5 Basic Tips on How to Clean Boxing Gloves: A Comprehensive Guide

Boxing gloves are an important part of a boxer’s equipment, providing protection and comfort during training and sparring sessions. However, they can quickly become smelly and unsanitary if not properly maintained. In this detailed guide, we will look into the various methods and tips on how to clean boxing gloves effectively and keep them in top condition.

What are Boxing Gloves?

Boxing gloves are padded equipment designed to protect a boxer’s hands during training and competitive matches. They play a crucial role in preventing injuries to both the wearer and their opponent. However, the inside of boxing gloves can accumulate sweat and bacteria over time, leading to unpleasant odors and hygiene concerns. What do you do then? Keep reading to find out!

Why Boxing Gloves Need to be Cleaned Regularly

Maintaining clean boxing gloves is not just a matter of aesthetics; it is essential for several important reasons that impact both your safety and the longevity of your equipment. Some of the reasons why you need to keep your boxing gloves clean at all times are:

Why Boxing Gloves Need to be Cleaned Regularly

Maintaining clean boxing gloves is not just a matter of aesthetics; it is essential for several important reasons that impact both your safety and the longevity of your equipment. Some of the reasons why you need to keep your boxing gloves clean at all times are:


Sweat and moisture are inevitable companions during boxing and martial arts training. Everybody knows this; When left unattended, this moisture becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Your gloves provide an ideal environment for these microorganisms to thrive, leading to the development of unpleasant odors. Yes, that’s why boxing gloves usually have that foul-smell leaving you completely uncomfortable during a fight, workout, or training session.


Boxing gloves are an investment in your training and safety. High-quality gloves can be relatively expensive, so it’s wise to protect your investment. With proper cleaning and maintenance, you can easily and significantly extend the lifespan of your gloves.

How does sweat reduce glove durability?

The sweat, grime, and bacteria that accumulate over time in gloves can effectively break down the materials, causing premature wear and tear. But by regularly cleaning your gloves, you can make sure that your boxing gear remains intact and in excellent condition for years to come. You also get to save some money by delaying the need for replacements.

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The condition of your gloves directly affects your performance during training and sparring. Clean gloves offer several performance benefits and the 2 most noticeable ones are:

  • Improved grip: A buildup of sweat and dirt can make your gloves slippery, affecting your ability to land punches or maintain a strong grip on your opponent’s gloves or body.

  • Enhanced comfort: Clean gloves feel more comfortable against your skin. You won’t be distracted by discomfort or itching during your workouts, allowing you to focus on your technique and training goals.

Skin Health

The state of your boxing gloves can impact your skin health, as you may have guessed. Prolonged exposure to sweat-soaked, bacteria-ridden gloves can lead to skin irritations and even infections. I sure wouldn’t want that! Skin irritations can range from mild redness and itching to more serious conditions like fungal infections. These issues can be painful and disruptive, potentially requiring time off from training to heal.

By maintaining proper hygiene and knowing how to clean boxing gloves, you not only protect your skin and overall health but also ensure that your investment in quality boxing gloves remains effective and long-lasting. So, taking a few minutes to clean your gloves after each training session is a small effort with significant benefits.

Boxing Gloves

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How to Clean Boxing Gloves: 5 Tips To Remember

Now let’s get into the subject of interest, “How To Clean Boxing Gloves.” Cleaning your boxing gloves is a straightforward process and a routine that can be followed regularly to maintain good hygiene. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean boxing gloves:

Step 1. Gather Your Supplies

The first step is to gather the supplies you’ll be needing to clean those gloves. They are:

  • Mild Soap: Choose a gentle, antibacterial soap. Avoid harsh chemicals or detergents that can damage the glove’s materials.

  • Water: You’ll need clean, lukewarm water for creating cleaning solutions and rinsing.

  • Soft Cloth: Opt for a soft, lint-free cloth to avoid scratching or damaging the exterior of your gloves.

  • Disinfectant Spray: Look for a sports equipment-specific disinfectant spray designed to kill bacteria and odors effectively.

  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that can help eliminate lingering odors inside your gloves.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Diluted apple cider vinegar serves as a mild disinfectant and can be used to combat bacteria and odors effectively.

If you’ve gotten all of these supplies, you can move on to the next step!

Step 2. Wipe the Exterior

Next you need to focus on cleaning the exterior of the boxing gloves before we go into the interior. This makes the process easier for most boxers. So you need to:

  • Create a Cleaning Solution: In a small bowl, mix a few drops of mild soap with warm water to create a soapy solution. Ensure it’s well-dissolved.

  • Focus on High-Touch Areas: With a soft cloth, gently wipe down the exterior of your gloves, paying particular attention to areas that come into frequent contact with your skin. These areas tend to accumulate sweat, oils, and bacteria.

  • Thoroughness Is Key: Be meticulous in your cleaning, ensuring you cover all surfaces, including the wrist straps and thumb areas. This step helps remove surface dirt and grime.

Step 3. Dry Thoroughly

After wiping your gloves, allow them to air dry thoroughly. Place them in a well-ventilated area, but avoid direct sunlight or heat sources, as excessive heat can damage the padding and leather. It’s essential to ensure that the gloves are completely dry inside and out before storing them to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

Step 4. Use a Disinfectant Spray:

For an added layer of protection against bacteria and odors, use a sports equipment-specific disinfectant spray. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for effective use. Spray the interior of the gloves generously, ensuring that the disinfectant reaches all areas. Allow the gloves to air dry again, preferably in an upright position to facilitate airflow.

Step 5. Use Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar

For particularly smelly gloves, consider this additional step:

  • Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda inside each glove to absorb odors. Leave it overnight.

  • The next day, shake out the excess baking soda and, using a spray bottle, apply diluted apple cider vinegar (one part vinegar to two parts water) inside the gloves.

  • You can also replace the first 2 points with putting your boxing gloves in a plastic bag and leaving it overnight in a freezer. Freezing your gloves regularly also helps to clean smelling boxing gloves with causing damage to the gloves. 
  • Allow the gloves to air dry completely before using them again.

By following these detailed steps, you’ll not only ensure your boxing gloves are clean and always smelling fresh, but also maintain their durability and hygiene, promoting a safer and more enjoyable training experience.

Read Also: Is Boxing a Martial Art? Reasons Why Boxing is Considered a Martial Art

Can You Put Boxing Gloves in The Washing Machine?

This is a question most boxers ask often and we’ll be answering now. While some boxing gloves are machine washable, it’s generally not recommended, as it can damage the padding and leather. Hand cleaning is a safer and more effective method. If you compare washing the gloves with just soap in a washing machine, with cleaning with the supplies mentioned in this article, you will clearly understand that hand washing is the best and most hygienic way to keep your gloves clean.

Additional Tips to Keep Your Gloves Clean and Odor-Free:

  • Wear hand wraps: Combining boxing gloves and hand wraps is one of the best and easiest way to absorb moisture during fights or training sessions. When worn inside of the gloves, the hand wraps absorb moisture from the hands before it gets to the gloves. Use hand wraps today.
  • Wipe your gloves: After each use, wipe the inside of your gloves with a clean cloth to remove excess moisture.

  • Leave your gloves in the sun: UV rays can help kill bacteria and eliminate odors. Place your gloves in direct sunlight for a few hours, but avoid prolonged exposure to prevent damage.

  • Use glove dogs: These handy accessories help absorb moisture and odors inside your boxing gloves.

  • Avoid leaving your gloves in a gym bag: Putting your gloves in your bag after training or fights is a terrible idea. Moisture in your gloves can create a breeding ground for bacteria. Allow the gloves to dry out by keeping them outside the bag when not in use.

Knowing how to clean boxing gloves and keep them well-maintained is essential for hygiene, durability, and optimal performance. By following the methods and tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your gloves remain fresh, comfortable, and ready for your next training session or match. Take good care of your boxing gloves, and they will continue to serve you well for years to come. Don’t forget to grab a pair of durable boxing gloves from Fierce Fight Gear. Get your dream gloves with a few clicks.

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