How to Remove the Odor From Shin Guards

Muddy legs of soccer players

Shin guards do exactly as their name suggests, protect the shins from kicks during a soccer match. The guards are worn on top of the shins and under your socks, which puts them in an ideal spot to soak up dirt, grime and sweat – all of which can lead to foul-smelling odors. Eliminating the odors requires deodorizing or washing the shin guards, depending on the severity of the smells.


Removing the odors requires neutralizing and killing the bacteria that accumulate or grow on the shin guards from dirt and sweat. Airing the shin guards out and allowing them to fully dry after use, before storing them, can help to prevent odors. Spraying the fabric and plastic portions of the guards with an antimicrobial, such as those found in commercial deodorizing sprays, can help to eliminate any odors. Make your own, all natural deodorizing spray by combining three parts water and one part baking soda in a spray bottle. Liberally spray the shin guards with the mixture and allow them to sit for one hour. Wipe the spray off with a clean, damp towel and allow the shin guards to completely dry.

Washing Instructions

It may be time to wash the shin guards, if the odor persists, after employing the deodorizing methods. Some guards are machine washable; check the label and follow directions. The shin guards that are not machine washable, such as those that are hard plastic, can be hand washed. Fill a large basin with warm water and adding 1 cup of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of mild soap. Allow the shin guards to soak in the mixture for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse the shin guards with clean warm water and allow them to completely dry before using.