Gloves are at the core of lacrosse, and so is gloves getting dirty. Cleaning your lacrosse gloves is a requirement if you intend to play the sport, unless you don’t mind hours upon hours of built-up sweat and grime rubbing against your hands nonstop, in which case you might be a sociopath and have bigger issues than dirty gloves. But assuming you’re a functioning human, how do you wash your lacrosse gloves?
How to Clean Your Lacrosse Gloves
The first questions you have to answer are: how dirty are the gloves, and in what ways are they dirty? The answers to those questions will affect what you should do.
It rained during your last game, and you have some mud on the outside of your gloves. Perhaps you haven’t used your gloves in a while, and they’ve collected some dust. Maybe there are some scuffs on them from getting repeatedly slashed.
If some dirt or marks on the outside of your gloves is the issue, then a mixture of warm water and a little soap will go a long way. If you get to washing the lacrosse gloves quickly, a paper towel should take off most of the big chunks and grime. To deal with some of those tougher dirt stains, you can use an old toothbrush to scrub them away.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you label the toothbrush you use for cleaning your lacrosse gloves or other equipment. You do not want to stick that thing in your mouth after what it’s seen.
Assuming your gloves aren’t giving off a strong stench and are just run-of-the-mill dirty, this approach should work pretty well.
Your Gloves Are Very Stinky
The problem is deeper than general dirt. Your nose has been made very aware of this. It’s time to bring in the big guns.
Warm water and a toothbrush will not remove that smelly smell that smells. You can’t wash that off. You have to wash it out.
There are products out there specifically designed to kill those odor-causing bacteria. If your gloves – or other gear – are getting to the point where the stench is that powerful, the home solutions aren’t going to cut it. Invest in a serious cleaner. There are plenty of options, from sprays to detergents and more.
And if your gloves are that rank, don’t feel bad. It doesn’t mean you’re a smelly person (although you could be, we don’t know you). It means you’re working hard in practice and in games. That stink has been earned.
The Problem Is Interior
Maybe the outside of your gloves isn’t the issue, and the smell isn’t too out of control – it’s the palms that are the problem.
How to handle washing the palms of your lacrosse gloves depends on the material. Synthetic palms can be washed the same way as the outside of the glove: with a good ol’ toothbrush and warm water. But real leather palms might not be so receptive to warm water. If those are what you’re working with, use less water and focus on using the toothbrush to scrub away most of the dirt.
If your leather palms dry out and get crusty, a little natural shea butter can make a big difference. Be careful, though. Don’t overdo it with the shea butter, because that can cause the palms to become slick and greasy, which will make keeping a grip of your stick the next time out an adventure.
Take Care of Your Equipment
Lacrosse gear isn’t cheap, and it’s in your best interest to take good care of it. Whether it’s your gloves, cleats, bucket, pads, stick or head, you want them to last as long as possible. One way to help ensure the longevity and quality of your head is by using FlexForce.
Laxers have been forced to come up with creative ways to keep their heads wide: tuna cans, hockey pucks, softballs and more have been popularized. But none of those things were made to keep your head in shape, and they offer unknown variables that can’t be counted on. FlexForce is specifically designed, tested and manufactured to correctly and uniformly widen a lacrosse head back to a game-legal, desired distance, giving you that extra edge and making your equipment last for the long haul.