How To Clean Boxing Gloves Perfectly (In 7 Easy Steps)

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If you’re interested in boxing, congrats! It’s a great combat sport and martial art to learn.

However, one thing that newer boxers may take some time to pick up is proper care of their boxing gloves

Taking care of a good pair of boxing gloves is important because it can increase the gloves’ lifespan. In this article, I’ll describe how to clean boxing gloves with perfection every time.

Keeping your gloves clean is important, and certain infections are common in sports like boxing. So it makes sense to be wise about hygiene in combat sports.

Furthermore, your gloves will just be in much better condition for a long time. So let’s get onto the steps!

Step 1: Allow your gloves to dry completely

Red boxing gloves hung up to dry out

This is something that I would stress, as would most people familiar with the process. You want to let your boxing gloves dry out as much as possible. 

The reason is simple: Your boxing gloves are practically a breeding ground for bacteria.

Never leave your boxing gloves inside of a gym bag. Bacteria can grow much, much faster that way.

You can wipe your boxing gloves to speed up this process, and I encourage you to do so. Wiping your gloves will vastly reduce the growth of bacteria. 

Have you ever smelled stinky boxing gloves? Trust me, they have all the wonderful scents of a high-school locker room.

Once the boxing gloves are completely dry, they’re ready to be cleaned!

Step 2: Use an anti-bacterial spray

Using anti bacterial spray on a pair of red boxing gloves

Anti-Bacterial sprays are another great way that boxing gloves can be cleaned. They’re an easy, fast, effective solution to smelly, dirty boxing gloves.

They’re also useful as a first step, even before the initial soak, to ensure your boxing gloves are clean.

There are tons of products on the market for this; some are made specifically for boxing gloves. 

Thoroughly spraying the inside of your gloves and out in this stuff will decimate germs and bacteria. Your dirty boxing gloves won’t stand a chance.

It’s usually best to rinse, clean, or wipe out the boxing gloves after you use the anti-bacterial sprays. In this case, however, the next step covers that part.

Step 3: Soaking your gloves in saltwater

Dunking boxing gloves in a bucket of saltwater

Many people suggest initially soaking your boxing gloves before the rest of the cleaning process, and I agree. 

Specifically, completing a saltwater soak for your boxing gloves can help disinfect them and eliminate bacteria and bad smells. 

The easiest way to do this is to set up a large body of saline water in a big bin or bucket and leave the boxing gloves soaking in there overnight.

It’s a very popular and effective method for those in the know.

There are downsides, however. The main thing you need to check is the materials of your gloves.

Some boxing gloves will crack from saltwater. Be careful about your gloves’ materials, and you should be able to avoid damage.

Leave the gloves to dry (at least) overnight after this.

Step 4: Complete clean inside and out

Preparing to clean boxing gloves with a sponge

Once the saltwater soak is complete, your boxing gloves are likely very clean!

But for the sake of thorough cleaning, I recommend considering giving them a hand cleaning once more.

You want to ensure that the boxing gloves are completely clean before allowing them to dry and remove any leftover moisture or cleaning chemicals left on the gloves. 

I hate having to come back later and possibly go through another cleaning round because I didn’t do it well enough the first time.

So to make sure that doesn’t happen, both you and I should completely clean our gloves, inside and out, before finally allowing them to complete their second drying cycle.

Step 5: Final drying out the gloves

Leaving boxing gloves out to dry and speeding it up with a fan

This is pretty simple, but allowing the boxing gloves to dry again is important. 

The final dry could take a long while since you might have soaked and then hand-washed your gloves.

Still, it’s crucial to let them dry fully. So give it plenty of time and ensure that they’re fully dry before you move on to the last step in the cleaning process: treatment and conditioning. 

Step 6: Treating and conditioning the gloves

Using a special treatment oil on boxing gloves

The second-to-last step for fully cleaning your boxing gloves is proper treatment and conditioning.

Protective chemicals and products keep your gloves clean, in good shape, and more resistant to damage.

The type of cleaning product you’ll use here depends on the materials of your boxing gloves. 

For example, if you own leather boxing gloves, you’d want leather cleaning products to treat and condition your gloves.

This last step is important. It’s one that you should not shirk or take lightly. Boxing gloves that are well taken care of will last longer and look better.

If you don’t know what materials your boxing gloves are made of, you should be able to find out by checking the manufacturer, asking experts, or doing research online. 

Some gloves are made from “pleather” materials and microfiber padding like the Fairtex BGV14 gloves.

In contrast, others can be made from more natural materials like Buffalo leather with the Anthem Athletics boxing gloves.

Once you know the materials, you’ll know the right treatment and conditioning products you need to use.

Step 7: Odor deterrents

Baking soda with boxing gloves for odor removal

Finally, once your boxing gloves are fully washed, sprayed, soaked, dried, and treated, you can improve their smell and resistance to odor.

I’m personally a fan of using natural scents with my boxing gloves.

There are tons of natural scents that are strong, clean, and good-smelling. Citrus peels or wood chips can add nice scents and smells to your boxing gloves. 

Another option is baking soda if you don’t want to do that. This can assist by fighting odors instead of masking others.

Baking soda also should help keep your gloves clean and odorless for longer.

If you clean your boxing gloves out thoroughly, you’ll have well-maintained gloves that will last you for years to come!

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