How to clean lacrosse gloves

Lacrosse requires a lot of gear, including gloves and pads. Lacrosse gloves protect players’ hands during play, while the pads protect the knees, ankles, elbows, and shins. Both pieces of protective gear are made from high-quality materials designed to last for years if properly cared for. 

Because there’s no way to prevent your gloves and pads from getting dirty, it’s essential to learn how to care for them so they last as long as possible. 

Read on to learn how to clean lacrosse gloves and pads. 

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In this article, we’ll cover:

Yes, you can wash lacrosse gloves and pads. In fact, you should wash your gloves and pads. This ensures your gear stays in good condition for as long as possible.

If you have a leather glove, it’s important to treat it with a special conditioning product before washing it. Leather conditioners contain oils to keep the leather (and your glove) soft. When you don’t use the right products on your leather glove, you’ll likely see a significant decrease in playability after washing.

One of the easiest ways to wash your lacrosse gloves and pads is by hand washing them in warm water with mild soap. Ensure no other products are in the water. Harsh cleaners and chemicals can damage your gear. 

How often you should wash your lacrosse pads and gloves depends on how much they’re used, the weather, and how sweaty they get. If you play in humid or hot areas or sweat a lot when playing, it may be necessary to wash your pads more often.

Looking for solutions to help keep lacrosse gear from smelling? Here are some quick tips:

  • Store your lacrosse sticks in their own bag or bucket when they’re not being used. This keeps them from getting dusty and dirty and allows them to breathe.
  • Wipe the inside and outside of your helmet after each use. Store it out of direct sunlight so it doesn’t get too hot.
  • Don’t leave wet gear anywhere for more than an hour without thoroughly drying it.
  • Use a cleaning spray specifically formulated for gear.
  • Clean elbow and shoulder pads and store them unstrapped.

Don’t forget the deep clean! You don’t need to do it every day – or even every week – but an occasional deep clean will keep your gear in top shape. 

Most of your equipment won’t fit in the washer and dryer (and the heat can damage some of it) but you can use a bucket or bathtub to soak everything.  

Note that some of the bigger pieces can take a couple days to fully dry, so time your deep clean accordingly, or you’ll end up with wet pieces during your next practice or game.

Learning how to wash your lacrosse gloves is easy – you just want to use mild detergent and warm water. You can either machine wash them on a gentle cycle or fill up a sink, bathtub, or bucket with lukewarm water and add liquid detergent. After a good soak and a thorough rinse, your gloves will be (almost) as good as new! The process is easy – just follow the steps below. 

1. Fill a bathtub or sink with warm water and mix in detergent

Fill a bathtub or sink with warm (not hot!) water – hot water can damage leather. 

Mix in detergent – remember to use a mild detergent. If your lacrosse gloves are very dirty, adding a bit more detergent is OK. Don’t use bleach or fabric softener. These will break down your gloves and cause discoloration.

Use a mild soap directly on your gloves before rinsing them off for extra cleanliness. Dish soap is acidic enough to cut through stains and any grease buildup without damaging most of your gear. However, be careful when using dish soap on anything made of leather. 

It's important not to overdo it here since leather doesn’t like to be soaked in too much water for too long.

2. Rinse the gloves to wash off dirt and mud

Rinse the gloves thoroughly to wash off any caked-on dirt or mud.  

3. Soak the gloves for 10-15 minutes

Soak the gloves in soapy water until they’re clean. If they’re exceptionally dirty, you can leave them longer. Rinse off the soap.

4. Put the gloves on and squeeze them to remove more dirt

Put the gloves on and squeeze them to remove more dirt.  

5. Scrub the exterior with a brush

The outside of your lacrosse gloves and pads require regular cleaning as well. You can do this with a soft-bristled brush. Just make sure you don’t scrub too hard, or you might cause damage.

Use a brush, sponge, or toothbrush for this step – any of these can effectively clean equipment without damaging it. Be sure to rinse the brushes thoroughly between each use.

6. Lay the gloves out to air dry

The final step in cleaning lacrosse gloves is letting them air dry. Never put your gloves in the dryer because heat and moisture can cause the leather to crack, warp, or otherwise become damaged. You also don’t want to hang them on a hot radiator or heater or in direct sunlight, as this may cause discoloration and fading over time.

Other Options for Washing Lacrosse Gloves

Looking for additional ways to keep your lacrosse gloves in the best condition? You can:

  • Wash your lacrosse gloves in a washing machine on the lowest cycle.
  • Use disinfectant spray, wipes, or gels to clean them, if desired.
  • Use disinfectant soap, if desired.

You can wash the pads in the washing machine, but hand-washing them with warm water and mild soap is a great method that can help avoid damaging them. 

To hand wash, place your pads in a bathtub or sink filled with warm water and mild detergent. Let them soak for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing gently with a brush. Finally, air-dry your clean lacrosse gear. 

Note that if you want to use a washing machine, be sure you’re using the gentle cycle and cold or warm water (not hot).

Can I wash lacrosse pads in the washing machine?

Yes, you can wash your lacrosse pads in a washing machine. Just check with the manufacturer first because some may have special instructions for proper care. 

How do you deep clean lacrosse gloves?

Wash your gloves with a brush. First, scrub away dirt, stains, and bacteria inside your glove. Next, disinfect with an antimicrobial cleaner or disinfectant spray. Cleaning products for sports equipment won't damage your gloves or cause discoloration. If you don't have antimicrobial cleaners, it's OK to use a disinfectant wipe for quick cleaning in between deep cleans.  

How do you hand wash lacrosse gear?

To hand wash lacrosse gear, you'll need the following:

  • Warm water
  • Mild detergent (dish soap works well)
  • A soft brush or sponge to gently scrub the gear

How do you deodorize gloves?

Try a deodorant spray if the other methods or products don’t remove the odor.

Spray your gloves with a deodorizing spray (like Febreze) or use an essential oil like lavender or citrus to kill the odor. You can also put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a dryer sheet and toss it in your glove bag for continued freshness.

Activated charcoal is another option for deodorizing gloves. Activated charcoal powder mixed with water or vinegar can be an excellent cleaning solution. Just be sure to use unscented charcoal, as scented ones may attract more bacteria/odors over time.

How do you deep clean gloves?

Use a brush or toothbrush to scrub the surface. Focus on the areas with grooves and seams that dirt can hide in. Next, clean the inside of your gloves with a sponge or cloth, making sure to get deep into the gloves. Soak in water with detergent overnight, then rinse and allow to dry completely. 

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