Does washing protective pad garments make them less effective?

Traditional protective pads that slide into pants have been shown to crack and shrink when put through washing machines. This cracking and shrinking causes the pad to have less coverage for the forces to be dissipated across the area, and their effectiveness decreases. Therefore, it is typically recommended to hand wash them lightly with a damp cloth.

New padding technology, such as the Hex Pad technology, does not have the same results when put through washing machines. This padding is made from a material that is machine washable and doesn’t crack or shrink like the traditional padding. With the newer Hex Pad technology, the padding stays like new after being machine washed and doesn’t lose coverage or effectiveness. (This answer provided for NATA by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.