The Falcons Football Club cleans and sanitize all the helmets and shoulder pads over the winter months in preparation for the next season. We also send helmets away for recertification every two years during which they are completely sanitized on return. We ask that all clothing (jerseys and pants) be washed one final time before being returned to us in the fall; we don't want the socks back. For more information, please see our Equipment Return Checklist.
How to clean your Falcons football equipment throughout the season
The first thing to do is take it out of the car and air out the pads and helmet after every practise and game. If you keep the equipment in a bag, take it out when you get home. If you have some place to hang them in the garage, that is best. Do not leave the inside of the helmet exposed to direct sunlight for any length of time as this will promote degradation of the rubber bladders. Do this after every game and practice.
You do not want mildew, mold, and bacteria growing on all that stuff. When they start practicing in August, it is hot, and you never knew they could sweat that much.
If you have scuff marks on the hard plastic of the shoulder pads or helmet, we found that the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are FANTASTIC to remove these. Rinse with clean water afterward.
Grab a spray bottle and fill it with ½ cup rubbing alcohol, ½ cup vinegar and 1 cup of water. You can add a small amount of Febreze or essential oil to the solution to improve the smell as well. You can spray this on your equipment and inside your helmet. Alcohol helps keep odors and bacteria growth under control and it will also kill fungus AND viruses!
Lysol Spray! Spray the inside of the helmet and shoulder pads down with Lysol spray at least once a week. Make sure your player is okay with the smell or scent of the spray first. This helps kill any germs, but also makes it smell better. Some people use Febreze, but we recommend Lysol spray as it is safe to use on hard and soft plastic and fabrics. Lysol wipes are good too! If you just cannot get that body odor smell out, try washing it with warm soapy water, then wiping it down with rubbing alcohol.
Do not forget the chin strap and mouth guard. Remove the chin strap from the helmet and clean it at least once a week using dish soap to wash it in the sink. For the mouth guard, we recommend using the Polident Daily Care effervescent tablets after every use. If you would rather, a small amount of liquid hand soap (not toothpaste) and a toothbrush works as well.
Jerseys, pants, girdles, socks, and gloves can be washed together in cold water using a gentle soap. We recommend Woolite if you have it. You can put them in the dryer using the cool cycle but hanging them to dry is the preferred method. Try and treat any tough stains with a gentle stain remover as well PRIOR to washing; this is more so for the game jerseys.
One last recommendation. If your child uses a sports bag to bring the equipment to and from games and practises, throw in a couple of Bounce sheets every few weeks. It will help to mask odors and keep the bag fresh as well. Again, make sure they are okay with the scent as the Bounce scent will penetrate the equipment / clothing in the bag.