Eliminate Rink Stink: Get Rid of that Hockey Smell For Good

Whether you play in a house league or in the NHL, hockey equipment is essential for protection and performance. Unfortunately, hockey gear is synonymous with a certain “hockey smell” or noxious odour, which is often the reason it’s stored in the garage between games. Though “rink stink” is a joke amongst teammates, it’s caused by something much more serious – bacteria – , which can also damage your equipment and cause harmful health problems. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of keeping your hockey equipment clean and sanitized.


hockey players

If you’ve ever tried to cover up hockey odour with an air freshener or spray and been unsuccessful, you’re not alone. Many people assume that “hockey smell” is caused from heavy perspiration or “working hard on the ice,” when it’s actually caused by bacteria. Bacteria like to eat consumables, like sweat, and when this “feasting” is compounded, the gear emits an obnoxious odour which takes a sanitization process to remove.

In addition to producing an unpleasant odour, these microbes can wreak havoc on your equipment and cause deterioration. Over time this can compromise your equipment’s protective components and leave you at risk for injury when hit or cross-checked. Thoroughly cleaning your gear will ensure it lasts longer so both your financial investment and physical well-being are protected.

Hockey Goalie

Proper sanitization can also help prevent more serious illnesses. When certain microbes come into contact with bruises, cuts, or abrasions, they can cause serious skin conditions like uncomfortable rashes or staph infections. Left untreated, some staph infections can even lead to necrotizing fasciitis, which can be life-threatening. Simply cleaning your equipment once a season can eliminate the risk of contracting a bacterial infection.

Though you can clean your hockey gear at home, it can be time intensive and ineffective. We recommend using a professional like Athletic Clean or Gibson’s HockeyClean services to do the job. Our HockeyClean service is an eco-friendly and hygienic process which treats and cleans hockey helmets, pants, boots, shoulder pads, skates, gloves, and other specialty gear, including goalie pads. We use a formula which has been clinically proven by the Mount Sinai Microbiology department to eliminate 100% of microbes while being environmentally safe and hypoallergenic. After we pre-treat your hockey equipment with this formula, our team will wash it in cold water and send it through an “Air Raider Chamber” or a dry environment with less than 2% moisture.

Hockey Skates

 

How often should you clean your equipment? Cleaning is based on frequency of play. We recommend recreational players have their gear cleaned at least once a year, and every six weeks for competitive players. In between cleans there are several steps you can take to keep your gear safe. Remember to shower with soap and warm water after every game. You can also purchase disinfectant wipes and wipe down your helmet and non-washable gear after each game or practice.

 

 

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Linley McConnell

Written by Linley McConnell