Ever wondered the best way to clean your roller derby gear? (Or your other athletic equipment like yoga mats?) Over the years I’ve tried a number of different ways to clean my roller derby gear and especially my pads, which can stink and also collect bacteria like staph. Some girls wash their derby gear in the dishwasher, but I could never get on board with putting my stinky pads in the same place plates would go, even on a separate cycle. And I found that the washing machine made my pads wear out much more quickly, especially when I was washing more than once or twice a month.
So what’s my solution for cleaning my roller derby gear? I use a simple, two-fold approach: sunlight and a spray with essential oils.
One of the ickiest things you can do with your roller derby pads is leave them in the bag between practices where it’s dark and they stay moist. Ew. Talk about a breeding ground for bacteria! (That being said, I sometimes forget and leave them in my bag.) Instead, after practice, take out all your gear and lay it outside in a place where it will be in direct sunlight. You’d be surprised at the effect of sunlight! For years I’ve used sun to dry our cloth diapers and the sun will take out any lingering smells, plus it bleaches stains out. With derby gear, even if you do NOTHING else, the sunlight for a day will dry out and greatly reduce or eliminate the smell. Period.
If you want to go the extra mile and get rid of that derby funk and any staph or bacteria that might be hanging out in those warm, moist areas, use this de-funk spray made with essential oils. I used peppermint, lavender, and Thieves for my spray. The result is a nice, fresh scent that has some properties to help ward off icky stuff. Thieves especially is a fabulous bacteria-fighter and wonderful for cleaning. (We use the Young Living Thieves cleaner at home, too!) I love the Christmas-y scent of cloves and cinnamon paired with lavender and mint.
1 small spray bottle
3 drops Young Living Thieves Essential Oil
2 drops Young Living Lavender Essential Oil
2 drops Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil
Fill a small water spray bottle with regular water. Add in the essential oils and shake to combine. That’s it! If you don’t love the scent of one of the oils, this would still be great with just Thieves (this is the one I would recommend NOT taking out) or using less of the one you don’t like. If you have questions about oils, shoot me an email! (And see more recipes with essential oils here!)
If you don’t play derby, this spay would also be great for the inside of shoes, soccer shin guards, bike helmets, or athletic mats. Pretty much anything that gets sweat on it and may retain moisture could use some of this spray plus the power of the sun!