How to Clean Lacrosse Pads in 5 Easy Steps

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Washing lacrosse pads is a particular task in cleaning your lacrosse equipment. The pads are among the most important pieces needed to keep clean. With regular use, they can accumulate dirt and sweat, leading to unpleasant odors and even bacteria growth. In this article, we’ll go over some tips on how to clean lacrosse pads so you can stay fresh and healthy on the field.

First, it’s important to note that there are different methods for cleaning different types of pads. For example, elbow pads and shoulder pads can usually be washed in a washing machine, while gloves and chest protectors should be hand-washed. Additionally, it’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, which can damage the material and reduce the effectiveness of the padding. Instead, opt for a mild detergent and warm water.

One of the keys to effectively cleaning your lacrosse pads is to be thorough. Make sure to scrub all surfaces of the pads, including any crevices or seams where dirt and sweat can accumulate. It’s also important to let your pads dry completely before using them again, as damp gear can lead to bacteria growth and unpleasant odors. With these tips in mind, you can keep your lacrosse pads clean and fresh, ensuring you can perform your best on the field.

Gathering Supplies

Before you start cleaning your lacrosse pads, you’ll need to gather a few supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

What You’ll Need

  • Cool water
  • Mild detergent (if needed)
  • Soft-bristled brush or sponge
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Sports gear spray
  • Towels
  • Washing machine (optional)

Where to Find Supplies

Most of the supplies you’ll need to clean your lacrosse pads can be found at your local sporting goods store or online. You can also find disinfectant and sports gear spray at your local grocery or drug store.

When choosing a mild detergent, look for one free of bleach and fabric softeners, as these can damage your gear. Consider using a detergent specifically designed for sports gear to help remove tough stains and odors.

Like cleaning lacrosse gloves, if you’re using a washing machine to clean your pads, check the care label first to ensure they can be machine washed. Some pads may need to be hand washed to avoid damage.

Now that you have all the necessary supplies, it’s time to get started on cleaning your lacrosse pads.

Preparing the Pads

Before you start cleaning your lacrosse pads, it’s essential to prepare them properly. This step is crucial for removing dirt and debris, which can accumulate on the pads after a game or practice. Here are the steps to follow when preparing your pads:

Removing Dirt and Debris

The first step is to remove any dirt or debris from the pads. You can do this by using a soft brush to gently scrub the pads, removing any dirt or debris that has accumulated. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this can damage the pads. Focus on areas that are particularly dirty, such as the elbows and shoulders, where dirt and sweat tend to accumulate.

Soaking the Pads

Once you have removed any dirt or debris, it’s time to soak the pads. Fill a large container with warm water and add a mild detergent. Place the pads in the water and let them soak for about 30 minutes. This will help to loosen any remaining dirt or debris and make it easier to clean the pads thoroughly.

After soaking the pads, remove them from the water and gently squeeze out any excess water. Do not twist or wring the pads, as this can damage them. Instead, gently press them against the side of the container to remove any excess water.

Washing Lacrosse Pads

When it comes to cleaning your lacrosse pads, there are two main methods you can use: hand washing and machine washing. Depending on the type of pads you have, one method may be better than the other. Here are some tips to help you decide which method is best for you.

Hand Washing Method

Hand washing your pads is a great option if you have more delicate pads or want to be extra careful with your gear. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Fill a sink or bathtub with cold water.
  2. Add a small amount of mild detergent to the water.
  3. Submerge your pads in the water and gently agitate them to work the detergent into the fabric.
  4. Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to scrub any particularly dirty areas.
  5. Drain the soapy water and refill the sink or tub with clean, cold water.
  6. Rinse your pads thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
  7. Squeeze out excess water and hang your pads up to air dry.
How to Wash Lacrosse Pads

Machine Washing Method

Machine washing your pads can be a quick and easy way to get them clean. However, it’s important to use the right settings and avoid damaging your gear. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place your pads in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to help protect them in the wash.
  2. Use a cold water setting and a gentle cycle.
  3. Add a small amount of mild detergent to the wash.
  4. Do not use bleach or fabric softener, as these can damage the gear.
  5. Once the cycle is complete, remove your pads from the washer and air dry them.

Keep in mind that some pads may not be suitable for machine washing, so be sure to check the care instructions before you begin. Additionally, if your pads have any hard plastic or metal parts, removing them before washing is a good idea to prevent damage to your machine or other items in the wash.

Drying the Pads

After washing your lacrosse pads, it is important to dry them properly to prevent any damage or mold growth. Two common methods for drying lacrosse pads are air drying and using a dryer.

Air Drying Method

The best way to dry your lacrosse pads is to let them air dry. To do this, simply hang them up or lay them flat in a well-ventilated area and allow them to dry completely. This process may take a few hours, but it is worth the wait to ensure that your pads are properly cared for.

If you choose to air dry your pads, it is crucial to avoid direct sunlight and high heat sources, as this can cause the pads to shrink or become damaged. You should also avoid using a fan or any other air-moving device, as this can cause the pads to warp or lose their shape.

Using a Dryer

If you are in a hurry and need to dry your pads quickly, you can use a dryer. However, you should be very careful when using a dryer, as high heat can cause the pads to shrink or become damaged.

To dry your pads in a dryer, follow these steps:

  1. Place your pads in the dryer along with a few clean towels.
  2. Set the dryer to the lowest heat setting.
  3. Run the dryer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Check the pads to see if they are dry. If they are not dry, repeat steps 2-3 until they are.

Note that you should never use a high heat setting or leave your pads in the dryer for an extended period of time, as this can cause irreversible damage.

Storing the Pads

After cleaning your lacrosse pads, it’s important to store them properly to maintain their quality and prolong their lifespan. Here are some tips on how to store your pads properly and maintain them:

How to Store Pads Properly

  1. Air-dry your pads: After cleaning your pads, let them air-dry completely before storing them. Do not use a dryer or any heat source to dry them, as it can damage the pads.
  2. Avoid direct sunlight: Do not store your pads in direct sunlight or under any heat source. Sunlight and heat can cause the pads to fade and lose their quality.
  3. Store them in a cool and dry place: Store your pads in a cool and dry place to prevent any mold or mildew growth. A well-ventilated room or a closet is a good option.
  4. Keep them flat or hang them: Store your pads flat or hang them on a hanger to maintain their shape. Do not fold them as it can cause creases and damage the pads.

Tips for Maintaining Pads

  1. Clean them regularly: Clean your pads regularly to prevent any odor or bacteria growth. Refer to the previous section on how to clean your lacrosse pads for more information.
  2. Inspect them before and after use: Inspect your pads before and after use for any signs of wear and tear. Replace any damaged or worn-out pads immediately.
  3. Avoid overstuffing your bag: Do not overstuff your bag with too many pads as it can cause them to lose their shape and quality.
  4. Rotate your pads: Rotate your pads regularly to prevent any uneven wear. Use different pads for different practices and games.

By following these tips, you can store your lacrosse pads properly and maintain their quality for a longer period.


Now, you know how to clean lacrosse pads. You can ensure that your lacrosse pads are properly cleaned and dried, and will last for many seasons to come. Remember to always read the care instructions on your pads before washing or drying them, and to use only mild detergents and non-acidic solutions. With proper care, your lacrosse pads will continue to protect you on the field and keep you safe from injury.

(You may need to know Lacrosse Arm Pads: The Ultimate Defense for Comfort and Protection)

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About Lucas

I am Lucas, a lacrosse enthusiast and writer for As someone who has played lacrosse for years, I have a deep passion for the sport and love sharing my knowledge and insights. Through my writing, I strive to share experienced skills, educate and inspire readers about the game of lacrosse. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the lacrosse world and celebrate the sport we love. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and affiliated sites. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.