Ice hockey is a highly gripping sport with lots of tackling, pushes, and hustles. Getting all drenched in sweat while playing on an ice rink might seem strange, but it is one of the biggest reasons you must wash your jersey routinely to keep it fresh.
The best way to clean your hockey uniforms is to give them a gentle spin in the washing machine. Unless, if your jerseys are embossed with signatures it is better to hand wash your precious hockey gear.
But before you begin washing your hockey jerseys, read our best tips and detailed step-by-step washing, drying, and ironing guides to turn your hard work into smart work.
Authentic jerseys cost big bucks, plus the delicate texture and decals tend to wear off when you use harsh laundry products or simply bleachy detergents. We’re talking about a pretty expensive item of sportswear; hence, when it comes to hockey jerseys, you must handle them carefully.
Here are a few things to avoid while washing:
- Refrain from washing with hot water. Hot water firms up the stains, making them almost impossible to remove. It can also lead to the shrinking of your jerseys over time.
- Never use fabric softeners. The jerseys are made of polyester, and the harsh chemicals can alter their color, material, and look.
- You must not use regular liquid laundry detergents. Instead, opt for color-safe, no-bleach powdered detergents to save your garments from gradual abrasiveness.
- Don’t wash your colored jerseys with white or other articles of clothing to prevent discoloration due to direct contact. Your laundry routine might take longer but always wash alone to protect the stitching.
- Avoid drying your jersey in the dryer and ironing them on high settings. Instead, air dry and follow our easy ironing guide below.
There are multiple ways you can wash hockey jerseys. You can either machine wash, hand wash, or pre-wash with filtered water and baking soda to eliminate sweat marks and odors that exist. Whichever method you choose, turning the jersey inside out can help prevent the color from fading.
Machine washing is the finest cleaning method if you want your NHL jerseys spic and span without any hard work. Here is a brief step-by-step for machine washing your jerseys.
- Fill up your washer. Remember, it is essential to wash jerseys in cold water.
- Turn the hockey playwear inside out before putting it in.
- Add mild powdered detergent and set it to the lowest spin cycle or gentle cycle.
- Once the cycle is complete, take it out and squeeze away the extra liquid.
- Let it dry naturally.
Remember, jerseys often shrink if you wash them using hot water. So, ensure the proper lower temperature according to the jersey’s manufacturer’s tag which most often will be around 68 – 86°F (20-30°C).
Pre-washing your pullovers is essential if you’ve caught some blood or sweat marks that are impossible to remove. However, do a patch test before pre-washing your entire garment.
- Create a mixture of icy filtered water and any stain-removing agent like vinegar, baking soda, or store-bought cleaners.
- Apply a small quantity on the stain with a brush and rub the marks.
- Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse it under cold water, and turn it inside out; then toss it in the machine or hand wash it.
Signed playwear cannot withstand the twists and swirls in the washer and can lead to your signatures becoming barely visible. Hence, the best option for hockey players is to hand wash these flimsy garments to keep them looking clean. Here’s how to do it:
- Lightly dampen the areas with cold water that need cleaning.
- Use a piece of plastic and tape it around the signature if you prefer increased protection.
- Dip your brush in a mixture of icy water and color-safe powdered detergent. Ensure to use a minimal quantity of detergent.
- Wipe off the dirty areas in a circular motion using a soft brush, but do not brush over the signature.
- Rinse it and let it dry.
Cleaning stains on white jerseys can be tricky as these are not all-white and often have colored letters and numbers. It is best to spot-treat the jersey with minimal mild non-chlorine bleach and then put it in the washer.
Use cold water, a few drops of mild liquid bleach, and 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda and mix them. It would be best to aim for a toothpaste or slightly runny consistency. Apply it to the spots with a soft brush. Then allow it to dry.
The bleach mixture dies when it dries, so you don’t have to fret about it leaking to other areas. Be careful not to use it near your colored logos. Finally, you need to wash it off under cold running water or follow the washing steps to give it a final spin in the machine.
Drying your jerseys is another challenging task. And while using the dryer might sound like a quick-drying fix, it is definitely the opposite.
The dryer emits high heat that can damage and, in the worst cases, ‘melt’ the polyester. It can also negatively affect the texture of the jersey. That is why you must not put them in the dryer. If you have to, in case of an emergency, ensure to use the lowest heat settings, but don’t make it a routine.
You can air-dry your jerseys for a safer way out. Let your jerseys hang on a drying rack, or lay them flat in a warm place with medium sunlight. Depending on the temperatures, wind, and sunlight around you, it might take 20-40 minutes to an hour or two to let them completely dry.
Dry-cleaning hockey playwear has been the longest unsolved debate. Most owners believe that having professionals take care of the dry cleaning will help keep your jersey looking brand new. In contrast, others believe it to be an instant way to fray the stitching and peel off the lettering and signs.
Dry cleaners are known to apply heat to stains and high temperatures are known to harm sticky numbers and other decals, therefore we do not recommend dry cleaning NHL jerseys.
However, you can always double-check with your preferred dry cleaners if they offer specialized sportswear cleaning services with low heat options. Alternatively, you can always use our tried and tested cleaning methods mentioned above.
Are you unable to get that prominent folding crease off your wording and crest on the jersey, or did you get your hockey sports clothes all wrinkled after drying?
Follow these four easy ironing steps to get the creases out of your jerseys.
- Take a rough, slightly damp clean shirt piece.
- Place it over the wrinkled sports gear.
- Take a dry iron and gently press it until all the moisture evaporates. Make sure to use the iron in a high-steam but low-temperature setting.
- Repeat the iron strokes 1-2 times or until the crease is gone.
Those hesitant to iron their jerseys can place a thick book or something heavy to flatten the crease. Nonetheless, ironing is a safe quickie if you use our guide.
And in the future, make sure to correctly fold your jersey to prevent these creases as much as possible.