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DryingMost hockey players, as well as their equipment bags, smell God-awful. This is because they simply toss their wet gear in their equipment bag in the garage and leave it until the next time they play. Even NHL dressing rooms have a stench you have to experience to comprehend.
You should hang your gear up on a rack to let it air dry immediately upon returning home from the rink. Hanging gear outside in direct sunlight periodically will help destroy aerobic bacteria (sunlight contains lots of UV radiation which kills bacteria).
Another option is a PowerDry bag from Shock Doctor. This bag, which was made in wheeled and non-wheeled verions, and is roomy enough to dry hockey pants, shoulderpads, and shin guards together. It will also accomodate a goalie chest protector and goalie pants. The Power Dry blower(at right in photo) can be set to use ionized air, heat, or both, and has a timer with a three hour maximum. You will have to look hard for this product since they stopped making them.
A newer alternative/replacement is the Rocket Sports Dryer which also does an excellent job using ionized air and mild (70 degrees Fahenheit) heat to dry the equipment quickly and kill bacteria. It is large enough to accomodate a goalie chest protector, goalie pants, and knee pads at the same time. The timer goes up to three hours.
I use both and they both work extremely well.
Hockey gear can and should be washed periodically. Even when using one of the drying methods described above, over time salt builds up on the gear and needs to be removed. Jerseys,undergarments, cups, ,kneepads, socks, and removable padding (such as from shin guards) can and should be washed after use. Use the low (or no) agitation cycle of your washing machine. Air dry all of the gear, especially jerseys with heat-pressed letters and numbers. (putting them in a dryer causes the lettering to fall off).
Large pieces of equipment, such as hockey pants, shoulder pads, and goalie chest protectors should be washed. You can do this in your bath tub. Put the gear in a tub with one of the detergents described below, put the piece of equipment in the soapy water and agitate it by hand for about a 30 seconds. Let the gear sit for about an hour. Drain the tub, and re-fill it with clear water. Agitate the gear for 30 seconds then let it soak for about an hour. Let the gear sit in the empty tub for several hours to drain off most of the water remaining in the equipment. Then hang it outside in direct sunlight or use one of the equipment drying methods described above.
Do NOT wash any product made with Kevlar® in normal household detergent. It degrades the properties of Kevlar®. Instead use either Wins Sports Detergent or Atsko Sports-Wash. Neither product will harm Kevlar®. You should also use either product on any garment that uses wicking technology (all Under Armour garments, Reebok Speedwick® garments, and Nike Dri-Fit® garments). These products are also suitable to wash all your hockey gear.
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