Whether you’re the player, coach or umpire, making sure you have clean baseball equipment is a critical part of training and game day preparation. At Clear Gear, we know it isn’t always easy to keep baseball equipment clean, let alone germ and odor free. As clean gear experts, we also know the risks players face if they don’t disinfect things like face masks, bats, batting gloves, batting helmets, catcher’s masks, gloves, uniforms, cleats, umpire’s gear, and other equipment.
Why is it important to have clean baseball gear and equipment? You’ve probably heard or read about recent outbreaks of superbugs like staph, MRSA, and the flu happening in high school, college level and even pro sports teams (like the Red Sox flu outbreak). What you don’t hear about, however, is how disinfecting baseball gear and equipment could have prevented these diseases. When you fail to clean and disinfect baseball gear and baseball equipment in between each use, you risk becoming infected. This can lead to potentially dangerous conditions like staphylococcus, fungal infections like ringworm, and other unpleasant viral infections like herpes, warts, and the flu.
Umpires and catchers have face masks, chest protectors, and shin guards that need to be cleaned and maintained after each use; and players have their uniforms, mitts, bats, gloves, socks, and cleats that need to be thoroughly cleaned after each use.
How to Clean an Umpire Mask and Catcher’s Mask
Step One: Take apart umpire/catcher mask and remove any loose debris or dirt.
If using a traditional mask with straps and pads, undo the straps and take out the leather or fabric padding.
Step Two: Disinfect and deodorize.
Spray the mask’s metal cage with a thorough application of a disinfectant and deodorizing sports gear spray and let it air dry. Be sure that the sanitizing spray you use won’t harm sports gear, including gear that contains leather. Clear Gear Spray is a disinfectant and deodorizing sports gear spray that is non-corrosive and won’t hurt sports gear — you can even use it to spray down leather parts of the umpire or catcher’s mask. Allow time to dry thoroughly before the next use.
How to Clean a Chest Protector
The umpire and catcher’s chest protector is typically made of two separate materials — an outside vinyl or hard plastic shell and an inside fabric layer. This combination is a recipe for trapping moisture, mold growth, and odor.
Step One: Take apart padding from outer material and remove any loose debris or dirt.
Step Two: Disinfect and deodorize.
Spray both the outer layer and inner layer with a disinfectant and deodorizing sports gear spray. Allow ample time for the fabric portion to dry in open air before wearing again.
How to Clean Umpire/Catcher Shin Guards
After removing baseball shin guards, spray them down on both sides thoroughly with a disinfectant and deodorizing sports gear spray and allow to fully air dry.
How to Clean Batting Gloves
Baseball gloves see a lot of dirt and germs, which are then passed onto the bat. Batting gloves are typically made of fabric with leather in the palms for gripping.
Step One: Remove any loose dirt or debris.
Step Two: Disinfect and deodorize, inside and out.
To clean batting gloves, first spray the outside of the gloves with a fabric and leather safe disinfectant and deodorizing sports gear spray, like Clear Gear Spray, which is non-corrosive and safe for all kinds of sports gear. Turn gloves inside out and thoroughly spray the inside to disinfect and deodorize. Allow the gloves to fully dry. Once dry, rub leather conditioner on the palms to prevent cracking.
How to Clean Batting Helmets
Batting helmets include interior padding. If it isn’t removable, spray the inside of the helmet and padding thoroughly with a sports gear sanitizing spray, taking special care to clean the crown of the helmet and inside the crevices. Allow to fully air dry. Make sure your batting helmet is completely dry before the next use.
How to Clean a Baseball Bat
Baseball bats come in contact with all kinds of germs. Thankfully, disinfecting a bat is easy. First, remove any loose dirt or debris. Then, spray thoroughly with a disinfecting spray, paying special attention to the grip. Allow to dry before using again.
How to Clean Baseball Uniforms
Very soiled baseball uniforms can first be laundered and dried, then sprayed with a disinfectant and deodorizing sports gear spray, like Clear Gear Spray. Spraying your uniform will help ensure that there is no bacteria present when you wear it next. Allow your baseball uniform to fully dry before the next use.
How to Clean Baseball Cleats/Spikes
Baseball cleats or spikes need to be cleaned both inside and out.
Step One: Remove loose dirt and debris.
Step Two: Remove insoles, if possible.
Step Three: Disinfect and deodorize.
Spray the inside of the cleat with a disinfectant and deodorizing sports gear spray. Then, give the insoles a thorough spray and allow them to air dry. Avoid using hot water on the cleats or insoles as they may shrink or become misshapen. Allow baseball cleats and insoles to fully air dry before replacing the insoles inside the cleat and wearing.
Protecting Your Baseball Gear During Off Season
Always store your baseball uniforms and baseball equipment and gear during the off season in a clean, dry place. Never store unused or dormant gear in your baseball bag or locker. Hanging items somewhere dry where air can freely circulate will keep your gear mold and mildew free, and is your best bet to preserve it for next season.
Staying in the Game
Baseball equipment can quickly contract nasty germs and bacteria from sweat, and improper storage and cleaning. Without thorough cleaning and disinfecting, you can contract an annoying or dangerous illness like MRSA, staph, impetigo, the flu, or herpes. Clear Gear Spray is a disinfectant and deodorizing athletic gear and personal protective equipment spray that kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and gets rid of smelly odors. Deodorize and disinfect your equipment in between each use with a quick spray of Clear Gear Spray to prevent odor and bacteria growth so you can stay healthy and in the game.