Monday, March 26, 2012

How to wash your pads

Ok. The basics to having unstinky gear.
This is a post I wrote a while ago when I started, full of ideas and research. Down below is what my routine has evolved into after a year and a half of trial and error.

1) Go home after practice and pull everything out of your bag.
2) Lay everything out in a place that has good air circulation. Ideally, a covered porch or in front of the dehumidifier in the basement. Others will hook things around their shower curtain rod (or hang them from their ceiling tiles) with the fan running. Make sure the sweaty sides are exposed.

Extra tips:
- Spray with something alcoholic (really cheap vodka) or an enzyme spray (Nature's Miracle, Funk Out something or other) to kill bacteria and decompose biological warfare components.
- Some people on Etsy also make satchels filled with super absorbant polymers and baking soda that you can toss in your bag for the ride home. They aren't a solution, just a small help.
- I have also seen a "pad tree" made with perforated PVC tubes on ropes that you can put your pads on and hang somewhere to help aerate them. You keep it in your gym bag and put your crap on it as you take it off, then just pull it out and hang it up when you get home.
- Gaskets can stand up nicely around old bottles so you don't have one side covered by the other.
- Nevereverevereverever spray with Febreze, perfume, or anything else with a lot of added odor or I will hunt you down and kick you in the jimmies.

1) Make sure all of your pads are turned inside out, with the velcros well attached. This includes removable helmet paddings.
2) Toss in a washing machine with 1/2 cup chlorine bleach, and run with enough cold/warm water to cover them. I don't use soap because I don't want to have to get all the soap off. Leftover bleach will just evaporate.
3) Lay out to dry like you do every night.

Tips: I don't use hot water nor the dryer because heat will help the padding decompose faster.
Some people also put everything inside a garment bag or old pillow case to keep velcros from coming undone and snagging.

1) buy new shit! I'm supposedly on a rotating schedule where I'll replace one piece of gear every two months so I don't get hit with sticker shock.

1) Never leave your gear in your plastic gym bag! Shit will get moldy, you will get an infection, and people will hate you and your stench.
2) Never leave your gear in your car! The extreme heat will again decompose your pads, but more importantly will warp your skates.
3) I told you already, scents. Skating in a pace line behind someone with funk is bad. Skating behind someone with funk AND horribly strong perfume (which some of us are allergic to!) will lead me to violence.

1) "flipping your pads inside out" does not mean digging out the padding. It means leaving the side that goes against your skin as exposed as possible. Not all pads are reversible (my 187 elbows and some slip on wrists aren't), so meh. You do what you can with what you've got.
2) Shells don't need to come off. I actually have never personally seen pads with removable shells, so I don't know how detrimental this is to the integrity of the pad.
3) "Covering the velcro" doesn't mean using tape. Just make sure every strap is well matched up with its other half, so that the snaggy plastic side has as little exposure as possible

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