In this article:
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. It’s extremely accessible because it doesn't require much equipment. But of the equipment it does require, wow does it smell!
Every time you step on the field for a practice or game you pour sweat, dirt, grime and germs deep into your cleats and shin guards. And that leads to some pretty nasty odors.
Luckily, Vapor Fresh has you covered. Since 2008 we’ve been developing safe & effective cleaning products for smelly sports gear like soccer equipment. Our products have thousands of 5-star reviews on Amazon. So yea, we know a thing or two about how to clean soccer gear!
Here’s our ultimate guide to cleaning and deodorizing soccer equipment. Follow these tips and tricks and you can say goodbye to smelly soccer gear for good.
Step 1. Start Airing Everything Out Immediately After Use
The longer you allow your sweaty, dirty, smelling soccer equipment to sit in it's own filth, the harder it will be to clean them later and the shorter their lifecycle will be.
Immediately after a practice or game, find a spot with good air flow and allow all your soccer equipment to begin air drying.
Step 2. Use Vapor Fresh Spray On Everything
The first step in cleaning your soccer gear is to choose the right cleaning product. When it comes to cleaning and deodorizing sports gear, Vapor Fresh is second to none. Here are the main reasons you should only use Vapor Fresh to clean your soccer gear:
Won’t Irritate Your Skin
Whatever you spray your soccer gear with will come in direct contact with your skin. Vapor Fresh was formulated with that in mind. Vapor Fresh will not cause any skin, eye or lung irritation unlike most cleaning products on the market, ensuring you can perform at your best.
Specifically Designed To Eliminate Odor From Sports Gear
Unlike traditional cleaning products that are designed to clean hard surfaces like kitchen counters and bathroom tiles, Vapor Fresh Spray is specifically designed to clean and deodorize sports gear in a safe and effective way. Removing sweat odors is a difficult task, but Vapor Fresh is designed to penetrate deep into sports gear, eliminating the odor at its source.
Won’t Ruin Soccer Equipment
Some cleaning products leave sticky, slimy or rough residues behind. Other cleaning products are very corrosive and wear down materials over time. With Vapor Fresh, you never have to worry about these problems - your soccer gear is in good hands!
Plant Based, Zero Harsh Chemicals
Vapor Fresh safely and effectively eliminates sports odors thanks to a proprietary blend of four plant-based essential oils. This plant based cleaning power allows Vapor Fresh to eliminate odors and replace them with subtle fresh scents without the use of harsh, irritating and dangerous chemicals found in nearly all other cleaning products.
Two Convenient Sizes
For frequent users of Vapor Fresh, or people looking to get the most for their money, our standard 16-oz Vapor Fresh Spray is the best. It’s also our best-selling product! For people who want the cleaning power of Vapor Fresh on the go, our 4-oz travel size Vapor Fresh takes up no space at all in your gym bag.
It’s A Versatile & Multipurpose Spray
Vapor Fresh is the perfect spray to clean and deodorize all your sports gear that cannot be washed in the washing machine. It’s an amazing yoga mat cleaning spray and an amazing hockey equipment cleaning spray. It also cleans and deodorizes body armor, helmets, shoes and more. It truly is a multipurpose deodorizing spray.
Best Seller On Amazon
Vapor Fresh has been a bestseller on Amazon since 2013 and over that time has gained thousands of 5-star reviews. It’s proven the test of time. Millions of athletes across the country enjoy fresher, cleaner, more hygienic sports equipment thanks to Vapor Fresh.
Step 3. Clean And Deodorize Your Soccer Cleats
Now that you have the correct sports cleaning spray ready to go, let’s address your smelliest piece of soccer equipment - your cleats.
The first step in cleaning and deodorizing your cleats is to remove the laces and the insole. With those removed, you can first address the outside of your cleats. With a damp microfiber towel, wipe down the entire outside of your cleats to remove grass, dirt and sweat. Be sure to focus on the spikes and the sole of the cleats. If necessary, use an old toothbrush to help loosen the debris.
Next, run your laces and insoles under running water in a sink. Soap is optional, but if you do use soap be sure to rinse all the soap away otherwise you may compromise the integrity of the cleats later. Set the insoles and laces to the side to air dry.
With the insoles and laces still off your cleats, open the tongue of the cleats wide and spray Vapor Fresh in each cleat. Allow the cleats to air dry as well.
Once everything is completely air dried, you can reassemble everything and pack your cleats away for next time.
Step 4. Clean And Deodorize Your Shin Guards
All shin guards are different, so it’s always best to refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning your soccer shin guards. But in general, we recommend simply spraying your shin guards down with Vapor Fresh on both sides and allowing them to air dry completely before storing them away for next use.
Most shin guards are machine washable, so for deep cleans, you can certainly toss them in a gentle cycle in the washing machine. But as long as you’re spraying your shin guards with Vapor Fresh after every use, these deep cleans can be infrequent. We would still recommend air drying and avoiding the dryer because extreme external heat from dryers and blow dryers can warp some materials and compromise the shin guards.
Step 5. If You’re A Goalie, Clean And Deodorize Your Goalie Gloves
Goalie gloves are one of the more technical pieces of soccer equipment. Therefore the cleaning process is very particular in order to preserve their performance.
Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, but in general you’re going to want to stick with warm water to clean your goalkeeper gloves. No soap and no washing machine.
After every use, simply run your goalie gloves under warm water - NOT hot water - in a sink. Be sure to get the inside and outside of the gloves, but don’t rub the gloves together as that could compromise the padding, latex and grip. This is also why you want to avoid putting them in the washing machine, because you cannot control how they come in contact with each other.
After rinsing them off, spray some Vapor Fresh inside the gloves and allow them to air dry. Do not use external heat or sunlight as they may warp the materials and cause cracking which decreases protection and performance.
Step 6. Allow Everything To Air Dry Prior To Storing Away
It’s important to allow everything to air dry completely and naturally prior to storing things away back in your soccer bag. Germs thrive in dark and moist environments, so packing away your gear while it’s still wet gives germs a prime environment to thrive. You worked very hard to eliminate these germs and the odors they cause, so make sure you finish the job by allowing everything to dry completely.
Additionally, it’s important to allow everything to air dry naturally and avoid using blow dryers, dryers, sunlight, radiators and any other external heat sources. These heat sources are extreme and can quickly and easily warp and deform materials. This will quickly degrade your equipment and significantly shorten their lifespan. So avoid these heat sources at all costs.
Can Soccer Equipment Go In The Washing Machine?
Every once in a while you may want to do a deep cleaning of your soccer gear, and the washing machine is the easiest and most convenient way to do so. But not everything can go in the washing machine:
✅Safe to put in washing machine:
Soccer Bag (zippered shut)
Jersey (inside out)
Shin Guards (straps closed or removed)
❌Not safe to put in washing machine:
Prevention Is The Name Of The Game
Sweat and odor builds up over time. The more there is and the longer it’s there for, the harder it is to clean away. That’s why it’s important to clean your soccer gear immediately after use every single time. With Vapor Fresh, it’s very easy so you have no excuse not to!
Trust Your Soccer Equipment Cleaning With Vapor Fresh
Next time you finish up a tough soccer match, trust Vapor Fresh to clean and deodorize your gear to keep it in tip top shape. Vapor Fresh is trusted by soccer players nationwide because it’s the safest, easiest and most effective way to keep your gear fresh. We’ve got your back!