A crazy, true story about the Importance of caring for your hockey gear.

A crazy, true story about the Importance of caring for your hockey gear.

August 02, 2020

The Importance of Gear Care

It was December of 2004, before Barn Burner Hockey was even a thought. I was helping run practice drills for my younger brother’s hockey team. A fresh faced 18 year old showing the young guns how to wheel. During a scrimmage I fell into the boards awkwardly and split my elbow open. Despite the bleeding, I continued on with the practice and had a game later that night with my own team.

At my game I got ready with my damp, germ ridden hockey equipment and played 3 periods of hockey. Back then, not unlike most hockey players today, I didn’t clean my gear. I didn’t deodorize it. I rarely even aired it out. And I sure as hell didn’t take any of it out at home to wash it... Mine and my brother’s gear only got washed when my mom simply couldn’t stand the smell of it any longer.

Little did I know, a couple of days after suffering the cut a doctor would be telling me that I was lucky that I wasn't losing my arm. The cut became infected from staphylococcal bacteria and I had developed a near flesh eating disease in my forearm just below the cut itself. As time went on, the pain spread from my elbow area, to my entire arm. 

I remember sitting in my parents living room and my dad seeing me holding my arm in pain. A few hours later I was in a hospital bed receiving intravenous, with a doctor telling me that if I had waited another day or two, I would have likely had to have had my arm amputated as the infection had gotten so bad. All due to the bacteria from my dirty hockey equipment entering my blood stream through the cut.

For the next few weeks a nurse came over to our house daily to administer a constant flow of medication through a machine that was attached to my waist. I missed a lot of hockey while it healed. It was a terrible, disappointing experience that could have easily been avoided.

Fast forward 16 years later, my brothers and I teamed up with a friend to create Barn Burner Hockey. Our goal is to offer a line of all-natural, chemical free hockey products that not only enhance your performance as a hockey player, but also foster a new mindset for players around caring for their hockey gear.

Filthy Mitts, our equipment deodorizing spray contains highly effective essential oils and other safe ingredients that combine to provide anti-microbial capabilities. Filthy Mitts doesn’t just mask smells, it’s formulated with high grade, anti-bacterial ingredients like pure witch hazel and organic tea tree oil that KILL germs and KILL odour for good. When used regularly, this formula will maintain a fresh smell and help fight against the bad bacteria that build up from sweat and grime. 

See below to learn more about Filthy Mitts, along with a quick checklist to help you maintain clean, bacteria free hockey gear. 

Barn Burner Hockey Gear Care Checklist

Here’s a small and very simple list of things all players should do regularly to help keep equipment clean and bacteria free:

  1. Always take your gear out and hang it or spread it in a well ventilated area to allow the sweat to ‘air out’. This will dry your gear and help prevent bacteria build up caused by sweat.
  2. Most of your hockey equipment has direct contact with your skin. Your sweat soaks into the equipment, as well as the apparel you wear under your gear. That is where the hockey stench comes from. DryFit gear is made to absorb your sweat, making it some of the worst smelling hockey gear players own. This is why you need to wash it every 1-2 weeks (depending on how often you play). Not only will it help your entire bag from holding the odour, it will help kill and prevent bacteria from developing as well.
  3. As for your actual hockey equipment, if you have inserts in your shin pads for example, they should be removed and washed regularly with your under gear. Your other equipment in general should be washed every 1-2 months (depending on how often you are on the ice). This will prolong the life of your equipment and it will also help prevent injuries from bacterial infections.
  4. Lastly, when you get off the ice take 5 seconds to spray 2-3 sprays of Filthy Mitts Deodorizing equipment spray into your gloves, shin pads, elbow pads, skates and throughout your bag before closing it up. You won’t be disappointed with the freshness this brings to your gear and neither will your friends, family, coaches and teammates!



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