryer.

How to Get the Smell out of your Hockey Equipment

Regardless of what you do eventually your hockey equipment will start to smell, this is simply due to the fact that it’s retaining a lot of sweat drying and then repeating the process all over again. By implementing the tips above my equipment never really smells. If your equipment has started to smell, here is how you can get the smell out…. WASH IT!

How To Clean Your Ice Hockey Equipment Prevent Stinking - Wash Hockey Pads And Stop Bad Smell 4

A lot of players are worried about putting their hockey equipment into washing machine in case it damages or ruins it. Regardless of if it’s a front loader or Top loader, I’ve never had any problems washing my equipment in them. The only tip you need to keep in mind is never ever EVER EVER use bleach and always do up any Velcro straps to prevent them from sticking to fibres on your pads or hockey clothes inside the washing machine.

Tip – If your hockey equipment REALLY stinks, you can add a little vinegar directly into the washing drum or onto the equipment that smells. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna suggest adding some salt and chips.. Vinegar kills bacteria and is fantastic at removing smells without damaging any of your equipment.

What Hockey Equipment can go directly into the washing machine?

  • Shoulder pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Gloves
  • Hockey shorts
  • Shin and knee pads
  • Sock shorts
  • Under armour
  • Hockey socks
  • Jersey


Tip – its very important to make sure any Velcro straps are fastened or secured before going into the wash. If you leave the Velcro straps loose in the wash, they will attaching onto different fibres of your pads and hockey clothes and pull them apart.

Equipment that can not go in the washing machine

  • Helmet
  • Skates
  • Mouth guard
  • And of course your stick!


Tip – Velcro straps  an also get stuck in different areas of the washing machine especially if it’s a Top loader, so make sure they are all secured before the wash.

Washing machine warning – it’s very important that you do not overload the washing machine or all your equipment and pads will not be washed properly

Drying out Hockey Equipment

You can use a tumble dryer to dry your hockey equipment, I would recommend being very careful because if equipment gets too hot, any leathers like the ones that can be found on the insides of your gloves will get hot and dry to quickly causing them to crack. If you use the Tumble Dryer, keep it on a fairly low heat and keep an eye on your equipment.

How to dry your hockey equipment

If you do not have a Rocket Dryer, the best way to dry your equipment after washing it is the same way you take out of your bag and air it out. The only difference is perhaps make sure nothing is touching the ground so everything is elevated, this will prevent water from building up behind or underneath the equipment and delaying the drying.

Get a Rocket Sports Dryer! Click here

There are tones of products available to help you maintain your equipment. I know not everyone has the space or the cash to spend on extra equipment, but here is by far the best solution for drying your hockey equipment in a limited space and time frame.

Rocket Dryer  

What is the Rocket?

The ROCKET Multi-Function Sport Dryer is a unique and innovative product designed to quickly and effectively dry excess moisture and perspiration from sporting equipment.

Rocket Ice Hockey Sports Heated Equipment Dryer Review – Stop Hockey Gear From Smelling

  • A combination of heat and vented air dries most sporting equipment and clothing within 60 minutes.
  • The drying process significantly reduces unpleasant odors and prevents the buildup of potentially harmful bacteria.
  • The rapid elimination of corrosive sweat also significantly increases the lifespan of sporting equipment, keeping it like new.


How does the Rocket work?

  • Equipment and clothing is hung on a vertical racking system that combines aluminum support bars and S-hooks.
  • The racking system is enclosed within a polyurethane-lined fabric dryer bag.
  • The heater unit heats air inside at a constant 70 degrees Celsius (165 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • A fan circulates air and vents excess moisture to quickly and gently dry equipment and clothing inside and out – even in hard to reach interior areas of skates and gloves that contain a tremendous amounts of bacteria.


How to get the smell out of gloves

If you have especially smelly gloves, it’s a simple case of just adding them into the wash with everything else.

Tip – A quick tip is to add some vinegar into the inside of the gloves to kill the bacterial that is causing the smell.


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