How to Clean Your Lacrosse Pads

Follow these tips to help preserve the life of your lacrosse gloves, elbow pads and shoulder pads.

It’s the middle of your lacrosse season. After a particularly heated practice, you walk into your room and open up your gear bag to grab something. Then it happens: you are engulfed in a cloud of odor from your lacrosse pads.

Your play on the field doesn’t stink. Why should your pads?

In the midst of a busy season, lacrosse players might forget to clean their pads. But it’s important for you — and those around you — to do some regular cleaning to keep the odor to a minimum and help preserve the life of your lacrosse equipment.

“This is a really important step that a lot of lacrosse players neglect, myself included,” says Greg Kenneally, president and co-founder of East Coast Dyes Lacrosse. “I’m guilty of it. But it is something you should not overlook.”

The first thing to remember is to never leave your gear zipped in your bag or car overnight. Your pads need to air out. Take them out of your bag and place the pads in a cool, dry place after every practice and game.

“That’s going to let them dry completely,” Kenneally says. “So this will help them last longer, help them not smell as bad and also [help] make sure you are not building up bacteria.”

Once every few months, you should give your pads and gloves some extra TLC and do a full wash. Two of the most common ways to wash your pads include:

  • Taking your gear and running it through the washing machine on a gentle cycle with a little detergent. Make sure to check the labels of your gear to confirm that they are machine washable.
  • Hand washing your gear. To wash elbow and shoulders pads, soak and gently scrub them in cool water. You can use a mild detergent if needed. For gloves, wipe the outside down with a damp cloth and rinse the palm with cold water.

No matter what cleaning method you choose, it’s crucial to dry your gear properly. Never put pads in the dryer, as this can damage the material or cause them to shrink. Instead, lay your pads out and give them time to air dry. If you wash your gloves, it can be helpful to stuff newspaper inside to help absorb water from the palm and inside of the glove.

You use your lacrosse gear a lot, so it’s important to take good care of it. By cleaning your pads regularly, you can help them last longer and make stinky lacrosse pads a thing of the past.