Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wild weather | Take care of your gear!

Taking proper care of your lacrosse tools is an essential part of the game. This is especially true when the weather is bad and you've played on wet grass. Here are some basic tips for keeping your gear game-ready:

Crosse: it is very important to keep the mesh clean and to dry it properly after foul-weather play. If the mesh is dirty rinse it to remove all the dirt and grit. It is ok to use a mild fabric detergent if necessary and then rinse well to remove soapy residue. Then air dry with the stick flat and pocket facing down. You can either place wadded paper towels in the pocket to maintain shape and absorb water or use a ball secured with a screwdriver placed under the sidewalls to prevent the mesh from tightening up as it dries.

Pads: normally you can simply air-dry on a hanger after foul-weather play. As the weather warms up & with weekly practices and game play your pads can absorb a lot of perspiration and start to smell pretty rank. Most pads can be washed in the washer on cold or in the sink and air dried. If necessary - use Febreze; it will effectively remove most of the odor.

Gloves: pay close attention to your gloves to maintain the materials and their flexibility. If they are wet from foul-weather play, air dry promptly. If they are muddy then rinse well using a mild fabric detergent if necessary, stuff with paper towels and air dry. You may have to change out the paper towels a few times. Like pads, gloves can collect odors - use Febreze if necessary after washing. While some gloves can go into the washing machine with your pads it is best to check the manufacturers recommendations. Some leather gloves are better cleaned using Wilsons Leather Cleaner or a similar product.

Shoes: clean after play on wet grass and air dry. If just wet, simply air dry. Some players stuff the wet shoes with paper towels, some invert over heater vents and others use cedar shoe-trees. All work but the key is to make sure you clean and dry after play. When the odors become too much use a shoe deodorizer like Tectron. Periodic cleaning with a good leather cleaner followed by a leather treatment will help in maintaining flexibility and water repellency.

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