Whether you’re the player, coach or umpire, making sure you have clean baseball equipment is imperative to the game. At Clear Gear, we know that it isn’t always easy to keep baseball equipment clean let alone germ and odor free, but we also understand the importance of keeping equipment like face masks, bats, batting gloves, batting helmets, catcher’s masks, gloves, uniforms, cleats, umpire’s gear and other equipment disinfected.
Playing baseball is a workout and odor is inevitable. Scrapes, blood and sweat are all part of the game. The danger arises when baseball gear is left untreated or not disinfected. This can lead to potentially dangerous conditions including Staphylococcus (MRSA and Impetigo) as well as fungal infections like ringworm and other unpleasant viral infections including herpes and warts.
Umpires have face masks, chest protectors and shin guards that need to be cleaned and maintained after each use and players have their uniforms, mitts, gloves, socks and cleats that need to be thoroughly cleaned after each use.
The following are some useful tips to help keep clean baseball equipment clean, germ, bacteria and disease free.
Umpire Masks/Catcher’s Mask: If using a traditional mask with straps and pads, you can undo the straps and take out the leather or fabric padding. You can then spray and wipe down the metal cage mask with a clean cloth and a thorough application of Clear Gear Disinfectant Sports Spray. If you are in need of a lighter or maintenance type cleaning, you can simply spray the mask and allow to thoroughly air dry. You can also spray Clear Gear onto a clean cloth and wipe down any leather parts of the mask. Just be sure that you allow ample dry time before the next use.
Umpire Chest Protector : These are typically made up of two separate materials, an outside vinyl layer and an inside fabric layer. This combination is a recipe for trapping moisture and odor. You will want to treat them separately and wipe down the vinyl with a clean cloth soaked in Clear Gear. The fabric portion should be allowed to fully dry before giving a generous spray of Clear Gear and allowing to fully dry.
Shin Guards: Spray down fully and allow to air dry
Batting Gloves: These are what really see the dirt and germs and therefore pass it along to the bat. They are typically made up of fabric with leather in the palms for gripping. To clean them you could soak them in Clear Gear. Once they have been adequately air dried, you can rub leather protector on the palms.
Batting Helmets: These have some degree of padding inside and if it isn’t removable, you can spray and allow to air dry or take a clean cloth soaked in Clear Gear and wipe the inside and outside of the helmet down. Be sure it is thoroughly dry before the next use.
Uniforms: Very soiled uniforms can first be laundered, dried then sprayed with Clear Gear. Allow uniform to fully dry before next use. Maintenance cleanings may only require a quick spray and walk away method.
Cleats/Spikes: These need to be cleaned both inside and out. You could remove the inner lining and soak them in Clear Gear as well as wipe down the outside and bottoms of the cleats with a clean cloth also soaked in Clear Gear.
A final tip would be to always store your uniforms and equipment during the off season in a clean, dry place. You never want to store unused or dormant gear in your sport’s bag or locker. Hanging somewhere where air can freely circulate that is mold and mildew free is always your best bet.