Volleyball knee pads are really essential for your safety and comfort … However, if you don’t take care of them properly this could impact their longevity and effectiveness.
Most practitioners prefer to put their knee pads in a dryer as part of their care, yet this might not always be the best option …
In this short article, I share whether you should put volleyball knee pads in the dryer as well as the best practices to keep your knee pads in the best possible condition.
- In most cases, dryer is not the best option for knee pads due to potential tissue damage. Air-drying is a better option.
- You can speed up the drying process using absorbent materials or a fan.
- Proper washing, correct storage as well as regular rotation can significantly extend knee pad life span.
Should you put volleyball knee pads in a dryer?
It might seem convenient to put your beloved volleyball knee pads in a dryer, yet it is not recommended for couple reasons:
- High heat might deteriorate its material and comprise the padding. Elastic can even lose some of its stretch.
- Most Knee Pads, even the Quality Models (Check This Example Here at Amazon) come with care instructions that prohibit machine drying.
- Dryers could impact your knee pads shape, thus having them less fitting your knees form.
Best dryer conditions to dry volleyball knee pads …
I understand that in some cases you might need to dry your knee pads immediately and you are looking for a fast solution …
Well, in this case you can still choose to dry your volleyball knee pads in a dryer, just try to follow these couple of tips:
- Always opt for the lowest heat setting
- Use the air-dry feature if your machine comes with this feature
- Consider putting the knee pads inside a mesh laundry bag for added protection
Keep in mind that this should be an exception rather than a rule.
Risks of using a dryer for knee pads …
Below are couple of risks you should be aware of if you ever choose to use a dryer:
- Elastic Damage: Elastic bands are a very important element of your pads. However, high heat can stretch or break those bands, affecting their fit and protective capabilities.
- Padding Deformation: Again, excessive heat can cause the padding to shrink or deform. If that happens, this will significantly reduce their ability to protect your lovely knees.
- Material Wear: It is no mystery that constant exposure to heat will degrade the materials, leading to faster wear and tear.
- Color Fading: Girls won’t like that (I guess boys too …) as your knee pads color will quickly fade with repeated exposure to high heat.
- Shrinkage: Over time, you will start noticing that knee pads are shrinking. This will make them uncomfortably tight.
Alternative drying methods
There are couple of alternatives that you should keep in mind:
Air Drying: Probably the easiest & most recommend method. Indeed, after washing your pads, you can gently squeeze any excess of water and then lay them flat to dry in a ventilated area. Make sure there is no direct sunlight.
Towel Drying: Pick a dry & clean towel to absorb maximum of water. Just lay the pad on the towel, roll it up and then gently press to remove remaining moisture. You can, if you want, repeat with a dry towel, then air dry it as explained above.
Dehumidifier: If you live in a humid area where air drying might not be a practical option, then you might place your knee pads in a small room with a Dehumidifier (Check This Example) until they are fully dry.
Fan Drying: You can use a fan to make the air-drying process quite faster. You can position a fan to blow air onto the knee pads to ensure a faster result.
Low or no-heat Dryer: That’s an option that many dryers allow that you can opt for in case you don’t have time. Some dryers allow for Zero heat drying which is much less damaging.
Dryer Rack: If you have many sports equipment that you need to regularly dry, then you definitely should use a Quality Drying Rack (Check This Example Here at Amazon). This will make the process more convenient and faster.
Radiator Drying: In colder climates, you can place the knee pads on a radiator or heater. However, you need to make sure the heat is significantly low to avoid any kind of damage. Also, make sure the knee pads are not in direct contact with the heat source.
How to dry volleyball knee pads fast?
Here’s a unique tip to dry volleyball knee pads fast – use a salad spinner!
Yes, it sounds unconventional, but it’s surprisingly effective … After washing your knee pads, place them one at a time in a large salad spinner (Don’t Tell your Mother or Wife about it … If you are a Women reading this article, then I am sorry about that …).
Make sure to spread it evenly around the edge … Then, give it a good spin!
The centrifugal force will pull out a significant amount of water. This will significantly speed up the drying process … This method is really effective, quick, and gentle on your knee pads.
Once you see that you spun out as much water as possible, then you can complement that with air drying or any of the alternative methods mentioned earlier.
Tips for prolonging the life of knee pads
If you are interested in prolonging the life span of your volleyball knee pads, then you probably need to have a look at these tips:
- Proper Cleaning: This one is really simple. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing your knee pads. By doing only this, you will properly take care of them.
- Storage: Knee pads should always be stored in a cool & dry place when not in use.
- Correct Usage: If you’ve bought knee pads for volleyball. Then only use them for this purpose and avoid using them for other activities even if they might seem to be similar to volleyball. For example, don’t use your volleyball knee pads in soccer!
- Rotate Pads: It would be nice if you can have 2 pairs of knee pads so you can rotate their usage. This will give each pair the chance to fully dry & recover in between games and practice sessions.
- Condition Pads: If your pads are made out of leather, then you probably should condition them from time to time. This will keep them supple and prevent them from cracking.
You can apply those tips for other volleyball clothing …
Final Thoughts …
Hopefully this article has made things clear for you and gave you many other options to properly dry your knee pads without putting them in a dryer and risking damaging them …
If you haven’t chosen your knee pads yet, then I highly recommend checking this practical guide to pick and choose your knee pads. I think you will find it useful …