How to Clean Boxing Gloves

If you are starting to notice a bad smell hitting your nose as you use your boxing gloves then it might be time to give them a clean.

But how do you clean boxing gloves? We will guide you through how to take care of your boxing gloves and get them smelling fresh again.


Why Clean Boxing Gloves?

How to Clean Boxing Gloves

The reason why you need to clean your boxing clubs is quite simple, they really start to stink. The inside of your boxing gloves, all of that soft material, is a perfect breeding ground for all sorts of nasty bacteria.

You sweat a whole lot into those gloves, which means that they're always moist, they take a long time to dry, and they're generally quite warm on the inside as well.

Combine that with a bit of darkness, and the inside of your boxing gloves serve as a great home for a colony of smell-producing bacteria. Therefore, the main reason to clean your boxing gloves is to keep that nasty smell at Bay, and just to maintain good hygiene as well.


How to Clean Boxing Gloves: Various Methods

Now that we know that boxing gloves need to be kept clean, let's take a closer look at the different methods at your disposal to do exactly that.

Using Saltwater

One of the best, easiest, and most cost-effective ways to clean your boxing gloves is to soak them in a saline solution, or in other words, in salt water.

Salt is well known for being an antibacterial agent, plus it should help deodorize your boxing gloves as well.

Just be sure that the gloves you have are not reactant with salt water, because you don't want the salt ruining them.

However, if your gloves can handle salt water just fine, then all you need to do is add some saline solution or salt water to a large container, put your gloves inside of it, and leave them overnight. You can then let them dry, at which point they shouldn't smell anymore.


Using an Antibacterial Spray

How to Clean Boxing Gloves

Another easy, albeit slightly more expensive way to get rid of all those smell-causing germs inside of your boxing gloves is to use an antibacterial spray.

There are plenty of antibacterial sprays out there designed specifically for boxing gloves and other such purposes.

To use antibacterial spray on your boxing gloves, just make sure that they're completely unlaced and open, then spray the inside with the antibacterial spray, a generous amount.

In some cases, it may take more than one application. After the spray has been applied, place the gloves in an open and ventilated area, and then let them dry.


Stuffing Gloves

Here we have a very interesting and old-school method of getting the stink out of your boxing gloves, stuffing them. Back in the day, boxes would stuff their boxing gloves with newspapers, a bar of soap, or even paper towels.

Now, some people use dryer sheets, as they already have a scented smell on them. The theory here is that any kind of absorbent material can be used to absorb not only the moisture but also some of the bacteria from the inside of the boxing gloves. 


Freeze the Gloves

Another option that you have at your disposal to get rid of that bacteria and those terrible odours is to freeze your gloves overnight. In fact, freezing temperatures are well known for killing virtually every type of bacteria out there.

Therefore, all you have to do is put your boxing gloves in a plastic bag, put them in a freezer overnight, and when you take them out in the morning, they should be just fine. If one night isn't enough, try two or three nights.


Use Baking Soda

How to Clean Boxing Gloves

Baking soda is well known for being a strong deodorizer. Therefore, simply take a bit of baking soda, a couple of teaspoons, and sprinkle it inside of your boxing gloves.

You want to let the powder sit for a few hours after they're released, and then shake it back out.

Make sure that your boxing gloves are relatively dry when you put the baking soda in there, or else the moisture will bind with the baking soda and make a paste that will be nearly impossible to remove.


Using Apple Cider Vinegar

The final method of cleaning the inside of your boxing gloves is by using apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar isn't only great for making salad dressings, but also as a deodorizer.

All you need to do is take about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and put it on a clean towel, and then place that on the inside of your boxing gloves.

You want to take that out after a couple of hours, and then let the boxing gloves dry overnight. You should notice that the nasty smell has disappeared, although you might notice a faint smell of the vinegar.


Preventing Your Boxing Gloves from Stinking

OK, so cleaning your boxing gloves is obviously a good idea, but the better idea is to use some preventative measures to stop them from stinking in the first place.

Let's take a quick look at some of the best methods at your disposal to stop your boxing gloves from smelling.


Always Let Boxing Gloves Dry

How to Clean Boxing Gloves

If you don't want your boxing gloves to stink, one of the worst things you could possibly do is to put them away while they are still wet.

If you put your boxing gloves away while they're still wet, it provides those bacteria with a perfect breeding ground. Bacteria like moisture. 

Therefore, hanging up your boxing gloves in a well-ventilated area after you've used them is a great idea. You could even put them in the sun to let them dry, or in any other very warm area.

The point is that moisture is bad for your boxing gloves, especially as far as bacteria and bad smells are concerned.


Wipe Them Down After Every Use

To prevent your boxing gloves from developing a foul odor after you have used them, a really simple method is to simply wipe them down after every single use.

Use a clean paper towel, cloth, or anything else of the sort and wipe down the inside of the gloves to absorb as much moisture as possible.

If you really want to prevent any kind of state from occurring, you could always sprinkle a bit of baking soda onto the paper towel or cloth, and then wipe out the inside of your gloves, which could also work with a paper towel sprinkled with some apple cider vinegar.


Don’t Put Boxing Gloves in Your Gym Bag

One of the worst things you could do for those boxing gloves is to put them in your gym bag. The simple fact of the matter is that if you put your boxing gloves in your gym bag, they'll be in a dark, damp, and relatively warm area that serves as a great breeding ground for bacteria.

Therefore, instead of putting your gym gloves in your bag to make your way home, put them in a plastic bag.

Then, when you get home, take the boxing gloves out of the plastic bag and hang them up to dry. Once they're dry, you can then put them in your gym bag.


Cover Up with Hand Wraps

How to Clean Boxing Gloves

Perhaps one of the simplest ways to stop your boxing gloves from stinking is to use hand wraps. Now, most professional boxers should already be using hand wraps, because they provide you a wrist and hand with a certain amount of stability and protection.

Either way, they also serve another great purpose, which is to absorb a lot of the sweat coming off your arms and hands. Instead of that sweat making its way into your boxing gloves, it makes its way into the wrist wraps, which you can then take off and wash for future use.


Always Wash Your Hands

The easiest way to stop your boxing gloves from stinking is to wash your hands before using them. You'd be surprised to know just how bad your hands smell if you don't wash them regularly, and how many bacteria can be in there as well.

Therefore, use some antibacterial soap before using your boxing gloves. Also, to ensure that you don't get your boxing gloves wet before you start sweating, make sure to dry your hands completely before putting your boxing gloves on.


Rounding Up

How to Clean Boxing Gloves

As you can see, there are plenty of good ways to clean your boxing gloves so that they don't smell, but the best method is to actually prevent the smell from occurring in the first place.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you use a washing machine to clean boxing gloves?

No, you shouldn't use a washing machine to clean boxing gloves as it can damage the gloves.

 Related posts:

What Weight Boxing Gloves Should You Use?

Author's Photo

William Parrett

Will, co-founder of Home Gym Supply, launched the company in 2019 after 15-years in the fitness industry. His expertise stems not only from his professional background but also from his athletic pursuits. A former competitor in the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) and a competitive rugby player, Will has always been dedicated to health and fitness.