How to Wash / Clean Wrestling Shoes and Headgear?

how to clean wrestling shoes and headgears properly

I don’t know what sports you are doing however if you are sweating extremely a lot, you need to clean your sports gears and wrestling definitely falls into this category.methods for cleanining wrestling shoes

Below you can find extremely easy methods to clean your wrestling shoes and headgear. Also, if you are wondering the answer for whether you can wash your wrestling shoes or not, just scroll down.

Table of Contents

How to Clean Wrestling Shoes?

First of all, the shoe type is important. For example, what materials are the shoes made of? Is the mesh, which is the most sensitive part of a shoe, sturdy enough? Can you take the insole out? There are many factors here. These actually determine whether you can wash the shoe or not. If you are interested in washing the shoes there is information in the middle of this page. If you prefer cleaning with your hand, continue reading.

You can remove insole of the most wrestling shoes. For example, I have never encountered a pair of wrestling shoes with a non-removable insole.

Then, clean the insole with a preferred cleaning method. You can use antibacterial wipes to remove the dirt. You can soak a piece of fabric in soapy water and rub it to the insole. The vinegar solution is also a good alternative and this is actually my first preference as it is natural.

This should help you get the smell of out your wrestling shoes. But some smells are just more stubborn than the others. If your shoe is one of them, use baking soda which is natural and doesn’t hurt the construction. But definitely, don’t put your shoes in a freezer or really cold environment to do that as even though it works the freezer will smell and I am guessing that no one does not want that.

You can just remove the laces and wash them in a washing machine or by hand. If you put in them in a washing machine put them in some kind of a washing bag so these will not be tangled after a wash.

Use an old toothbrush to clean the sole of a wrestling shoe. This is particularly important as a toothbrush can clean the lines, which are quite hard to clean, well.

Pro Tips: If this also does not work and the horrible smell stays, replace the insole with a new one. However, you may need to adjust it, cut it horizontally or vertically to fit your shoe. You may also want to see how it feels before deciding for an insole. Because these may have a different density or may be made of different materials and you may not feel “right”. However, you need to leave it outside for a day or hours depending on the shoe so it can dry fully. There are also deodorizers, sprays for cleaning if you prefer it to dry quickly. After washing or cleaning it is important that the shoes do not get sunlight as it can affect the construction badly. For instance, the leather can stretch and stay that way. The fit changes and it might be uncomfortable to wear them. It is just one of the things which can happen if your shoes are exposed to sunlight.

Obviously, even if you clean them regularly, don’t wear your wrestling shoes for daily life as the soles of the shoes can get dirt, infections which you can’t get rid of before a workout.

Put cleaning towels on the floor so wrestlers can clean their shoes with it before they get on the wrestling mats. For example, ringworm is one of the most common fungus types which can be found on wrestling mats and you can prevent it from happening with a doormat or a damp towel.

Can you Wash Wrestling Shoes?

Well, this is the question of the year. Literally, there have been thousands of people argue about it on Facebook groups.

This depends on the shoe. The construction of wrestling shoes tend to be solid and you can generally wash most of them. For example, I found out that wrestling shoes, which can be used as lifting shoes, are extremely solid and you can wash all of them. However, note that there are a few wrestling shoes which can’t be washed in a washing machine and the companies mention that in the product description. You can also find information about the setting of washing machines there. As a side note, washing them at cold degrees does not have any effect on the construction.

After cleaning, you can do any classic drying methods out there. If you are in a hurry, you can stuff newspaper, put cotton in the shoes or you can just let it air for a couple of hours then you are good to go. With that being said, keep in mind that wrestling shoes have big meshes and these let a good amount of air in and out so these dry quickly.

What if your Shoes have Scuffs?

Well, that sucks but luckily there are a few things you can do.

You can make baking soda water solution. Get a fabric and rub the fabric with the solution to the scruffs and rub a bit toothpaste to scuffs. It works wonders. After that, you can dry it with a towel or a piece of fabric.

Even though dish detergent can’t be used for sensitive materials like satin you can use it for wrestling shoes as these generally are not made of by one.

If these methods don’t seem to work here are some to get rid of the smell of wrestling shoes

How to Clean a Wrestling Headgear?

Cleaning wrestling headgears is pretty straightforward.

Whether a headgear is made of genuine leather or synthetic leather you can use the following method.

You can prepare a cleaning solution. This solution can be vinegar, which is my favorite, soapy water or anything which doesn’t hurt the cover material. You can even buy disinfectants which are suitable for cover material.

You can apply the same method above for getting rid of the smell as you may have already experienced that the headgears can smell a lot as your head is the hottest part of your body and you may not notice that you sweat a lot as headgear’s lining can be pretty good at absorbing the sweat. But obviously, it can’t get rid of the smell. You can put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in your wrestling headgear. Also, I suggest you put your wrestling headgear in a big bowl or washbowl, which is filled with baking soda, from time to time. The reason is that there can be smell and bacteria also invades the outer part. Remember this part of the headgear also contacts your opponent skin and you don’t want him/her to get infected, right? Obviously, you don’t need to do this every time as it does not always get dirty.

methods for cleanining wrestling headgears

Some Tips

Guys clean your wrestling gears any time before you step on the mats. Not only this helps the wrestling mats stay clean but you also lower the risk of people getting an infection, fungus etc.

It is really easy to get something while you are on mats. If you don’t do it, not only you are more likely to get infected with bacteria others are also more susceptible to get it. Just don’t train with dirty gears!

Guys, these are my go-to methods and these have been working well over 2 years. I also included some pro tips to avoid infection, skin diseases above. These also help with the durability of the gears as well. Especially genuine leather like suede benefits from cleaning significantly.

How do you clean your wrestling gears? Do you use other methods to clean them or do you use the methods above?

Feel free to share your experiences and recommendations to clean your wrestling equipment below!

Image Courtesy of  Ron Wise from USA, COST GUARD COMPASS, U.S. AIR FORCE, 12019 via Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved
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