Does your Equipment Stink?
The build up of bacteria, mold and fungus causes the foul odor in sports equipment. The gear absorbs sweat, blood, mucus and dead skin. Hockey equipment is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria because it often doesn't get dried properly. Bacteria can lead to infections such as Hepatitis, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Some infections can be very severe and can cause young athletes to become critically ill. The same growing bacteria also cause the equipment to rot.
Research indicates that the majority of athletes and their parents are not aware of the cause of the odor or the risks of wearing contaminated equipment. The smell is often ignored and chalked up as being part of the game.
Regular cleaning and disinfecting of hockey gear is important to protect athletes from contaminated equipment. Besides infections, many young athletes have experienced skin irritation and rashes from contaminated equipment that are difficult to treat and often requiring medical attention.
Hockey equipment will continue to generate odor until the bacteria are physically removed by using powerful cleaners & technology. Various companies produce sprays that claim to remove the odor however ultimately these deodorizers fail because they don't take into account the reason behind the smell - the equipment is contaminated and needs cleaned.
Cleaning frequency: depends on the age of the player, how much they sweat and how often they play.
On Average: 10 and under - once per season and 11 and over - 2-3 times per season (however let your nose be the guide)
Tips for Equipment Maintenance:
Remember: Smell = Contamination