The Trouble With Dirty Hockey Laundry


The urge to do the dirty hockey laundry is so overpowering, I just can’t help it!

By Christine Ramirez

Dirty hockey laundry is my per peeve. You guessed it; I am a laundry fiend. There, I said it. I cannot stand to see dirty laundry in the basket even half full. I will, however, wait until it is more than overly full. I mean, we all must be mindful of our water usage. I really do try to not be wasteful.

And then there is hockey night. It’s one of those games my husband goes to at 10 pm on a work night, and he doesn’t get home till 1 am. So he rolls into bed at around 1:15 am and totally wakes me up from a deep sleep (I am usually in bed by 10 on work nights). Then I am unable to get back to sleep…

Overpowering Urge

Cut to the next morning. My husband is already on the 7:40 commuter train to the city, heading to work. I wander downstairs and prep my computer to do my work (I am truly blessed that on most days I’m allowed to work from home). It is around 8 am and I have maybe another 30 minutes before it’s time to log in and start working, with my head down, no interruptions, except a break for lunch. So I wander to the laundry area.

Well, guess what is waiting for me in the newly filled laundry basket? Still-damp hockey dirty laundry! I’m referring to the undergarments; the hockey jersey; the socks; the t-shirt he wears under all the equipment; the athletic socks; the towel he used for his skate blades; the towel he used (in a germ-y locker room); the actual undies; along with any other fabric casualties from a late-night, adult hockey game. Ewwww! The urge to do laundry is so overpowering I just can’t help it!

Dirty Hockey Laundry: Warm or Cold?

It has been 13-and-a-half years of this dirty laundry issue. When we were first together I would do his dirty hockey laundry the way I’d any other colorfast items… general warm-water wash and then medium setting for the dryer. He so busted me one day during the laundry cycle when we were both at home and he checked the laundry area during a hockey wash cycle. “These must be done in cold water only, and then dried in a light, low, fluff cycle! You’re destroying my hockey gear!” I really was not hurting his hockey gear. They were all fine. But I learned something that day. Always do the hockey laundry when he is not around!

So on some mornings, in that small 30-minute window I have to do his hockey laundry (when he is not home, of course), well, that is when I do it. And here’s the best secret of all: I still run it on a warm-water setting. But since it is the first wash of the day, the water is cold while it pours into the machine and it takes about three minutes to warm up. By that time it is done and the water filling the drum is still cold to the touch. Subsequent rinses, as most of us know, are all always in cold water.

Once the batch of dirty hockey laundry is done and ready for the dryer, well, I do not put the synthetic items in the dryer. Frankly, they have less moisture in them after a spin cycle than they do when my husband drapes them on the laundry basket after a game. So I do not run them in the dryer; I hang it all on his equipment tree in the garage and they literally dry in 30 minutes.

Trust me on this: The synthetic hockey things can take the warm-water setting if it is the first load you do. And then just hang them to dry. Mornings are best, as he may have another game that very night and might want to use the newly fresh and laundered items you so thoughtfully provided for his… very next game.

Isn’t that a thoughtful gesture?

In real life, The Hockey Wife is Christine Ramirez, a software QA and documentation specialist. And she is actually the wife of Warren Tabachnick, the editor & publisher of A long-time hockey fan, Chris sometimes becomes disillusioned with the sport over the course of the season, due to hockey overload. But each year, when the Stanley Cup playoffs descend, her interest is once again piqued.

Are you a hockey wife? Do you have a hockey wife? Share your stories with us! is reader supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.


  1. Speaking of hockey laundry, please take the time to read the below review of Sweat X. This new laundry detergent gets the smell out of sweaty clothes and jerseys while the odor spray works on your equipment. The stain remover gets everything out from blood to mud. Truly a game-changer that resolves the hockey-smell issue. Go to for more information.

Got something to say? Tell us!

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.