For many people around the world, and for Canadians in particular, hockey forms a part of our national identity. Festering in dark places, it causes everything from skin rashes to marriage break-up. Yet statistics show that over 50% of Canadian households suffer from the terrible affliction known to medical science as “Hockey Glove Smell,” a most afflicting cause! Don’t let this smell rain on your parade. Follow these steps to get rid of your hockey glove smell!
1. Try the sunlight cure.
Who knew! The answer was there, all along. The sun itself can be a solution to Hockey Glove Smell! When you get home from hockey, put your gloves outside on the porch, front or back, it doesn’t matter, as long as your gloves will get a few hours of sun. That can be all that it takes.
“How can it be?”, you say. How can I cure Hockey Glove Smell with just the sun? The magic secret is bleaching. If you dropped your gloves in a laundry sink full of Javex, you could be well on your way to solving the problem of smell with a chemical solution. The problem with bleach is that it’s expensive, bad for the environment, and makes your hands wrinkly after you wear the gloves. Do we need to suffer wrinkly hands to save our marriages? No! Just let the sun bleach your gloves for you.
But I do know that the ancient Greek Heroes like Achilles didn’t have Javex bleach, but they didn’t suffer from Leather Armour Smell, because they would take their armour off when they weren’t fighting, and leave it to dry in the sun!
2. Use moisture from rain.
There are your poor gloves, tattered and worn, veterans of 1,000 futile, brave, rushes up the ice into the jaws of defeat. Rain can be good for them. Soft, innocent rain falling from the sky can rinse away the blood and the sweat and the tears of Canada’s National Pastime. Just make sure you bring your gloves in for a day to dry off before your next game.
3. Try drying them indoors.
If you want to get rid of Hockey Glove Smell (HGS) with sunlight, but you live somewhere where sunlight is uncommon, you might have a problem. How can you cure Hockey Glove Smell in a dark space? Make sure that you give your gloves plenty of air.
Try using a little drying rack placed over a heating vent in the winter. Even if you don’t have forced air heat, just laying your gloves somewhere safe, but outside your hockey bag, will keep them from getting smelly.
You can buy sports equipment rack ‘drying trees’ to help with this indoor solution. This is great idea as a way to dry out not only your gloves, but also the rest of your equipment! If your gloves smell bad, chances are the rest of your equipment is not in much better shape. Use a drying tree to help avoid this problem in the future.
Remember: if you leave your gloves in your hockey bag overnight, then you’ll need to wash them if you wish to remain in a stable, loving relationship.
4. Use a hair dryer.
The rich and famous! They certainly sweat, and they have to wear hockey gloves for hours and hours every day. How do NHL players get rid of Hockey Glove Smell? Most hockey players change their gloves in between periods. Some even change them during a period, like Patrick Kane.
Patrick Kane uses three pair of gloves, and each pair is numbered and they go in sequence. “If we gave him a pair of gloves out of sequence, he wouldn’t even know or care. But we’re always very careful that we give him the gloves in the right sequence,” says the Chicago Blackhawks equipment manager Troy Parchman.
In the playoffs, or when playing in the Southern arenas, Parchman will even take the wet gloves and give them a quick dry with a hair dryer, and chuck them over the glass back to Kane, if he needs more than three gloves in a period. After games, all the players throw their gloves in specialized glove dryers. So there you have it! If you can’t afford a specialized glove dryer (because you likely can’t, as you are likely not in the NHL), try using a hair dryer to dry the sweat out before it starts to create a stink.
5. Use a washing machine or go to a dry cleaner.
Try washing your hockey gloves in a standard washing machine. If they have a few seasons of use in them, you might want to consider washing them by themselves, or only with other pieces of your hockey equipment! We can’t be having cross contamination going on here, and chances are pretty high that they have become quite smelly in that period of time.
If you are afraid of the effects a washing machine might have on a very expensive pair of gloves, consider having them dry-cleaned, where the professionals will take good care of your gloves. Dry cleaners save wedding dresses worth thousands of dollars every day, they can surely take care of your gloves for you!
6. Use an odor spray.
People before you have experienced this problem before, you can be sure of that! There are several odor sprays out on the market that are specifically designed for combating unpleasant smells in your sporting gear. If your equipment does not smell too bad, this can be a quick fix solution, but chances are it will not be a permanent solution.
You can also try sports deodorizer balls. This solution is most common for using in your hockey skates, but this can be a great way to avoid chemical sprays: simply pop these balls into your gloves after games and forget about them until the next match!
7. Wear layers.
This is a good strategy to use for any aspect of your hockey gear. Under Armour is a popular sports brand specializing in a range of products you can wear under your equipment. Chances are this will be much easier to wash than washing all of your equipment at once!
For your gloves, try wearing a pair of latex or nylon gloves over your hands. The source of the bad smell will be your sweat, and if you can stop this from seeping into your gloves, you can stop the problem at its source! Prevention at its finest.
So there you have it. Either you get paid millions as a hockey entertainer and your staff take care of your wet gloves, or you live in a sun challenged area and use the movement of air, or you can let a couple of hours of sunlight quickly sterilize your wet hockey gloves, and save your main love relationship. No more listening to your gloves banging around in the washing machine after midnight.