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How To Clean Your Skateboard Pads » Avoid the Stink Factor

Your pads stink!
You know it. I know it. Everyone near you knows it.

Yet, for some reason, you still don't wash your pads.

I used to suffer the same dilemma: laziness. Plain and simple, cleaning your pads is a hassle. I come home exhausted from a sk8 session, work or whatever and cleaning pads is the last thing I want to do. I'll dump clothes in the washer and walk off without expending too much energy, but pads can't be cleaned as easily as shirts and pants...
...or can they?

Yes they can... sort of. But, first you have to understand your funk and how laundry appliances deal with it. The average washing machine can't distinguish between ground-in grass stains and a shirt you wore for an hour. The grass stains need to be battered and scrubbed aggressively, whereas the shirt simply needs to be gently swished around to remove your funk. It's up to you to set the washing machine to the correct setting based on what you're cleaning.

Pads don't really get any stubborn stains, just the stench of sweat. This means they only need a gently cleaning to remove odor. You could hand-wash your pads, but if you're too lazy to dump ‘em in the washing machine, you'll never do it by hand. So, lets look at how to wash pads in the washing machine with out damaging your pads or the washer.

Cleaning Skateboard Pads in the Washing Machine

Always wash your pads separately from any other clothing items. The caps might ruin t-shirts and lighter weight stuff.

  1. Secure all the velcro fasteners so your pads don't get snarled up.
  2. Dump your knee, elbow and wrist pads, along with your helmet liner into the washing machine.
  3. Spread them out so all pads are as close to the bottom as possible - no stacking.
  4. Set the water level to "low" or high enough to cover the pads.
  5. Set the washing machine to the "gentle" or "delicates" cycle.
  6. Add a quarter-cup (or quarter of whatever measuring thing you use) of detergent.
  7. Start the washing machine.
  8. Once the washing machine has filled with water, let it run for a few minutes. this will mix the detergent throughout your pads.
  9. shut off the washer.
  10. Let your disgusting pads soak in the water for a half-hour.
  11. Re-start the washing machine to resume the cycle.
  12. When the complete cycle finishes (the washer stops), take out your pads and helmet liner.
  13. Do not put them in the dryer!
  14. Hang your pads up to dry overnight or put them outside in the sun to dry faster.


  • In the washer, use hot or cold water - I don't think it matters that much unless your pads are encrusted with gross crap (then use hot water).
  • Don't put your pads in the dryer. The heat and tumbling may not be the best thing for your expensive pads.
  • When drying your pads don't hang them up on metal hangers or anything that can rust. Rust stains tend to make your pads uncomfortable to wear and they look like crap.

This is worth mentioning earlier, but wearing pads - even though that's what makes ‘em dirty - is a good idea. Broken bones are not cool. You old-schoolers know that you can't slam the way yo used to as a kid. So, wear your pads and then CLEAN THEM!

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