Can You Wash Shin Guards in the Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Shin Guards in the Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash shin guards in the washing machine if the instructions for your specific guards allow it. If washing in the machine, use a gentle cycle and place them in a pillowcase or laundry bag to prevent damage. A quality sports detergent is recommended. If the shin guards are entirely plastic, handwashing is preferable. Scrub them with soap and water, soak in a detergent mixture, rinse thoroughly, and air dry away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

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Shin guards are an essential piece of equipment for many sports, protecting athletes from painful impacts and injuries. After intense use, shin guards can become sweaty and dirty, leading to a common question: can you wash shin guards in the washing machine? The answer is yes, but it comes with some important considerations.

In this article, we will explore the dos and don’ts of washing shin guards, provide step-by-step instructions for machine washing, offer alternative cleaning methods, and address common questions. Let’s dive in!

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Shin Guards in the Washing Machine


  • Check the care instructions: Always begin by checking the care instructions or manufacturer’s recommendations that came with your shin guards. Some guards are designed to be machine washable, while others are not.
  • Place them in a pillowcase or laundry bag: If your shin guards are machine washable, it’s advisable to put them in a pillowcase or a dedicated laundry bag before placing them in the washing machine. This helps protect the guards from banging into the sides of the machine, preventing potential damage.
  • Use a gentle cycle: When machine washing your shin guards, opt for a gentle cycle. This reduces the risk of any harsh agitation that could harm the guards or their padding.
  • Choose a quality sports detergent: Select a sports-specific detergent designed to effectively remove sweat and odors from sports gear. These detergents are formulated to break down and remove tough stains.
  • Air dry the shin guards: After washing, allow the shin guards to air dry completely. Avoid using direct sunlight or heat sources, as excessive heat can cause the guards to become stiff or brittle.


  • Don’t machine wash if prohibited: If the care instructions specifically state that machine washing is not recommended, do not attempt to wash your shin guards in the washing machine. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to maintain their integrity.
  • Don’t use bleach or harsh chemicals: Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals when cleaning your shin guards, as these can damage the materials and padding, potentially compromising their protective qualities.
  • Don’t use high heat for drying: Refrain from using high heat settings or direct sunlight to dry your shin guards, as this can lead to deformation or weakening of the materials.
  • Don’t ignore visible damage: If you notice any visible damage, such as tears or loose stitching, address it before attempting to wash the shin guards. Continued use of damaged guards can be unsafe.
  • Don’t rush the drying process: Ensure the shin guards are completely dry before using them again. Moisture trapped inside the guards can lead to odors and bacterial growth.

Steps To Wash Shin Guards In The Washing Machine:

Step 1

Preparation: Check the care instructions provided with your shin guards to confirm that machine washing is suitable.

Step 2

Protection: Place your shin guards in a pillowcase or a dedicated laundry bag to protect them from potential damage in the washing machine.

Step 3

Add detergent: Use a quality sports detergent and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate amount to add.

Step 4

Select a gentle cycle: Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle with cold or lukewarm water.

Step 5

Start the wash: Initiate the washing cycle and allow it to run its course.

Step 6

Air dry: After the wash is complete, remove the shin guards from the pillowcase or laundry bag and hang them in a well-ventilated area to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight and heat sources.

Alternative Washing Methods For Shin Guards:

If your shin guards are not machine washable or if you prefer an alternative cleaning method, here are some options:

  • Handwashing: For shin guards made entirely of plastic, handwashing is recommended. Scrub them with soap and water to remove debris, then soak them in a mixture of water and detergent for 15-20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.
  • Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or localized dirt, use a damp cloth and mild soap to spot clean the affected areas. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
  • Disinfectant Spray: To combat odors and bacteria, use a sports gear disinfectant spray. Follow the product’s instructions for effective use.


How often should I wash my shin guards?

Answer: The frequency of washing shin guards depends on how often you use them and how much you sweat. As a general guideline, consider cleaning them every few weeks or when they become noticeably dirty or odorous.

Can I use regular laundry detergent to wash shin guards?

Answer: While regular laundry detergent can work, it’s recommended to use a sports-specific detergent designed to break down sweat and odors effectively.

Can I speed up the drying process with a hairdryer or heat source?

Answer: It’s best to avoid using a hairdryer or heat source for drying shin guards, as excessive heat can damage the materials. Stick to air drying in a well-ventilated area.

Can I machine wash shin guards with padding?

Answer: If the care instructions allow it, you can machine wash shin guards with padding. However, always use a gentle cycle and a laundry bag to protect the guards.

What should I do if my shin guards become misshapen after washing?

Answer: If your shin guards lose their shape, you can try reshaping them while they are still damp. Gently mold them back into their original form and allow them to air dry in that shape.

Final Words:

Cleaning and maintaining your shin guards is essential to ensure they continue to provide optimal protection during sports activities. If your shin guards are machine washable, follow the dos and don’ts outlined in this article, using a gentle cycle and a sports-specific detergent. For non-machine washable or all-plastic shin guards, consider alternative cleaning methods. By properly caring for your shin guards, you can extend their lifespan and enjoy safe and comfortable play on the field or court.

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