Mona asked: How do I clean cricket batting pads and gloves? Can I put them in the washing machine?
The biggest factor that damages gloves and pads are the salt and chemicals that are found in our own sweat. They encourage the growth of fungi and dry out the leather. Over time more extensive damage can occur such as weakening the fabrics and stitching. Unfortunately, it seems that the better you are, the quicker these items become worn and need to be replaced. With average use, a pair of gloves and pads can last a year. However, with consistent care they can least for several years.
How to Clean Batting Pads
You Will Need:
- Mild soap
- Baking soda
- Soft cloth
Steps to Clean the Pads:
- The first step towards prolonging the life of your pads is to allow them dry naturally after every use. Tossing them into a gym bag with other damp items only promotes the growth of fungus and other bacteria. It is especially important to dry them completely before storing them for the winter.
- If there is a detachable pad on the inside, remove it and hand wash it using a mild soap or detergent.
- If the inside pad is not detachable, sprinkle baking soda over it and let it sit for a few hours, then brush it off. This will help to remove dirt and deodorize the pad if needed.
- Rinse thoroughly and allow them to dry completely before placing them back on the pad.
- If there is dirt on the front of the pad, moisten a soft cloth with water and wipe it off.
- If there is a significant amount of dirt, a very small amount of soap can be added to the water (a couple of drops to a bucket of water). Wipe the dirty areas with a soft cloth.
- Dry immediately with a soft cloth and then allow to air-dry completely.
How to Clean Batting Gloves
You Will Need:
- Soft bristled brush
- Leather conditioner
Steps to Clean the Gloves:
- The grip on batting gloves is essential and should not be compromised in any way. Avoid using any liquid cleansers on gloves along with any cleansers that are oil-based.
- Remove dirt by brushing the surface of the gloves with a soft-bristled brush.
- Apply a leather conditioner, following the manufacturer’s instructions, to clean the leather portions of the gloves and keep them pliable. The salts from sweat can harden the leather over time making it difficult to keep a good grip on the bat.
- As with the pads, allow your gloves to dry naturally after each use. This is especially important when you are preparing to store them after the season is over.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- ALWAYS wear inners; thin gloves that are worn inside of batting gloves, to keep sweat from absorbing into the gloves. It will keep them in better shape and lasting much longer.
- The Velcro straps can quickly become filled with dirt and bits of fabric. To keep them looking their best, keep stray dirt out by keeping them folded back on themselves.
- If you play cricket often, or have sweaty hands, it may be wise to purchase an extra pair of gloves. This allows you to switch them out after several innings so they can have a chance to dry out.