How to Wash Shin Guards: A Fast and Easy Step-by-Step Guide

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

Are you wondering how to wash shin guards? Should you throw them into a washing machine or hand wash them?

Knowing how to wash shin guards, or shin pads, as a soccer player is not only crucial for hygiene, but also for extending their lifespan. Shin guards are one of the most important pieces of soccer equipment that players should always carry in their bag because they can help prevent certain injuries.

However, shin guards should not be left in a bag after a game or training session, at least for too long, because they can get really smelly and they can make your bag, and other items in there, smelly as well. In this blog we will be going over how to wash your shin guards properly.

How to Wash Shin GuardsEasy and Simple Steps for How to Wash Shin Guards

After a few times of wearing your shin guards you may find that they are starting to smell or look really dirty. Follow these easy and simple steps to make sure your shin guards stay in top condition.

Gather Your Materials:

Before starting the cleaning process make sure to have the following materials:

  • A bowl full of warm water, or use a sink
  • A natural laundry detergent
  • A fine brush
  • Clean, soft cloth

Prep Your Shin Guards:

Remove the shin guards from your soccer bag, and take a moment to inspect them. Brush off any visible dirt or debris.

Hand Wash with Soapy Water:

Fill a bow or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Gently scrub the shin guards using a fine brush or a soft cloth.

Focus on Troublesome Areas:

Pay special attention to areas prone to collecting sweat and bacteria, such as the padding and straps, and spend extra time on these parts.

Soak for a Few Hours:

For stubborn odors or stains, allow the shin guards to soak in the soapy water for a few hours.

Rinse and Wipe:

After the soaking period, rinse the shin guards thoroughly with clean water and wipe them down with a soft cloth to remove any soap.

Air Dry Naturally:

The next crucial step is to let your shin guards air dry naturally. Hang them in a well-ventilated area to ensure they dry completely and eliminate any remaining odors.

Final Inspection:

Once dry, check your shin guards one last time to see if you got rid of all of the stains and the smell.

How to Wash Shin Guards Image by Jona Møller

How often should you wash shin guards?

The amount of times that you wash your shin guards is going to come down to preference. Typically, once a month should be okay, but If you play competitively a lot then you may want to do it twice a month. If you find your shin guards are starting to develop dirt and unpleasant smells, then that is a good sign that they may need a cleaning soon.

How to Wash Shin Guards

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put soccer shin guards in the washing machine?

Yes, technically you can put your shin guards in the washing machine, but it is not really recommended as different parts of the shin guards may get damaged depending on the type of shin guards you wear. Hand washing is best.

Should you leave soccer shin guards in your bag?

Avoid leaving your shin guards inside of your bag as they may develop unpleasant smells and can make the rest of your equipment, such as socks, and cleats, smell too. Leave them outside to air dry and help to naturally eliminate odors.

How do you wear shin guards?

To wear shin guards properly you will also have to learn how to wear soccer socks properly.


In this blog we provided a quick and easy overview of how to wash shin guards effectively, emphasizing the importance of maintaining hygiene and extending the lifespan of your soccer gear and equipment.

By incorporating these simple steps into your routine, you not only eliminate unpleasant odors but also maintain clean shin guards, ensuring you’re always ready to hit the field clean and confident.

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