sanitizing sports equipment

How to Properly Sanitize Your Sports Equipment During the Pandemic

Keep your sporting equipment clean under normal conditions is always important but doing so in the middle of a pandemic can help keep you, your teammates, and your family safe from getting sick. While some areas of the country continue to battle with the COVID-19 virus, it’s important to do whatever you can to keep you and your family safe. Schools have started back up, which means that team sports are back in session and with sports back in session it means groups of people back together in smaller spaces. In addition to situations where teammates and opposing teams are in close quarters with one another, there is also sharing of equipment between players. Ensuring that these pieces of shared equipment are properly cleaned and sanitized can greatly help to reduce the spread of germs… Keeping your equipment clean and sanitized can keep you and your teammates healthy so that you can continue playing the sports and activities you love. Knowing how important it is to keep everything clean, let’s look at what you can do to help prevent the spread of germs during the pandemic.

Disinfecting Your Sports Equipment

Uniforms and Clothing

Some sports involve individually used equipment, some involve shared equipment, but in most cases all sports involve some sort of uniform or jersey. Keeping these articles of clothing clean and disinfected can be as easy as making sure they get washed after every use, but its important to use cleaners that will clean while also killing germs. Typical laundry detergent is great at getting out stains and reducing the number of germs that may have found their way onto the clothing, but if you truly want to get serious about disinfecting, you’re going to want to use a cleaner with bleach. Bleach will help kill any bacteria or viruses that may have infiltrated your jersey, uniform, or other equipment. Items like soccer shin guards, sliding pads, sweat bands, and more, can also be washed in a bleach bath to help kill the germs. Just be careful while using bleach as a cleaner. We recommend diluting the bleach and testing it on an inconspicuous area of the clothing to ensure that there won’t be any fading or discoloration.

Shared and Individual Sporting Equipment

When dealing with sports like baseball, soccer, football, tennis, and more, there’s going to be equipment that you will be in contact with throughout the game. Whether that equipment is a ball, protective padding/helmets, or a bat/club, you will want to make sure that you properly sanitize all of that equipment before sharing it, or before using it for the next game. While COVID-19 mainly spreads through aerosol droplets from our nose and mouth, and not necessarily sweat, it’s still important to clean any piece of equipment that your hands might come in contact with. Even though it’s harder to contract the virus through physical touch, you could end up with the virus on your hands and then touch your eyes or mouth. Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer at your games is a great way to keep your team protected while making sure that the equipment stays safe for everyone’s use. If you’re playing a sport that requires multiple people to use the same piece of equipment (baseball, basketball, football, etc.) a simple wipe down of the bat or ball as often as possible is a great way to limit the possibility of spreading germs. We also recommend that after the game is over to take all your equipment, outside of jerseys and clothing items that can be washed in the washing machine, and thoroughly wipe them down with disinfecting wipes. These wipes are super easy to use and will provide enough cleaning power to kill most germs. The use of hand sanitizer by your teammates will also drastically reduce the germs that end up on your hands before, and after, you touch a piece of equipment.

Water Bottles

One of the most important pieces of equipment, that a lot of people forget about, is your water bottle. Since we know that COVID-19 spreads via aerosol droplets from our mouth and nose, cleaning your water bottle is especially important. While COVID-19 and other viruses tend to die when coming in contact with stomach acid (when drank), it’s less likely for you to become infected that way, but usually when you’re looking for water during a game or a match it’s because you’re breathing heavy, which can spread aerosol droplets in the air. If you’re around a number of teammates all doing the same thing, you want to make sure that you stay as safe as possible. Keep your water bottle clean by hand washing it, or putting it in the dishwasher, after every sporting event. This will clean off any dirt or germs that may have accumulated on it during your activity. It’s also extremely crucial that you do not share your water bottle with anyone, even family if you can help it. Make sure your water bottle is properly labeled so that nobody will grab it by accident and place it in a spot where you can easily find it. We’re so glad that kids, and adults, are starting to get back out there and enjoy the sports and activities that they love so much. We also recognize that there is still a global pandemic that continues to put strain on our hospital system and continues to make people extremely sick. Properly cleaning and sanitizing your sporting equipment, jerseys, and water bottles is a small way that you can help to slow the spread of the virus while still allowing you be with your friends and teammates.
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