Stephen Steinberg | December 17, 2016
Anyone who’s ever played a sport that required the use of gloves knows how bad they smell and how bad they can make your hands smell too. Boxing gloves may actually be the worst culprits, and that’s saying a lot when you’re grouped with hockey gloves and lacrosse gloves!
If you’re an individual boxer, keeping your boxing gloves clean can help you avoid smelly hands and unsanitary boxing gloves that can become prime habitats for germs.
If we’re talking about communal boxing gloves at a boxing gym, then the stakes are higher. We’re now talking about customer satisfaction, customer safety and extending the life of your investment in your boxing gloves. And this is on top of the normal issues of smelly hands and providing sanitary conditions.
Luckily, there are a number of steps you can take to clean your boxing gloves and reduce that notorious boxing glove odor as much as possible to keep everyone happy!
Prevention, Prevention, Prevention
Even the most aggressive, most advanced cleaning regimens and products will not be able to bring horribly smelly boxing gloves back to life. The name of the game with keeping your boxing gloves fresh and clean is prevention!
Some of these tips below will definitely help old smelly boxing gloves become cleaner and more bearable, but in order to truly keep your boxing gloves clean, you need to start cleaning and caring for them properly right from the beginning.
Wash Hands Before Putting On Gloves
Always wash your hands before putting on your boxing gloves. Even if you don’t think your hands are dirty, wash your hands anyway. By washing away any germs on your skin, you’ll reduce the number of germs that make their way into the boxing gloves. Since germs are the cause of odors, anything you can do to reduce the number of germs in your gloves is a win.
Always Wear Hand Wraps When Wearing Gloves
After washing and drying your hands, put on your hand wraps. This will help absorb moisture that would otherwise make its way into your gloves. Dark, moist environments are breeding grounds for germs, so by eliminating as much moisture in your gloves as possible you can help prevent odor and germs from taking over. Plus it's a lot easier to wash boxing hand wraps than it is to clean the inside of boxing gloves.
Spray Gloves With Cleaning Spray Immediately After Use
Once you’re done using your boxing gloves, you’re going to want to immediately spray them down to start the cleaning and deodorizing process. For the outsides of your gloves, make sure to wipe away any blood and sweat. For the inside of your boxing gloves, be sure to spray all the way into your gloves. Since whatever spray you use will eventually come in contact with your skin the next time you put your boxing gloves on, you’ll want to use a sport-specific spray that won’t irritate your skin and also won’t ruin your gloves, but still strong enough to get the job done. We recommend Vapor Fresh® Cleaning & Deodorizing Spray.
Begin Drying Gloves Immediately
After you spray down your gloves, you’re going to want to start the drying process immediately. The most common and most effective way to safely dry your boxing gloves is to allow them to air dry. The most important thing here is to make sure they are in an environment that will allow them to dry fast. That means no stuffing them into your gym bag or tossing a bunch of them into a bin together. Let them lay for a moment in a cool, dry place.
Use Glove Dogs If Possible
Once you’ve let the glove dry for a bit, you’re ready to store them away until next use. One of the best ways to store your boxing gloves is by using something called glove dogs.
Many people use glove dogs to store their boxing gloves as well as help them keep their shape and assist in the drying process. This is great for both boxing gyms that want to stay organized and sanitary, but also great for individuals.
We recommend Vapor Fresh® Glove Dogs because they are made with antimicrobial fabric to resist any germ growth, and have a patent-pending design that allows for moisture-absorbing inserts to be removed and replaced. Normal glove dogs get smelly after a while and end up doing more harm than good and must be thrown away and replaced. Vapor Fresh® Glove Dogs resist the germs that cause odor, but when they eventually do get a bit smelly, you can simply remove the inserts, machine wash them, and replace new inserts. This saves time and money and is much more eco-friendly.
Occasionally Sprinkle Deodorizing Power Into Your Gloves
Moisture in boxing gloves is a major contributing factor to odor and germ overgrowth. While a quality cleaning spray, air-drying and glove dogs can usually handle the job, once in awhile you may want to sprinkle a bit of deodorizing powder into the gloves to soak up excess moisture and kickstart the drying process. Simply shake out the powder before next use, and your gloves will be dry, clean and comfortable.
A few sprinkles of baking soda can sometimes do the trick. Otherwise we suggest Vapor Fresh® Shoe & Glove Powder. It will help soak up excess moisture while not risking any sort of skin irritation, and leave a nice subtle scent behind using only natural essential oils.
There you have it, seven sure-fire ways to keep your boxing gloves fresh and clean. How are these tips doing for you? Do you have any special tips or tricks? Let us know in the comments below!