How To Clean Boxing Gloves

(Last Updated On: August 10, 2019)

It’s nice to feel that burn after a workout when you leave the gym and get ready to head home. It’s not nice to pick up your boxing gloves next time you train to find that they smell. All the sweating and wetness can cause not only this odor, but can also become a breeding ground for bacteria if you don’t know how to clean boxing gloves properly.

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Learn How To Prevent Stinking Gloves

No one wants to pick up their gloves to find that they smell. Prevention is always better than a cure, even when it comes to your boxing gloves. Don’t let the bacteria get to you in the first place.

Also Read: The best and most affordable boxing gloves

Dry Completely

After each use, let your gloves dry out. Germs need moisture to survive, so completely drying them out will stop the breeding and keep them from getting stinky. Just hang up your gloves in a ventilated area or in the sun for the best results.

Wipe Your Gloves

Grab a paper towel and wipe out your gloves. This doesn’t need to be a long process, but you’ll be able to get rid of extra moisture and stop bacteria growth.

Also Read: These are the best gloves for beginner boxers

Not in the Gym Bag

Most of us just throw our gloves right in our bags after using them. This can cause bacteria to grow too, so instead of putting your gloves in there directly, put them in a plastic bag after using them. Let them dry at home before they end up in your bag.

Hand Wraps

Soak up the sweat in your gloves to prevent the moisture with hand wraps. Wraps act like a sponge when it comes to absorbing sweat from inside the gloves, although you have to remember to clean your hand wraps too if you don’t want those to smell either.

How To Clean Boxing Gloves

Sometimes we don’t always remember our preventative measures. When that happens, clean out your gloves so that they’re not only smell-free, but comfortable to wear and fight with too.

Antibacterial Spray

A simple spray can be a great way to kill germs inside. Before you hang up your gloves to dry, spray the inside to kill bacteria. Unwrap or unlace them, spray the inside, and hang them up, although you shouldn’t make this method a routine since it can be harsh on the leather.

Also Read: The top rated heavy bag gloves are here

Salt Water Soak

One of the best surefire solutions for smelly gloves is to soak your gloves in a saline solution overnight. Put saline water in a container, place your gloves in and dry them next morning. Bacteria will be broken down and dissolved. Before you do this, however, check the material of your gloves to be sure that it’s reactant to salt water. Otherwise soaking can be just as dangerous as boiling your gloves.

Freeze Overnight

It may sound a little unorthodox, but yes, you can freeze your gloves. Freezing is actually the most effective way to kill bacteria. If you have a couple days, let your gloves sit in the freezer before you air dry them over the next day or two. They can even be in the freezer for one or two days, but regardless, put them in a plastic bag before you freeze them.

Stuffing Method

You can stuff your gloves to air them and prevent more bacteria. Glove dogs are tailored to this specifically. They’re basically small cotton bags with cedar chips. These chips can draw out the bacteria while increasing the lifespan of your gloves. You can also grab an old pair of gym socks too though as long as you fill them with the cedar chips. The toe of the sock should fit in the top when you’re not using your gloves.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is pretty much a cure-all when it comes to cleaning. Get about a tablespoon of the vinegar and rub it into the interior of your gloves. After the gloves dry overnight, you shouldn’t notice any stink. If you do, try it one more time. This easy method is definitely one of the most used when it comes to cleaning.

Shoe Odor Products

The inside of your boxing gloves and the inside of your shoes are surprisingly similar. They both end up with the same odor causing bacteria. Odor absorbing insoles can do wonders for your gloves too then when they’re not being used. Even sprays or powders can be used to eliminate odor.

Dryer Sheets

Even something as simple as a dryer sheet can work well when your gloves are not in use. If you’re in a pinch and need to mask the odor, these can work well. They won’t absorb the moisture like other methods however.

Athletic Cleaner

There’s antibacterial spray, but there’s also cleaner specifically designed for athletic equipment. Just like other sprays, these will help kill microbes that cause glove odor, but shouldn’t be used as a long-term solution. They have a tendency to dry out gloves when you leave them out after, so the leather can harden, dry, and crack too.


There are lots of ways not only to prevent smelly gloves, but to clean them out too. If you need to know how to clean boxing gloves, any of these methods will work great. Don’t just pick up your gloves and cringe at the smell. Get rid of the sweat and the wetness that are causing problems with a couple simple steps after each use.

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