The suggestions below are a combination of many years of "Mom sense" and advice from Warrior Sports/Brine Corp.
#1 RULE: DO NOT leave equipment, especially wet/sweaty equipment to fester in a lacrosse bag. Airing out your equipment routinely will help maintain good condition and more importantly prevent bacteria and fungus growth. (Not to mention help thwart that awful smell!). Also make a routine use of anti-bacterial/anti fungus sanitizing spray.
- Helmet: Wipe helmet inside and out with a clean damp cloth, and spray the inside with sanitizing spray, or clean with sanitizing wipe. Don't forget the face mask and chin guard (a typical cause of acne)
- Arm Pads/Shoulder Pads: "By washing lacrosse pads occasionally you won’t compromise the protection. The best way to wash arm and shoulder pads is to either hand soak and gently scrub with cold water and a mild detergent or use washing machine in cold water/delicate cycle."
- Gloves: "As for the gloves, DO NOT put in the washer. Simply wipe the outside with a cold damp cloth until clean. If the palm is soiled rinse with cold water, and be sure to let them air dry, Stuff them with newspaper or a towel to help absorb the water from the palm and inside of the glove." To help preserve the leather palms, rub some leather conditioner once the gloves are dry. ps. "Mom sense" I have resorted to using the machine for gloves in extreme situations.
- Cleats: Rinse. wipe, open up and let dry in the sun. In extreme cases: wash on delicate, and air dry (it will hasten their demise, but the stench sometimes calls for it!)
- Bag Don't neglect, you will just transfer your newly sanitized equipment to a bacteria/fungus ridden bag. Wipe out, spray, and in extreme cases use machine in cold water/delicate cycle
- Stick: Take care of your stick. It's how you interact with the game- and your pocket is the most important part.
- Uniquely Yours It's your stick. It doesn't matter if your friends think it throws badly, as long as it works for you. Everyone's stick is different, but serves the same purpose. It's kind of like shoes- even with the exact same shoes, two people will break them in differently, to make them uniquely theirs.
- Keep Your Stick & Back-Up Stick Ready: Nothing breaks in a pocket like use. You want your pocket to throw well- so throw with it. You want it to hold the ball- cradle with it. You want it to shoot right- shoot more. Always be ready to adjust your pocket as you throw around, whether it's with friends or against a wall, or alone at the cage.
- Normal Care
- Make sure your pocket is pushed out and your mesh in not deformed in any way when storing your stick. Your mesh will eventually harden in whatever shape it is stored.
- ie. Don't leave shoved in your equipment bag
- Store your stick inside, out of the extreme elements, especially during the winter, (Heads can easily crack in cold weather)
- Check your shooting strings, over time the strings will come untied.
- Occasionally check the screw attaching your head.
- ***IMPORTANT: after Your Stick Gets Wet
- If muddy, rinse your mesh in cold water, then make certain your pocket is pushed out and formed the way you want it. You can crinkle up newspaper to absorb the water out of the mesh. After drying your pocket will shrink back to its normal depth.