The rise of player safety in the sport over the last decade has drawn more attention to properly wearing – and the point of this post, caring for – football equipment. Bacteria gathers throughout pads, apparel, and shirts after just one practice; storing dirty items in a humid locker room accounts for bacteria to spread easily.
I have found that using a product called Natures Miracle is just that – a miracle. I purchased this product at the pet store, favoring the Stain & Odor remover. Having used the product on pads and gear belonging to both of my sons, it is useful in several different ways
- Spray directly on ‘dry fit’ and both game and practice uniforms.
- Put a capful in the washer, and wash clothing as directed.
- Fill a spray bottle halfway with product and remainder with water. Spray directly onto the helmet, shoulder pads, and knee/thigh pads.
- Fill up a sink with hot water and pour 2 capfuls in. Soak your athlete’s gloves for about an hour. Rinse with water and hang dry.
- If you have a time period of about 48 hours, you can submerge a helmet and all pads in a bathtub with a few capfuls. Rinse with water and air dry.
If you cannot find the product, there’s still a solution for you. At least once a week, take your equipment and spread it evenly outside, and allow it to bake in the sun. This is also a great way to kill bacteria and is especially beneficial during spring ball and summer practices.
Reasons for cleaning your equipment:
- It keeps your gear in top condition – if not cleaned, bacteria and germs form quickly.
- Clean gear simply feels better. Keeping your gear clean keeps your athlete and his teammates healthy.
- This is an easy one: dirty gear smells awful – clean gear means smelling good.
- Look good + feel good = play good – confidence plays a major factor in football.
Your athlete’s clean gear and pads will be noticed and others on his team may start to follow suit, which means an even smaller risk for bacteria spread and the scare of staph infections.
By Debbie Crusco @DebbieCrusco