As players and the tools of their trade take their toll on your rink your dashers become more than a little unsightly. To help keep them properly representing the facility you care for, here’s a handy guide on how to clean hockey boards.
Most sporting equipment takes a beating, whether that means the skis that go tumbling down a tricky pass with us, the basketball goal constantly dunked by a 6’8” center, or the tennis racket thrown across the court McEnroe-style after a player short on patience loses a set.
But perhaps no equipment takes more of a beating than hockey boards (also known as puckboard), which lines the boundaries of the hockey rink. Season after season, players slam into hockey boards, either with their bodies or sticks (or both) and thankfully, they are constructed with materials made to withstand such a beating.
However, the hockey boards still need proper cleaning and maintenance, both for the aesthetics of the arena and the safety of players and spectators.
We will walk you through everything you need to know about cleaning hockey boards, as well as a quick summary of how they are constructed to stand up to one of the world’s roughest and toughest sports.
How Hockey Boards Are Made
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is the material of choice for hockey boards. It’s a versatile and adaptive plastic that can withstand a beating from frequent impact and does not crack in freezing temperatures.
Hockey is not the only place where we see HDPE used – you will also find it everywhere, from snowboard ramps to horse stalls. Additionally, HPDE is used for containers holding everything from your milk to motor oil. An incredibly durable and low-maintenance material, HDPE is the undisputed choice for hockey boards.
Of course, another incredibly important material is used alongside these boards, which is plexiglass. While the hockey board will measure in at 42 inches tall, you will have another 5 to 8 feet of plexiglass above that (depending on whether you are at the ends of the sides of the rink).
Best Way to Clean Hockey Rink Boards
When it comes to cleaning hockey boards, you want to ensure the result is a rink that looks sparkling and brand new and has also been cleaned with the safest and most appropriate materials.
Because HDPE is such a durable material, it can stand up to most cleaning agents, but that does not mean that some are better than others. Before you simply grab whatever is in the arena janitor’s closet, let’s take a look at the right way to clean hockey boards.
Thanks to the fact that dirt and grime cannot really grab hold of an HDPE sheet the way they might a regular interior sheetrock wall, the boards themselves can be cleaned with a simple bucket of warm, soapy water. You do not necessarily need to spend huge amounts of money on fancy cleaners when your average dish soap and hot water will probably do the trick.
If your boards have a great deal of puck marks, you can opt for a cleaner like Clear D Zone, which is safe to use throughout your entire facility for general cleaning and is ready to use without being diluted.
Clear D Zone can work to erase the black puck marks that may be creating a dingy appearance on your hockey boards.
The best way to clean the rink board is with a soft cloth in a circular motion, though you may need to add some abrasion where there are particularly stubborn marks. You also want to be sure you have wiped the playing surface completely clean and dry, and after the boards, you can move on to the glass (we will get to that below).
Do not forget when it’s time to deep clean the ice hockey rink, after the end of a long season, to show your locker rooms as little TLC as well. Use this time to deep clean the player areas and keep up with any maintenance, such as replacing showerheads, repairing broken lockers, or just painting to freshen up the space.
To eliminate the spread of viruses in the facility, you should also consider an air filtration and purification system if you have not installed one already.
Don’t Forget the Glass
One of the biggest maintenance jobs in any hockey arena is keeping the tempered glass clean. This protective surface is important to keep spectators safe, but if it is unsightly and dirty, and covered with marks, it will leave them feeling less than enthusiastic about your arena.
The tempered glass can be cleaned in several ways: you can use warm, soapy water and a squeegee or sponge. Ammonia and water are particularly good for removing fingerprints. Typical window cleaners such as Windex can be used, and a razor blade can be useful when it comes to removing tape and puck marks on the glass.
Remember that both the hockey boards and the glass must be cleaned on both sides, so this can be a big job at the end of a season. If you spot clean when possible throughout the season, removing some of the more stubborn marks, the job will be a bit easier.
Any steel components in your system can be wiped down with a clean microfiber cloth, and that goes for the aluminum supports as well.
For a detailed step-by-step guide on thoroughly cleaning the acrylic/ glass shielding, download our booklet below.
Maintenance for Your Ice Rink
Maintaining a hockey arena is a huge undertaking, and to keep yours functioning smoothly and safe for players and spectators, you need to start with the right equipment and stay on top of your ice rink maintenance at all times.
At Athletica, we have you covered when it comes to the hockey equipment you need as well as the expertise to guide you through our products and find what is right for you and your arena.