How to Wash Football Shoulder Pads

Are you a fan of the game of football and need an updated routine for properly cleaning your shoulder pads? Whether from mud in practice or all the sweat you produce during games, caring for and preserving your football gear is an absolute must. Washing your football shoulder pads may seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, you can have them looking brand new again.

How to Wash Football Shoulder Pads

If so, you’ve come to the right place! 

Keeping your shoulder pads clean ensures they last as long as possible. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with all the tips and tricks on how to wash football shoulder pads correctly. From pre-treatments to paying attention to warnings, we’ll teach you how to keep your gear fresh and ready for when it’s time to hit the field!

Whether preparing for practice or gearing up for a big game, read on for our professional advice on keeping your equipment in pristine condition.

Necessary Items

Before we dive into washing your football shoulder pads, let’s review what you’ll need. These items can be easily found at most grocery or retail stores and are essential for cleaning your gear.

  • Water
  • Mild Detergent
  • Soft-bristled Brush
  • Towels
  • Spray Bottle
  • Plastic Bag
  • Washing Machine/Dryer (Optional)

10 Steps on How to Wash Football Shoulder Pads

Step 1: Pre-Treatment

Before washing your shoulder pads, it’s essential to pre-treat any stains or spots. Using a spray bottle filled with water and mild detergent, lightly dampen the affected areas and gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush. This will help loosen up any dirt or stains, making them easier to remove during washing.

Hand Wash Your Shoulder Pads

Step 2: Hand Washing Method

For best results, it’s recommended to hand wash your shoulder pads. Fill a tub or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Submerge your shoulder pads in soapy water and gently scrub any remaining dirt or stains with your soft-bristled brush. Make sure to rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Step 3: Machine Washing Method

If you prefer a washing machine, checking the care label on your shoulder pads first is crucial. If it’s safe to machine wash, place them in a delicate bag or pillowcase to prevent any damage. Use cold water and the gentle cycle, and avoid using bleach or fabric softener. Once the cycle is complete, remove your shoulder pads and lay them flat to dry.

Step 4: Drying

After washing your shoulder pads, it’s essential to let them air dry completely before wearing them again. Avoid using a dryer, as the heat can damage or misshape your gear. Lay them flat on a towel or hang them up in a well-ventilated area until they are scorched.

Step 5: Cleaning the Straps

Remember to clean the straps of your shoulder pads as well! These areas can often collect sweat and bacteria, leading to odors. Use a soft-bristled brush and mild detergent to scrub the straps gently, then rinse with clean water and let them air dry.

Step 6: Removing Odors

If your shoulder pads have a lingering odor, you can try a few methods to eliminate it. Sprinkle baking soda over the pads and let it sit for a few hours before brushing off. You can also use a fabric freshener spray or even place dryer sheets inside the pads to help absorb any unpleasant smells.

Step 7: Disinfecting

To ensure your gear is free of bacteria and germs, you can use a disinfectant spray or wipe to clean your shoulder pads. Just follow the instructions on the product and test it on a small area before using it all over.

Clean Your Shoulder Pads

Step 8: Storing

Properly storing your shoulder pads can help maintain their shape and cleanliness. Let them air dry completely before storing them in a cool, dry place. You can also use a plastic bag to protect them from dust or dirt.

Step 9: Pay Attention to Warnings

When washing your shoulder pads, read and follow any warnings on the care label. This can include specific washing instructions or materials to avoid using, such as bleach.

Step 10: Regular Maintenance

To keep your shoulder pads looking and performing at their best, wash them regularly after use. This will prevent any build-up of sweat, dirt, and bacteria, ensuring your gear stays fresh and ready for the next game.

Following these steps and incorporating regular maintenance ensures that your football shoulder pads stay clean and in top condition. Remember to read and follow any instructions or warnings on the care label, and don’t forget to pre-treat any stains before washing. With these tips and tricks, your gear will look brand new in no time.

Your Gear Will Look Brand New

It’s time to hit the field and play your best game! So, next time you’re wondering how to wash football shoulder pads, refer to this guide for all the necessary steps. Keep your gear fresh and in top condition to focus on what matters most – playing the game you love.

8 Tips for Maintaining Football Shoulder Pads

1. Hand Wash With Mild Detergent

As mentioned before, hand washing is the preferred method for cleaning football shoulder pads. Use lukewarm water and a mild detergent to clean your gear gently.

2. Regularly Remove Sweat and Dirt

After each use, wipe down your shoulder pads with a damp cloth or towel to remove any sweat or dirt build-up.

3. Air Dry Completely

Avoid using a dryer to dry your shoulder pads, as the heat can damage them. Make sure to let them air dry completely before storing.

4. Check for Wear and Tear

Regularly check your shoulder pads for signs of wear and tear, such as loose stitching or padding. Replace or repair damaged areas to ensure your gear remains safe and effective.

Regularly Check Your Shoulder Pads

5. Store in a Cool, Dry Place

Store your shoulder pads in a cool, dry place to prevent mold or mildew growth. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight or damp areas.

6. Use a Deodorizing Spray

Use a deodorizing spray after each use to keep your shoulder pads smelling fresh. This will help eliminate any odors and bacteria accumulated during play.

7. Avoid Sharing Shoulder Pads

Sharing shoulder pads with other players can increase the risk of spreading bacteria and germs. It’s best to have your gear that you can properly maintain and clean.

8. Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions

Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintaining your specific type of shoulder pads. This will ensure you use the correct methods and products for your gear. With these tips, you can keep your football shoulder pads in top condition and ready for your next game. Play safe, and have fun! Keep hitting hard on the field with clean, well-maintained gear. So get out there and show off your skills while keeping your shoulder pads fresh and clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Clean My Football Shoulder Pads?

It’s recommended to wash your shoulder pads after each use to prevent any build-up of sweat, dirt, and bacteria. However, if you notice any obvious stains or odors, it’s best to clean them immediately.

Can I Use a Washing Machine to Clean My Shoulder Pads?

It’s best to hand wash your shoulder pads, but if the care label states that they are safe for machine washing, use a delicates bag or pillowcase and follow the instructions carefully.

How Do I Get Rid of Lingering Odors on My Shoulder Pads?

You can sprinkle baking soda, use a fabric freshener spray, or place dryer sheets inside your shoulder pads to help eliminate any lingering odors. Make sure to let them air out completely before wearing them again.

Can I Use Bleach to Clean My Shoulder Pads?

Bleach can be too harsh for shoulder pads and may damage the material. It’s best to avoid using bleach or any other harsh chemicals and stick to mild detergents.

How Do I Know if My Shoulder Pads Need Replacing?

Regularly inspect your shoulder pads for signs of wear and tear, such as loose stitching, flattened padding, or cracks in the plastic shell. If you notice any damage, replacing your shoulder pads for safety is best. Always prioritize your safety and the longevity of your gear by maintaining it properly.

With these tips and FAQs in mind, you can keep your football shoulder pads clean and in top condition for all your games. Now, get out there and play with confidence! Keep tackling those opponents and dominating the field while caring for your gear. Show off your skills and let your clean, well-maintained shoulder pads speak for themselves. So keep practicing, keep playing, and always remember to take care of your gear!


Football shoulder pads are essential equipment that requires proper maintenance to perform their best. By following the steps and tips on how to wash football shoulder pads outlined in this guide, you can ensure your gear stays clean, fresh, and safe for every game. Regular washing, storage, and care will extend the life of your shoulder pads and keep them performing at their best on the field.

Remember always to prioritize your safety and the condition of your gear, and you’ll be able to play your best game every time. Now, go out there and make those big hits with confidence! Have fun and enjoy the game while taking care of your gear. Let’s tackle those dirty pads and keep them clean!

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Jennifer Branett

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