How To Clean Boxing Gloves – A Fighters Guide

How To Clean Boxing Gloves – A Fighters Guide

The best way to ensure your boxing gloves last you a long time is to clean and maintain them regularly. Deciding otherwise will cost you money in the long run, as not cleaning or washing your boxing gloves leads to bacteria growth and a funky smell and no one wants to be that guy in the gym with smelly boxing gloves.

In this article we will be going over the different methods of cleaning Boxing Gloves and how to maintain them to keep them in the best condition possible.


Different Ways To Clean Boxing Gloves

As with anything prevention is better than cure but if you have already let your gloves start to fester then below are the most popular ways to bring your gloves back to their former glory.


1) The Saltwater Soak Method

download-2This is a well known way of eliminating any bacteria your gloves may be carrying. First of all take a clean container/bucket and fill with enough hot water to cover the gloves completely. The next step is to pour roughly 50g of salt into the container/bucket and stir to ensure it spreads through the water. Then place your gloves in the container and leave for 24 hours. Finally take your gloves out and dry in accordance with your gloves materials.

  1. Take a container and fill with hot water
  2. Pour 50g of salt into the water
  3. Stir thoroughly
  4. Put gloves in container
  5. Leave for 24 hours
  6. Take out and dry accordingly

This method works through the use of the saline solution (salt water) and its anti-bacterial properties. This is a very good easy and cheap way to freshen up your boxing gloves.


2) The Freezer Method

The freezer method, for those of you with a degree in some sort of science subject you will know that freezing something is the most highly effective way to kill bacteria. To the rest of us, this is another mysterious way to get rid of that damp smell. This method requires you to simply place your gloves in a plastic bag as a form of protection and then put in your freezer. Leave in freezer for between 24 and 48 hours and then take out and allow to dry naturally.


  1. Put your gloves in a plastic bag
  2. Place in freezer for between 24 and 48 hours
  3. Take out and allow to air dry naturally in a well ventilated area

This method works by killing the bacteria due to the cold temperatures that knock them out permanently.


3) The Stuffing Method

Glove Deodorizers BoxingThe stuffing method involves using some form of absorption material to remove the moisture. The most beneficial method is to use glove dogs. These are designed to prevent bacteria growth and are two cotton bags filled with cedar chips. The cedar chips are good at reducing moisture and therefore bacteria. Other stuffing methods are paper towels or newspaper although these aren’t as effective as dog gloves.


4) Fresh K.O

fresh-koThis way of cleaning your gloves will make your life a lot easier. Fresh K.O known as boxing glove spray to some has been specifically designed to combat bacteria, germs and unpleasant odours all of which Boxing Gloves have. The benefits of this method are that you can use the spray both before and after a training session, there is no oily residue so there will be no issues with grip loss. Furthermore this product can be used on other equipment such as shoes, protective gear, punch bags etc. In my opinion this is the best boxing glove cleaner.

  1. Spray onto gloves and spread with a cloth or paper towel
  2. Leave to dry naturally

5) Anti-Bacterial Spray

bb49ff70-f64e-43ac-8808-bc3c31302263This method is only temporary, should only be done sparingly and should not become a regular thing. To perform simply take a good brand anti-bacterisl spray and spray into your gloves hand compartment. Then leave to dry in a well ventilated area.

  1. Take a good anti-bacterial spray and spray into gloves
  2. Leave to dry in a well ventilated area

Due to the chemicals in most anti-bacterial sprays and the materials gloves are made from this is not the best way to clean your gloves.

Preventive Measures

As I mentioned earlier prevention is always better than cure. So if you have a new pair of gloves that haven’t become tatty and smelly yet and you want to keep them that way, then check the best preventive ways to clean and maintain your boxing gloves.

1) Wear Hand Wraps

download-3Aside from protecting your hands, hand wraps also help to protect your gloves from you. During a workout the inevitable sweat you produce will soak deep into your gloves and over time your gloves will begin to accumulate bacteria. Wearing hand wraps helps by absorbing most of the sweat from your hands and wrists.


2) Allow Them To Dry Completely

images-3Allowing your gloves to dry after every training session will help reduce the build up of bacteria. Bacteria and germs thrive in damp and moist conditions. Ensuring your gloves are dried out properly in a well ventilated area will go a long way to maintaining their condition. Another good way is to dry your gloves in the natural heat of the sun. Although this can have a negative effect on cheap synthetic gloves

  1. Hang in a place with plenty of airflow
  2. Turn regularly


3) Wipe Your Gloves After Using Them


8961bb24-7b19-41b3-a379-63247602b5bdAlthough this method might not seem too helpful it is and is a good way of cleaning boxing gloves. Just wiping your gloves down with a wet wipe and then with a paper towel reduces the build up of bacteria.

  1. Wipe with a wet cloth or paper towel
  2. Wipe with a dry paper towel
  3. Leave to dry


4) Don’t Put Them In Your Kit Bag

images-1Putting your gloves in your bag straight after a workout only increases germ and bacterial growth. Along with all your other damp kit your gloves will quickly become damp and smelly if you leave them in your kit bag. A healthy habit is to make sure you keep your gloves and other kit separate to ensure you don’t leave them together. As we all know sometimes we forget to unpack our gym bag and that’s not good for your gloves.


5) No Stink Boxing Glove De-odourisers

cleaning boxing glovesThese really are a great product guaranteed to keep your gloves both fresh and clean from bacteria and germs that could lead to infection. The No Stink Glove De-odourisers are specifically designed for boxing gloves and to reduce any build up of moisture. To use them all you do is put them in your gloves when you are not using them and leave them to do their magic. Consequently if your gloves are hard to clean with other methods then these are a ideal for those difficult to clean gloves.

  1. Simply leave in your gloves when they are not been used


Final Thoughts

As long as you take on board all the above you are on the right track to making sure your gloves last you as long as possible and stay in tip top condition. Hopefully I shouldn’t have to mention this but I will just incase. It goes without saying that Boxing Gloves should never be put in the washing machine or tumble dryer as this will destroy them and that includes the most expensive ones too. For more informative Boxing guides please go to our How To Guides at


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