Shin pads are massively important for MMA and Muay Thai training. You don’t want to be kicking any banana trees or your sparring partner without wearing them. So you have to take good care of them so you can keep your shins and your partner’s body safe from the impact of your kicks.
Even high-quality shin pads will not survive the grueling punishment of your training sessions if you don’t care for and clean them properly.
Neglect can decrease the pads’ lifespan, which means you will have to buy new protective gear ones a lot sooner than you expected. To avoid that all you have to do are two simple things;
- Provide regular care to the shin pads
- Sanitize them properly
Regular Shin Pad Care
You can begin the pampering of your shin pads with better treatment, and you will never get any acknowledgment from them.
Your leather or synthetic leather gear requires more attention than you believe;
- After you train and come back home, take the shin pads out of the kit bag.
- Leaving them in there for the night will give them a very distinct odor in no time at all.
- Allowing them to air will get the moisture out from the leather and the protective padding.
- When the sweat dries out the odor will leave with it.
Another good idea is to get a gym bag that is manufactured with the material that promotes airflow. This is a good idea if you train in the middle of your day.
You may have to go back to work after the session and the whole time you are at the office your shin guards, and the rest of your gear, sit in the bag roasting in the moisture.
A bag with, let’s say, a mesh material will allow air to get into the bag and deter odor build up in the gear.
When you get home you can try the following techniques for improved care;
- You can place old papers, preferably newspaper, on the inside of the shin pads and leave them there for at least an hour. The paper will absorb the wetness from the inner material.
- You can put deodorizer balls inside the shin pads to kill the odor. If you have never heard of them you can find them online. They are made to be placed inside athletic gear or shoes and they kill the odor inside.
- Putting the shin protectors in front of a fan for a few hours will dry them more effectively.
- Keep the shin pads away from damp clothing. The extra moisture will wreck the leather.
- Under no circumstances should you use a heat sour, hair dryer, machine dryer or direct sunlight to dry the shin pads. All these methods will adversely affect the gear.
Easy Ways to Clean your Shin Pads
The cleaning methods listed below are for all designs of shin pads. If you have the open design, Velcro closure, shin pads, then you are in luck. They are much easier to clean than ones that have a closed design.
Here is how you can keep your shin pads minty fresh;
Cleaning Shin Pads after you Train
- A simple wipe down is all that is required. You should make it a habit. After you have finished training, wipe the outside of the shin pads with a towel before storing them in your bag.
- Use disinfectant wipes on them when you get home. Wipe down the entire area with the wipes. This will sanitize the gear very effectively.
- You can also keep a disinfectant spray, specially made for athletic gear, in your kit bag. After the moisture is gone, spray the inside and outside of the shin pads and dry them out once again. This will kill all the odor creating bacteria.
- A good home remedy is to mix vinegar, one tablespoon, and water, one cup, and clean the shin guards with the solution.
Machine Wash or Hand Wash your Shin Pads?
That is the most common thought in every Muay Thai and MMA fighter’s mind. Why can’t I just throw the shin pads in the washer and dryer and be done with it?
Exposing the material, leather or leather-based, to moisture for long periods of time destroys its integrity. As a result, the shin pads will start to crack or wrinkle. Throwing them in the wash is NOT a good idea. The water will damage the leather and take away its natural oils. The motion of the machine will also harm the strapping and stitching of the gear.
We haven’t even gotten to the part about the problem of trying to dry the shin pads when the inside is full of water. You can’t wring the water out of them, can’t place them in front of a heater, and can’t hang them in the sun. Your only option would be to hang them to dry, which could take a while.
You will have a disintegrated pair of shin pads at the end of the whole process. So you just don’t try to wash your shin pads in any way.
With regular care and cleaning 2-3 times a week, your shin protectors will not only be clean but healthy as well. No more bacteria that cause odor and can harm your skin.
This is the minimal amount of effort required to clean your shin pads and make sure that they endure for years. You can visit our DIY section for more combat gear cleaning advice.