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Goaltending Equipment: Cleaning, Maintenance & Repair

July 22nd, 2013 Seth

Having a solid routine is key for extending the life of your goalie gear and ensures you’re safely protected throughout the game.

Increase Your Gear's Longevity

Goalie Chest Protectors and pants should be hand washed with a mild detergent using cold water. Do not submerge any item underwater, because the gear will not be able to dry properly allowing bacteria and mildew to form in the moist areas. Instead, lightly scrub the items using a sponge, rinsing thoroughly to ensure all of the detergent is rinsed out. Washing machines are not recommended because this can cause premature separation of materials and protective foams reducing protection and life expectancy. Waterproofing treatments such as Scotchguard can be used on your chest protector and goalie pants to help repel moisture and helps keep gear cleaner longer. When using waterproofing spray, make sure you test a small area and make sure you are not allergic to the chemical spray.

As with all goalie gear, the glove and blocker need to be aired out between uses and can be wiped with a damp cloth and treated with water repellent, if desired. Treating the goalie glove and blocker with a disinfectant will help eliminate smell and bacterial growth. Worn out or loose elastic and Velcro strapping should be repaired or replaced to ensure a secure fit for maximum performance.

Leg pads should be allowed to fully dry out between uses and dried upside down, since the bottom of the pad is usually the wettest area and will dry faster when the whole pad is exposed to air instead of resting on the floor.  The leg pads can be cleaned with a damp warm rag and should never be soaked with water. Treating the exterior of the pads with a waterproofing agent like Scotchguard will help repel water off the pad and speed up the drying process. You should always inspect the toe attaching hardware, buckles, and straps and replace when wear or malfunction occurs. A small dab of oil or Vaseline should be used on the strap buckles as well as toe tie screws to limit rusting.

One of the goalies most important pieces of goalie gear is of course the goalie mask. Often overlooked and mistreated, the mask should be a priority when it comes to maintenance, after all this is your head were talking about. If you’re lucky enough to have a mask bag to safely protect your mask while in storage, that’s great; but often sweaty mask are placed in their padded bags and left to rust and harbor bacteria. Goal masks need to be aired out just like all other pieces of gear and should be cleaned with a damp non-abrasive cloth and mild dishwashing soap if needed. Interior foam can be wiped down with a damp cloth and the sweatband can be machine washed and dried. Never use any chemicals or solvents to clean the mask because this can break down the shell construction which will reduce protection. Under no circumstances should the mask be painted by any one other than a factory-authorized painter. In addition, drilling holes, sanding, use of solvents and alterations of any kind will void the warranty and any certification. Before each game you should make sure the mask fits you properly, adjusting the back plate and chin straps as necessary ensuring maximum protection and fit. After each use check for cracks, bent cages, loose screws, broken mask clips, and look for worn padding and frayed straps. Most of the items listed above can be easily repaired, effectively extending the life of your investment; however if cracks in the shell are found you should no longer use the mask and should look into buying a new one.

Last but not least you will want to have all the tools and accessories necessary to make quick repairs to your gear like skate multi tools, pliers, screws, straps, skate laces etc. Make sure to visit Inline and Ice Warehouse for all of your goaltending equipment, parts and accessories.

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