How to Keep Sports Gear Looking (and Smelling!) Good as New

POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff

Whether you're a soccer mom or the mom to an aspiring gymnast, lugging around stinky sports equipment isn't pretty. The last thing you want is for your house or your car (or your kids!) to start smelling like mildew. Not sure how to care for tougher gear like cleats and gym bags? Ahead, we're breaking it down for you.

01
Shin Guards
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff

Shin Guards

To get shin guards clean, follow the manufacturer's instructions and wash them at least once a month using a gentle washing machine cycle. If they are plastic on the outside, you can pop them in a pillowcase that zips up. It's best to air-dry outdoors. If sweaty, you may soak them in the washing machine for 15 to 20 minutes. Remember to remove shin guards or any other sweaty item from your gear bag as soon as possible and let them dry out to minimize the development of odors.

02
Cloth or Nylon Gym Bags
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff

Cloth or Nylon Gym Bags

Your gear lives in a gym bag, making it the breeding ground for all things smelly. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning. If you've just used the bag, allow it to air-dry before cleaning. If it's machine washable, wash with mild detergent in the hottest water possible and air-dry. If it's not machine washable, use mild detergent to spot-clean. You may use antibacterial wipes or sports bag sprays after cleaning and allow to dry.

03
Uniforms
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff

Uniforms

Grass can be the most stubborn stain you'll encounter. You should always follow care label instructions and treat stains with an enzymatic stain remover, like OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover. For best results, soak for one to six hours to let it work its magic before washing.

04
Leotards
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff

Leotards

Leotards are probably the most straightforward because they're basically normal clothing. They can be washed on a soaking cycle in the machine or in a tub/sink. After washing, twist gently and let air-dry.

05
Clothes
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff

Clothes

Sweat stains on sports bras and workout clothes like t-shirts can be difficult to remove, but not if you use a strong spot treatment. While following care label instructions, treat the stain with a strong stain remover and let sit for 10 minutes before washing as usual.

06
Soccer Cleats
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff

Soccer Cleats

You don't want to get muddy cleats anywhere near the rest of your clean laundry. Knock off any excess dirt and wipe down with a wet rag. Then leave them in the sun to dry.

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