How To Clean Catchers Gear in 5 Easy Steps

Catchers’ role in any baseball match is crucial and they take on a lot of responsibilities. They need to put on a lot of equipment, compared to any other player and there are catcher’s mitts, a face mask, shin guards, a helmet, knee savers, and chest protector.

Throughout a match, these gears are constantly exposed to dirt and grim. And they also take foul and batted balls constantly. So these can easily get affected by bacteria, if not maintained and cleaned properly.

To prevent the spread of infection, regular cleaning of the gears is a must duty to every catcher. That’s why it becomes important to learn how to clean catchers gear in the first place, as it also increases the longevity of these gears.

How To Clean Catchers Gear (step by step guide)
How To Clean Catchers Gear (step by step guide)

If you don’t have enough time to thoroughly clean your gears, then simply use a brush to clean these gears and keep them intact. There are multiple ways to effectively clean the catchers’ gears; in this article, we will discuss them. 

How to clean catchers gear? (An Easy Guide for All)

To clean the catchers gear properly, one must follow some proper steps.

  • First, you must swap off all the mud and dirt fillings stuck on the gears. For it, you can use a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth.
  • Then you need to make a mixture of water and mild detergent, place the gears inside, and leave them to soak.
  • Now take a soft-bristled brush and start to scrub the gears carefully.
  • Each gear has different structures. So you need to run the brush accordingly; else the gears can be damaged.
  • Then you must rinse the gears with cold water and leave them in the open air to dry properly. You also need to sanitize these gears to defeat bacterial infections.
  • After the gears properly dry, you need to store them correctly; so that you can easily use them in your upcoming baseball match.
How to clean catchers gear
How to clean catchers gear?

To clean each gears, the catcher needs to follow some proper steps. A catcher uses a chest protector, mask and helmet, leg and shin guards, gear bag, and catcher’s mitts. Each of these things is made of different materials and these have different shapes.

So the cleaning process can’t be the same. Here we will discuss how to clean catchers gears separately in detail with a step-by-step guide.

How to clean chest protector of a Catcher?

Among various gears, the chest protector is one of the most crucial things that protect the catchers from serious injuries. But it easily gets dirty and is very tricky to clean this gear. That is because most of the time while playing a match, the chest protector remains wet with the sweat of the player’s body.

And when any dirt or mud comes in contact with it, these make a strong bond. If you don’t take proper care of your chest protector, it can go beyond repair, stink grossly or become frank.

How to clean chest protector
How to clean chest protector?

If the chest protector of a catcher does not become too dirty, then he can clean it in a washing machine; but he needs to keep it on a gentle cycle and need to leave it to air dry (it takes a lot of time to dry and proper drying is must before next use).

But if it is too dirty and full of stains or smells, he needs to repeat the process twice and in some cases, he may need to hand-wash it briskly, before reentering it to the washing machine.

After cleaning, you can apply the chemical cleaner to it. It will reduce the soaking time, and sticking with the fiber will help cover odors that may sometimes form during the cleanings process. Every catcher can’t clean his chest protector, after every use. But he must wash it once or twice a week.

How to clean mask and helmet of a Catcher?

Face masks are one of the most crucial things the users need to keep special attention on. Whether these are attached or unattached doesn’t matter, you need to clean them after every match and clean all the dirt and tiny pebbles from them.

You need to pay special attention to areas that are close to the eye and keep them as clean as possible.

You can’t apply any chemicals to these areas and need to clean them with only water and clean them with towels. Every catcher is attentive to his helmet and tries to keep it almost like the new one. So from time to time cleaning the helmet is a must.

How to clean mask and helmet
How to clean mask and helmet

A dirt helmet can produce unpleasant odors, or heavy dust or mud can loosen the metal snaps of the helmet. These can directly affect the player’s performance. To maintain the helmet well, every catcher needs to clean it with a dry towel properly before placing it in the equipment bag.

It is good to store them by wrapping one or two towels. Those will remove all the sweat from the pads and keep the dirt away. 

In some extreme cases, you need to clean the extremely dirty helmets by immersing them in water and leave them for 5 minutes to soak in the water. Then just wipe it with a clean towel and leave it to dry. Keep in mind, it needs a lot of time.

How to clean leg and shin guards?

The plastic-made elongated, cupped pieces that protect the lower part of a catcher’s legs are commonly known as shin guards or leg guards. They are close to the chest protectors. So most of the time, when a catcher cleans his chest protectors, he also cleans these guards. Like chest protectors, shin guards must be cleaned once a week.

How to clean leg and shin guards
How to clean leg and shin guards

But shin guards can’t be cleaned in a washing machine. If you have less time, wipe it with a tower and apply any sports equipment cleaner. For proper cleaning, you need to immerse them in water and leave them for 5 minutes to soak the water and leave it to air dry.

How to clean catchers gear bag?

To prevent the rapid spreading of bacteria, and to keep it clean, every catcher must wash his gear bag regularly. To wash the bag, make a mixture of warm water and mild soap. Emerge the entire bag in this mixture and leave it for at least 20 minutes. Then try to scrub the very dirty sections with a soft brush, again emerge it in clean water, and leave the bag to dry completely.

How to clean mitt?

To keep the glove or mitt last longer and give its best performance, you must take proper care of it. From time to time cleaning is very crucial. To clean the mitt, you first need to rinse it with clean water and sweep off all the mud and dirty elements stuck to it.

Again you need to make a mixture of water and mild soap, apply it to the glove, and ensure you have covered all sections of it.

How to clean mitt
How to clean mitt?

You need to take a good quality leather conditioner and apply it thoroughly on the glove after properly cleaning it. The chemical compound of the leather conditioner will help in resisting the glove to face any irregular crack while drying and will reduce the drying time a lot. 

Store it in a cool, dry place when the mitt is not in use. Don’t leave the glove under direct sunlight for a long time or in a humid environment. These can affect the leather of the glove very badly.

Sanitizing Your Catcher’s Gear

Sanitizing the catcher’s gears while cleaning is very important. It will kill all the bacteria and resist their rapid spreading.

Sanitizing Your Catcher's Gear
Sanitizing Your Catcher’s Gear
  • Sanitizing solution: There are many sanitizing solutions in the market. You can easily find them in the stores, but try to not use any alcohol-based solution. It can leave an impact on the color of the leather. It is good to go with glycerin-based solutions. Or you can make it at home by mixing water and vinegar. It will kill most of the bacteria and germs present on the gear.
  • Application: Applying these solutions on the catcher’s gears is very easy. Just take a clean cloth or sponge, pour 6 to 8 drops of the solution on it, and apply the sanitizer on each section of every gear.
  • Wiping: Now you need to wipe down the gear properly. Pay special attention to those areas where bacteria and germs are likely to accumulate.
  • Rinse: At last you need to rinse the gear thoroughly. And make sure there is no sanitizing solution left on any gear.
  • Drying Your Catcher’s Gear: Proper drying is very important after cleaning the gears. If these do not dry properly, there is a high chance of facing a very bad impact on the leather of the bags.
  • Air dry: This is the most common and effective way to dry the gears properly. To air dry the gears, you need to keep them in a well-ventilated area and ensure direct sunlight doesn’t come in that area by any chance. 
  • Drying rack: You can use a drying rack to hang the gear. It will help the gears to dry without ruining their shape.
  • Avoid heat: Direct heat can affect the fabric or the leather of the gears very badly. So, never use a heater or any type of direct source of heat to dry your gears. It can cause shrinkage and leave a permanent mark on the leather.

Storing Your Catcher’s Gear

After cleaning and sanitizing, proper storing is very crucial; else every effort can be gone on the vent. To store the gears properly, you need to follow some simple steps.  

Storing Your Catcher's Gear
Storing Your Catcher’s Gear
  • Clean and dry: Before storing any gear, you must ensure it is completely clean and dry. Otherwise, if you store slightly weight gears, there is a high chance of facing leather damage.
  • Avoid moisture: Storing these catching gears in a dry place is very important. Always try to keep them away from moisture and humidity.
  • Avoid direct sunlight: Direct sunlight is very harmful to the gears. Don’t ever store them in direct sunlight. It can directly fade or damage the leather of the gear.
  • Use a bag: Always store the gears in a covered bag. It can protect them from any irregular external damage. Always cover to protect the gear when it is not in use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do You Keep Catcher’s Gear From Smelling?

The easiest way to keep the smells away from your gear is to dry them under sunlight, but there is a high chance of leather damage. Another effective way to treat bad smells is to use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. The last way is to completely clean the gears with water and detergent.

Can you machine wash catchers gear?

Yes, you can machine wash the catchers’ gears. But you need to keep it on a gentle cycle. So that the fabric or the gears don’t get any heavy damage.

How can I make my catchers gear smell better?

Always place a deodorizer spray inside your gear bag. If you doubt a bad smell, spray it on your gears lightly to instantly get rid of it. Another way to treat bad smells is to wipe the surface of your equipment with scented kitchen wipes.


Maintaining your catcher gears not only improves their longevity of them but also these have a great impact on the player’s performance. There are multiple ways to clean the gears. You need to choose the method according to your convenience. To maintain the gears properly, you must follow proper cleaning, sanitizing, drying, and storing methods.

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