I didn’t think I’d have to deal with this until my son was at least 10, but this week, it happened: he got off the ice and smelled like hockey.
If you aren’t familiar with the smell of hockey, it isn’t the scent of fresh winter snow. It smells like dirty gym socks dipped in ball sweat that have been thrown into an oven. It’s suffocating and you’ll choke to death in a hockey locker room. It is seriously the most potent and reconizeable fragrance next to weed. Even if you’ve never smoked it, you instinctively know what it is.
There unfortunately is very little you can do to mitigate hockey smell. Aired out the equipment over night. Gloves and pants into the dryer with a dryer sheet on air dry. Under Armour, socks, and jersey into the wash.
The rest is in God’s hands.
I’m allergic to Fabreze, so that isn’t an option unless I want to put myself into a coma between the smell of the equipment and the Fabreze.
But seriously- how bad can a 5 year old who is year and years away from puberty smell? Apparently they have the ability to smell as bad as a teenager. I suppose to the credit of the coaches, they’re working my son hard enough that I’m getting my money’s worth out of this program.
In doing some research, it turns out the smell of hockey is caused by a very harmful bacteria.
To prevent illness, all equipment should be washed at least once per month. In between washes, equipment and the bag should be sprayed with a non-alchol based disinfectant. The most important thing to do-as much as it sucks- is to spread out wet equipment to dry after every use. I’m happy that I’ve at least been doing that, as well as throwing my son’s gloves in the washing machine every few weeks at the urging of one of his ice skating instructors.
Some other tips I’ve come across are pretty common sense:
1. Don’t leave the bag in the trunk of your car or other enclosed spaces where there is little to no airflow, especially if the equipment was recently used.
2. Keep the bag open to let everything breathe after use.
3. Spray skates with disinfectant spray.
Some people get nostalgic or excited by the smell of hockey. I’d personally rather stick my head in an oven than be exposed to it.
I love my son and I’m proud of his efforts on the ice, but I can always live without the smell of sweaty, wet, hockey equipment!