Water polo caps are made out of a variety of materials, from Lycra to plastic. Because they are made of soft fabrics, over time their exposure to water, chlorine, sunlight, and the rigors of a water polo game can wear them out. This guide includes easy-to-follow tips on how to extend the life of water polo caps.
Rinse Water Polo Caps Off
Few water polo teams regularly rinse off their water polo caps, but if there is a handy faucet or outdoor shower, it is not a bad idea. Washing caps off with cold water immediately after use removes chlorine buildup.
Dry Water Polo Caps Out
Thoroughly drying out water polo caps prevents fabric deterioration, mildew smells, and discoloration. Storing caps bunched together and wet, especially in dark storage closets, leads to mildew growth and deterioration. Either lay caps flat or hang them up to dry individually, ideally before stringing them together on a cap stringer.
Use a Water Polo Cap Stringer
Cap stringers are metal loops that are used to hold caps; caps thread onto the loop through the holes in the plastic ear guards. A cap stringer makes storing, hanging, and keeping the caps together easier, in addition to making it easier to drip-dry the caps if you are unable to dry the caps individually before putting them away.
Avoid Washers & Dryers
Stick to hand washing caps in warm water with mild detergent, especially if caps are a plastic or poly blend. The agitation of washing machines and the heat from dryers will break down the synthetic materials prematurely and will ruin the plastic ear guards.
Make Small Repairs as Necessary
Making small repairs to water polo caps as they get damaged is much cheaper — and faster — than ordering replacement caps individually.
- It is common for water polo caps to get small rips and to fray. Fixing these minor problems early on prevents holes from getting bigger or stitches from further unraveling.
- Use a needle and thread for cap repairs, since fabric glue will eventually dissolve in water. The caps will be usable — and look better — for much longer.
Care Doesn't Require Much Work
Water polo caps are designed to be low maintenance and durable, and because of this, few teams regularly rinse or dry them before storage. Simply hanging and drying your caps after use to prevent mildew growth is single best thing you can do to maintain them. That, along with the occasional wash, dry, and mend should be enough to keep your water polo caps in good working condition for years.