How to Wash Boxing Gloves

When you open your gym bag does a certain smell emanate from it? Is that smell coming from your boxing gloves? What now? Can you just wash your boxing gloves in the washing machine? No! Back away from the washer, throwing your gloves in there will mean sure death to your gloves. So what to do?

Really, the best thing is to not let your gloves develop that awful smell in the first place. If you have new gloves or yours don’t yet stink you can skip down to How to Maintain Your Boxing Gloves. For those that already stink to high heaven, read on.

How to Wash Your Boxing Gloves

Really you should never wash your gloves but it you failed to maintain them and the smell indicates you have a rich colony of bacteria, fungi, and perhaps even mold then here is a last ditch method of saving them. It is harsh and hard on the materials of the gloves so should only be used if nothing else works.

What You’ll Need:

  • latex gloves
  • a terry cloth rag
  • a bowl
  • water
  • bleach

The Process:

In your bowl mix two cups of water and two tablespoons of bleach. With your gloves on submerge the rag in the bleach water and squeeze out just  enough water so that the rag is not dripping. Push the rag down into the glove and push it into all the nooks and crannies. You want the whole inside to be moisten with the bleach water. You don’t want all the padding to be soaked just the first 1/8 of an inch or so.

Once you’ve done both gloves, you have three options for drying them. If you have a blow dryer with a cool setting you can stick the mouth of the dryer into the gloves and leave it until dry. Or you can use something to prop the glove open (a child size hanger works well) and either put it in front of a fan or outside in the sun on a warm day.

Now that your gloves smell nice and clean follow the directions below to keep them that way.

Maintaining Your Boxing Gloves

First you will need a boxing glove spray. You could just use Lysol to disinfect after each use but the chemicals are hard on the gloves.

Boxing Glove Spray:

  • a small spray bottle
  • water
  • rubbing alcohol
  • tea tree oil.

To the spray bottle add one teaspoon of tea tree oil and one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol. Fill the rest of the way and shake to mix. Tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal and will keep the nasties out of your gloves.

Now that you have a good spray, after every boxing session spray the outside of your gloves with the glove spray, and wipe dry with a cloth. Then spray the inside of your gloves.

Now you have to dry them out. As above you have three options. If you have a blow dryer with a cool setting you can stick the mouth of the dryer into the gloves and leave it until dry. Or you can use something to prop the glove open (a child size hanger works well) and either put it in front of a fan or outside in the sun on a warm day.

Do not put them back in your bag or storage place until the gloves are completely. A dark moist environment is a prime breeding ground for bacteria and fungus to grow which is the last thing you want in your gloves.

If your gloves are real leather than the outside requires periodic maintenance. About once a month, work a good leather conditioning cream into the leather to keep it supple and to prevent cracking. 

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