You can’t fully get rid of that very distinct and pungent hockey smell, but you can minimize it if you take these steps recommended by our favorite purveyor of hockey equipment, Marty Chase, of Slapshot Sports in Colorado Springs, CO. (Disclaimer: These are tips from the opinion of one person after a lot of trial and error. Try at your own risk.)

  1. Never store your equipment in your bag overnight. Unpack it as soon as possible. Let it air out!
  2. If at all possible lay your gear in the sun (Warning: This can fade colors.). Although sunlight is our favorite option; if it’s raining or overcast most of the time we recommend that you buy a Rocket Dryer. Rocket Dryers are especially great if you play more than once a day.
  3. To prevent your equipment from getting crusty from sweat and kill bacteria you should mix this semi-magical elixir and spray it on your gear before and after playing (this works on wet and dry equipment). In a spray bottle mix equal parts: water, liquid fabric softener, and Natures Miracle (you may need to go to a pet store for that last ingredient).
  4. Every 3-4 times you play put a thin layer of shaving gel/cream on your arms and legs. This may sound weird, but there is a reason to our madness. Your sweat carries the antibacterial agents into the pads which not only reduces odor, but also prevents skin irritation.
  5. Everything except your skates, helmet, and pants can be washed in your dishwasher. But do not use detergent (it contains bleach and it will burn!), and do not use the dry cycle. Stick to the rinse cycle and you’ll be golden! Then let it air dry in the sun or a Rocket Dryer.
  6. Make some room in your freezer for your skates, gloves, elbow, and shin guards. Freezing them overnight kills bacteria which causes odor.
  7. For short term odor relief sprinkle baking soda on your equipment (keep off skate blades to avoid long term corrosion).

When all is said and done you can only fight that hockey smell so much; so embrace it as the scent of glory.


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