A person wearing knee pads and rollerblading on the beach.

How to Wash Roller Derby Pads

Roller derby is one of the most exciting—and arguably undervalued—sports around. You get a great workout, build a connection with teammates, and have the opportunity to release aggression in a controlled environment.

To let out that aggression, i.e., compete, in a safe way, you need some specific gear, including a set of pads. With so much sweat going into those pads each time you play, it’s important to wash them properly in between bouts. Below, we’ll look at how to wash the pads correctly so they smell fresh and perform like new for as long as possible.

Get Ready for Action

Washing your roller derby gear won’t be quite as exciting as taking part in the game, but it’s a job that needs to be done, so you might as well do it right. Start by collecting a few basic supplies:

  • The right detergent. You don’t want to use a harsh detergent for this job, or a cheap product that isn’t capable of delivering the cleaning power you need. A detergent like WIN is ideal because it has been carefully designed to work on sports gear made from synthetic materials—like your pads and even other elements of your uniform.
  • Lukewarm water. Get a small bucket or use a sink and fill it up with warm water. You don’t want the water to be too hot, or the pads might be damaged, but cold water won’t do as good of a job cleaning. Lukewarm water is just right.
  • A soft brush. If it’s been a while—or forever—since you’ve washed your pads, using a brush with soft bristles will help you get them fully clean without damaging them the way a really abrasive brush might.
  • Clean towels. When you’re done washing the pads, you’ll want a handy place to set them so they can air dry properly. Towels are the easiest; you can also hang them from a line or drying rack if you have one available.

Follow Directions

Before you start washing your pads, it’s a good idea to read any laundering guidelines that come with them. You might be able to find this information on a label attached to the pad, or you may need to go online and look for directions provided by the manufacturer. No one knows better than the manufacturer when it comes to how a product should be cleaned, so this is your best source for washing instructions and warnings for what not to do.

A Simple Process

Assuming the pads don’t come with any particularly restrictive directions, you should be ready to get started. As a first step, knock off anything that is stuck to the surface of the pads, like bits of dirt or debris. This will keep your water cleaner and give you the best chance at a thorough cleaning.

Next, add a bit of detergent to your sink or bucket of warm water and stir it to develop some suds. Then, drop the pads in, swish them around, and let them soak for at least a few minutes. This soaking time will allow the detergent to get to work and do its job.

When you’re done soaking the pads, use your brush to give them a scrub. Once you are happy with the appearance of the cleaned pads, rinse them with fresh water to wash off any remaining detergent.

Drying is the last step of the process. Do not put your pads in the dryer! That environment is too hot and harsh for your roller derby pads. Instead, find a place to lay them out on a towel, and wait for them to air dry. This will take longer, of course, but the pads will last longer as a result. And who wants to constantly be buying new sports equipment?

Order a Bottle of WIN Today

WIN detergent is designed to keep your roller derby gear smelling fresh and looking clean, no matter how hard you train. Our powerful formula targets tough odors and stains, while also preserving the integrity and performance of your activewear. Whether you're a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, trust WIN to keep your roller derby pads and other items in top condition.

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