How to Clean Boxing Gloves For Sanitizing & Make It Odor-Free?

How to clean boxing gloves, it’s a question that gets often asked but without any clear answers.

Well you don’t have to search anymore as we have compiled all the answers here.

But first we have to find out why boxing gloves get dirty and smelly in the first place.

How to Clean Boxing Gloves For Sanitizing & Make It Odor-Free

Reason Behind Your Stinky Gloves?

The smell emanates from the bacteria festering in the gloves.

Bacteria thrives in moist environments and the accumulated sweat in the gloves makes it an ideal setting for bacteria.

If you don’t allow your gloves to air after using them, the stench will build up quickly and take longer to clean.

How To Clean Boxing Gloves And Odor Free?

  • As mentioned above, one way to prevent this is to let your gloves get some air after using them. Let the gloves dry as that will discourage bacteria from forming.
  • Put handwraps on. They’re not only going to protect your hands, but they’ll also soak in the sweat. This way the sweat doesn’t get stuck on your gloves.
  • Clean your gloves immediately after working out. The sooner you clean the less likely bacteria will build up.

The techniques given below will remove odor and dirt off your gloves, but maintenance is just as important to ensure you won’t have a hard time cleaning them again.

There are several methods given below, and you don’t have to use them all.

Just pick the one you think will work best and stick with it.

A. Cleaning & Sanitizing Gloves

If you follow the tips and suggestions given here, you’ll have an easier time cleaning and maintaining your gloves.

1. Wear Hand Wraps

Although handwraps are used for supporting hands but it can also absorb some of your sweats before entering to your gloves. So, you can use for both the purposes.

2. Takeout Your Gloves Out of Your Bag Faster

Bacteria thrives in moist enclosed spaces, so putting sweaty gloves in a gym bag makes the gloves more vulnerable to growth. By keeping your gloves out of your gym bag, bacteria won’t have an opportunity to spread.

3. Wipe Your Gloves

Use a clean towel or cloth to wipe the gloves. Remove as much of the sweat as you can. Just wrap your hand in in the towel, put it inside the glove and start cleaning.

4. Clean Inner Part of Your Gloves

Once you have wiped the sweat off the gloves, prepare a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. Put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray the glove interior.

  • You may use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
  • You may add some tea tree oil to the solution for extra cleaning power.
  • Don’t use harsh cleaners as they might damage the gloves.

5. Clean Outer Part of Your Gloves

Spray the solution on the exterior of the gloves, just enough so there’s a fine mist all over them. Get a clean towel to wipe the solution and any dirt leftover. You may also rinse the gloves with water and let them dry.

6. Use Leather Conditioner

Majority of boxing gloves are made from leather and need to be taken care of to prevent deterioration. The easiest way to take care of the gloves is to buy a leather conditioner. Sprinkle a few drops of the conditioner on the glove’s exterior. Get a lint free cloth and wipe the oil in a circular manner. Work the conditioner in the gloves. Get another clean piece of cloth and wipe away the excess substance.

B. Dry Your Gloves

Drying The Gloves

1. Air dry

After cleaning the gloves inside and out, let them dry.

  • Fold back the wrist straps and open the gloves as wide as you can.
  • Attach the straps so the gloves don’t close.
  • Hang up the gloves in a well ventilated location or near an open window. You can also use an electric fan.
  • Even if you don’t clean the gloves after each use you should still air dry them following each use.

2. Put Newspaper Inside

  • Crumple some sheets of newspaper enough to make two balls. Stuff one ball in the gloves.
  • Leave the balled up newspapers in the gloves for a couple of hours. Replace the newspapers once they get filled up with moisture.

3. Blow Dryer

  • Turn on the blow dryer and set it to cool.
  • Point the nozzle in the glove’s setting.
  • Check the moisture every five minutes and once dry, repeat with the other glove.

4. Do Not Keep It Under The Sun For Long Time

Too much sun can dry up the gloves and cause permanent damage.

  • Leather is like skin so excessive sunlight isn’t good.  
  • If you really want to use the sun to dry your gloves, don’t leave them in the sun for more than half an hour.

C. How to Make Your Gloves Smell Nice?

1. Neutralize With Baking Soda

Before removing the odor, clean the gloves as instructed above and let them dry. Afterwards:

  • Spray a bit of baking soda on the gloves.
  • Let the baking soda set for 2 hours.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner nozzle to remove the baking soda or just shale the gloves.

2. Dryer Sheets

After the gloves are dry, wipe the interior of the gloves with dryer sheets. You can also leave a dryer sheet in each glove to remove stubborn odor.

3. Cedar Chips

Grab a pair of cotton socks and stuff each one with cedar chips. Fasten the end and put one sock in each of the gloves. This will make your gloves smell good, plus the cedar chips absorb bacteria and moisture.

4. Essential Oils

Essential oils are not just for massage, but it’s also good for making gloves smell good.

Just put ten drops of essential oil and pour the mixture in a spray bottle.

Add 240 ml of water and spray each glove a couple of times.

There are different kinds of essential oils that you can use, but the most effective are orange, peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass.

Silica Gel Problems

Silica gel can remove mold, but it could also cause the gloves to crack and dry since it is leather. Another problem is determining how much silica gel to use. There are other options available as stated above so there’s no reason to try this.

Myth About Freezing Gloves

There is a myth that freezing your gloves will eliminate odors. The idea behind this is that the cold will kill bacteria and get rid of the smell. For this to work the temperature needs to be near 2 F.

And even if that temperature gets down to that level, not all the bacteria is killed. Some of them go into a dormant state and emerge when the temperature rises.

So when you take the gloves out of the freezer the bacteria awakens and the problem returns. This only goes to show the method is ineffective and you’re better off using the other methods provided here.

That is all it takes to clean boxing gloves, and with proper maintenance your gloves will remain in good condition and not worry about its smell or if it deteriorates. As long as you clean your gloves on a regular basis they will serve you well.