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Cleaning and preparing your goalkeeper gloves will help them last longer, have better grip, and smell less. During training and games your gloves collect dirt and sweat. The abrasiveness of dirt erodes the soft latex from the outside. Sweat and bacteria deteriorate them from inside out. The sweat and bacteria fermenting in your gloves also smell.
Hand washing goalkeeper gloves with a glove soap or wash such as Reusch Re:Invigorate Glove Wash or Glove Glu will pull the dirt, sweat, and bacteria out of the gloves. Wash with a mild low foaming soap free of dies, phosphates, and other harsh chemicals. Dish soap, shampoo, and many hand soaps are too harsh to wash with. Hand washing allows the goalkeeper to gently scrub the dirt and work the all areas of the glove gently with the fingers. There are methods of soaking and using the washer as well.
Rinse the gloves thoroughly. Rinse and squeeze the water out multiple times until there are no more soap suds. Soap left in the glove can pull moisture and dry out the glove as well. Don’t wring the gloves since it may compromise the stitching and seems. If your washer does not have a rotating arm, then you can rinse and spin to remove excess water. I will do that from time to time to remove additional soap and excess water.
Hang dry the goalkeeper gloves in a safe place over a sink out of direct sunlight or heat sources. Don’t accelerate the drying process since it too can dry out the goalkeeper gloves. Properly washed and rinsed gloves will take at least 24 hours to be usable.
Many manufacturers require a prewash of their goalkeeper gloves prior to use to remove chemicals and activate properties in the latex prior to use. Dampening all weather foams prior to use increases the grip and durability of most gloves. That dampness will contain sweat, bacteria, and potentially spit if you choose that method for dampening. Cardinal rule is whatever you put into the gloves you should take out.
When your palms are discolored with dirt, smell, or have been in a heavy rain it is best practices to clean them. It is good practice to wash your game or practice gloves depending on number of uses once a week. Find a schedule that works for you. Gloves are perishable regardless, but clean goalkeeper gloves last longer. Goalkeepers with smelly gloves have less friends. Take care of your goalkeeper gloves!
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