Spring is in the air. With the warmer weather comes an increase in activity and that means more sweat, more dirt, and more frequent cleanings. The frequent cleaning should be in place to keep germs, mildew, and other gross stuff under control. Not mention, prevent your gear smelling like a locker room. What’s more, not cleaning your equiptment regularly can actually decrease its performance. Even if you’re regularly cleaning your gear, and you should be doing that, here’s a quick guide to making sure you’re keeping your equipment clean the right way.
Head Phones/ Ear Buds
Dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and wipe it across the speakers of your earbuds. This works best for in-earbud that can gather wax as they nestle in your ear canal. The rubbing alcohol should take the wax right out, making your music instantly sound more clear. You only need to do this if you notice gunk buildup, or if the audio is noticeably quieter in one bud.
Backpacks collect so much more than what you put inside them. First vacuum out dirt and debris. Then, add a delicate detergent to warm water and use a sponge or cloth to wipe the pack down. Some pack manufacturers also recommending avoiding hot water or spot removers, as these can damage the fabric. As you clean your pack, examine the zippers, which can fail if they’re jammed with dirt and debris. You can vacuum out the dirt, or scrub zippers with a soft nylon brush (like a toothbrush) and cold water. After you wash the bag, don’t put it in the dryer. A good way to dry your pack is to stuff it with newspapers and hang it in the shade.
Hopefully, you’re not waiting until spring to clean your water bottle but just in case…pick your cleaning solution and get it ready. White vinegar is probably best for the job because it’s an excellent stain remover. Dilute 1-2 tablespoons of the vinegar with a cup of water. Pour the solution into your water bottle and let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse. Voila!
Forget using your breath to remove streaks and residue. Rinse your sunglasses under warm water- not too hot, not too cold. Use a mild dishwashing soap to wash all over your frames, working it in with your fingers. If necessary, use a microfiber cloth to dislodge heavier grime. Concentrate on areas that are heavily exposed to your skin – the nose bridge and the ends of your stems. A soft-bristled toothbrush is ideal for cracks and crannies, especially the groove where the lens sits, as build-up is prone to occur there. Rinse off all the soap, dirt, and dust. Watch it swish satisfactorily down the drain. Dry your sunglasses thoroughly using a microfiber or lint-free cloth. If you use a towel, you may end up with lenses covered in towel fuzz.
Clean your gear to prolong its lifespan and also to stay fresh while adventuring. If you have any questions about how to clean any of your other gear, don’t ask Mom, ask McCoo’s.