You may have already read our article on Goalkeeper Glove Care. If not, once you finish this one then you should head over there and at least skim through it. I'm kidding, read the whole thing word for word. But anyway, I felt like it was important to dive deeper into the best methods for washing goalkeeper gloves. There are a lot of articles out there, by a lot of goalkeeping "experts", but I'm here to share my experience with washing my goalkeeper gloves throughout my collegiate and professional career.
We talked about this method for a bit in the Goalkeeper Glove Care article. I am a huge fan of this method. We all take showers, right? Well hopefully we all do but I'm not here to judge your hygiene. I am here to help you keep your goalkeeper gloves clean. I've spent over 25 years playing the game of soccer. No matter what environment I was training or playing in, I always had the same need after performing. A shower. There really isn't a more simple way to wash your goalkeeper gloves than to take them in the shower (or bath, whatever your preference) with you.
Everyone wants goalkeeper gloves with grip but no one wants to put in the work to maintain that grip. A quick bath, soap or glove wash is optional, on a consistent basis can do wonders for your goalkeeper gloves. If you're going to use soap or goalkeeper glove wash, don't overdo it. I've been washing my goalie gloves in the shower since I got to college almost 14 years ago and it helped me extend the life of my goalkeeper gloves tremendously. Check out some of our best goalkeeper glove care recommendations HERE.
With this method, the water should do most of the work. Allow the strength of the water stream to knock off most of the dirt from your goalkeeper gloves. Any excess dirt can be scrubbed off by your hands. But be careful, I've been caught a couple of times rubbing too hard and I end up ripping the latex. It's not the end of the world but no one really wants to player goalkeeper with ripped goalie gloves. For goalkeeper gloves with finger protection, you might want to remove the spines but that is completely optional. It takes more time and the water doesn't harm the finger saves anyway.
What is the point of buying quality goalkeeper gloves if you aren't going to keep them clean right? Even if you bought your goalkeeper gloves on sale, they still deserve the proper treatment. Sometimes you don't have the time to hop in the shower or set the mood for a nice, relaxing bath. That doesn't mean your goalie gloves can't get clean. Most homes, that I've been in, have a bathroom. Most bathrooms, that I've used, have a sink. Most sinks, that I've seen, have a space to wash your hands. Typically, that space is big enough to wash goalkeeper gloves in too.
This method is very similar to the shower method, only this time you don't have to take on the mundane task of cleaning yourself as well. The main difference in this method is that it requires a little bit more work from you. Depending on how fast you let the water run, you'll typically have to do a bit more scrubbing of your goalkeeper gloves when using the sink. Don't expect to get your latex back to brand new with any of these washing methods but utilize these options to remove as much dirt as possible so that you can extend the stickiness and life of the goalkeeper gloves.
*Warning: Prime Focus Goalkeeping does not take responsibility for whatever mess your goalkeeper makes while washing their goalie gloves.
The old controversial machine wash conversation! If you google it, you'll find a number of articles warning you not to put your dirty goalkeeper gloves in the washing machine. I'll be honest, I don't have a great answer for you because it isn't something I've done on a consistent basis. Have I used a washing machine to wash my goalkeeper gloves before? Yes, but very rarely and always on a "quick wash" cycle without detergent.
I've had parents and kids who swear by the washing machine method. It's easier for them to throw the gloves in with the rest of the dirty clothes from training and dry them however they want. I'm not here to judge anyone, I'll just give you some advice. If you are going to utilize this method, I would suggest spreading out the washes a bit more than you would with a shower or sink method. I would also avoid the drying machine. The heat from the machine could have adverse effects on the latex of the goalkeeper gloves.
Now that you've washed your goalkeeper gloves, the final piece of the puzzle is drying them. There are a number of ways to do this but stuffing them back in your glove bag and hoping for positive results isn't one of them. The best way to shorten the life of your goalie gloves is to not allow them to dry properly. It takes a little time, usually 24 hours. Trust me, it's worth the wait.
My favorite is the hang-dry method. Once I get out of the shower and have cleaned off my gloves to my satisfaction, I will find somewhere to hang them up. In a locker room, it may be a bit easier but typically I will use a shower rod or something similar that is sturdy enough to hold the weight of my wet goalkeeper gloves. I wrap the strap around the rod and then secure it on the other side of the velcro on my goalkeeper gloves. I usually like to secure it pretty tight just to make sure they aren't going to fall.
If you don't have something solid to hang your gloves on, don't worry there is an alternative. Find a large towel. Wrap your goalkeeper gloves in the towel. That's it. I would recommend making sure the gloves aren't touching when you wrap them. Putting the towel in between allows for the water to be soaked up by the towel instead of the opposite goalkeeper glove. This method can take a little longer but it is still effective. You can find some great options for helping your goalie gloves speed up the drying process in our online storefront.
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