Borrowing Gear

Caring for Borrowed Fencing Gear

In the COVID-19 Era, Riverside is lending out gear to members. Members become responsible for the care of the gear.

Storing your gear at home

  • Do not store any gear inside your gym or fencing bag after fencing. Air it out immediately upon returning home for best care.

  • Store the gear to allow it all to air dry. Some tips and ideas:

    • To store an underarm protector (plastron) on a hanger, put the hanger hook through the arm hole. If using the same hanger as the jacket, put the jacket on the hanger first.

    • If storing the mask on the floor or on a shelf, place it on its side. Yes, it's OK to hang the mask by the tang. Please do not to hang it by the head strap elastic (the least durable part of the mask).

How (and when) to wash your borrowed fencing gear


    • Air out the gear after fencing. Hangers will be provided.

  • WHEN:

    • Clothing: after about every month, or more frequently, if desired;

    • Hard materials (mask, chest plate): once each session (e.g. Jan-Feb), or more frequently if desired.

    • Generally, you will want about 24 hours of drying time for most items.

  • HOW:

    • Clothing (glove, plastron, jacket, knickers):

        • Machine wash in COLD water, then HANG DRY.

        • DO NOT BLEACH. Bleach weakens the fibers of the material, thereby reducing the material's primary purpose, protection.

        • Drying time is generally about 1.5 days for a jacket. This can be reduced by turning a fan on at the jacket.


        • RECOMMENDATION: Use a plastic hanger to air dry; metal ones will rust and transfer the rust to the clothing, and wooden ones may transfer their finish/stain to the clothing. Both stains are permanent.

    • Hard pieces

      • Chest plate:

        • Wipe down the chest plate with a household cleaner or warm, soapy water and sponge;

        • Optional: remove the elastic straps and wash them by hand in soapy water, or with clothing.

          • The straps on women's chest plates (shaped) cannot be removed;

          • If you have a men's (flat) plate, please take careful note (and perhaps photos) of how the straps are attached to the top, so that you can reproduce this when you want to put the straps back on.

      • Mask:

        • Soak the mask in warm, soapy water for 10-20 minutes. Regular laundry detergent can be used;

          • Here, a five-gallon bucket is useful. You can also use your kitchen sink or a 3-5 gallon plastic bin (whatever fits).

        • Use a sponge to wipe or gently scrub the fabric parts of the mask;

        • Squeeze dry the fabric parts (bib) as much as you can; towel dry the whole mask;

        • AIR DRY the mask in front of a fan (will take several hours to dry).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

  • Will washing the masks cause them to rust?

    • Only if you fail to dry them adequately as part of your washing routine.

  • Should I turn the jacket inside-out when washing?

    • You may. Perhaps alternate, and do this every other time the jacket is washed.

  • Can I wash the mask in a dishwasher?

    • Yes, but it isn't as effective. Also... do you want your dishes in the same machine after you've used it to wash your mask?

  • Should I use scented detergents or fabric softeners?

    • No. These might cover up some smells, but any smells they cannot cover up end up being sealed in.

  • What if I destroy club gear in the wash?

    • How about we split the cost of purchasing a replacement?