More often than not, most athletes rarely take the time to even consider washing their gear. They do not even think twice about it either. In a sport like hockey where there is so much gear to be worn, it is essential and crucial that you take the time to clean it. Not cleaning your hockey gear could give you a whole host of problems. Some that you might not expect.
The Staph Infection
The staph infection, also known as MRSA is more than a possibility to contract if you do not take care of your equipment properly. Why? When you take weeks and months without cleaning your hockey gear, it becomes a breeding ground for nasty bacteria. This poses a risk on your body and the health of others. For instance, MRSA starts in your nose and on your skin. Allowing bacteria to build in your equipment while having an open wound or cut could allow MRSA to get into your blood stream and cause boils and more.
Wait There’s More
If the staph infection was not enough to make you start washing your equipment, strep throat could be. Strep is an infection in the throat that is caused by bacteria and is mainly viral (almost 90%). If you are constantly sitting in your filth, then the chances of you spreading this infection is much greater. Do yourself and your teammates a favor and get to washing.
The Norwalk Virus
The Norwalk Virus in locker rooms and equipment is a breeding ground and a problem in the makings. This virus is similar to the stomach flu so people will often mistake it for that. The symptoms can include stomach pain, vomiting, weakness, and more. Once again, this virus can be stopped from spreading and contracting by simply washing your gear more often.
In conclusion, these are only some of the problems that can come when you do not wash your hockey gear. Things such as ringworm are also possibilities. Furthermore, if you want to wash your gear it is easy. Simply take your pads out from the uniform and gear and put them in a regular wash setting. When washing them you might want to be careful and tuck away any loose ends so that they do not stick to other clothing. Also, it is okay to put them in with other clothing items but once again be careful that they do not stick because that just gets annoying. When the equipment finishes washing, air dry them with a rack or whatever you can find to hang them on. In terms of the padding, those should be hand washed because putting them in the washer will do more harm than good. This is easy. Just get some warm water and laundry detergent and mix them together. Once you have given them a good mix you can go ahead and start scrubbing your gear. My suggestion would be to take a little extra time out of your week and do this. Also, it does not make you less of a man if you don’t have some gnarly smelling equipment.