How to clean football equipment

By Vanessa Mejia | Posted 11/29/2018

"If you smell bad, you're going to play bad." No, I didn't come up with that. Although I wish I had. I actually heard one of No. 1's high school football coaches say that last week ... right after he begged them to, "Please, please wash your pads."

If there's anything I've learned in my first few weeks as a high school football mama, it's that the stink struggle is real.

So what can you and your player do to help cut down on the terrible smell that is tackle football? Here's what works in our house:

Air it out. Don't leave equipment (i.e. pads, helmets, gloves) in the trunk of your car. Moisture harbors bacteria. Bacteria = funk. Remove all equipment from the car after each and every practice and game. Leave it in your mudroom, garage or even on your porch. Fresh air works wonders.

Wipe it down. Use an antibacterial wipe to wipe down shoulder pads, chin straps and the inside of helmets at least once a week. Every other day is ideal, especially if your football player is prone to break outs.

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Wash it frequently. Practice jerseys, uniforms, girdles and gloves. There is not a worse smell in the world. Seriously. Don't forget to add them to your weekly cycle of laundry. Yes, even gloves can be thrown in the washer. Once washed, hang them up and allow to air dry. Do not put them in the dryer. Unless of course, coach would be OK with them wearing a melted number ...

FEBREZE. It will be your BFF during the season, I promise. Spray their equipment, spray their uniform, spray your car, spray them. Just kidding, please don't spray them.

Don't forget about mouthguards. A little dish soap, a toothbrush and warm water is all you need.

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I hope you found this post helpful. What are your tips to avoid having to ride with all the windows down in 95-degree heat after picking your kid up from practice?

Vanessa Mejia is the mother of three football-playing boys, ages 14, 13 and 10, and lives in northern Virginia. Her boys also play basketball, soccer and track and field. She shares Team Mom ideas, tips and tricks along with other facets of her family’s life away from the football field. Read more of her work at https://confessionsofasportsmama.blogspot.comYou can also join her and hundreds of other football-loving moms in the Confessions of a Sports Mama Facebook Group.