How To Clean Boxing Gloves?

Boxing and punching sessions get quite intense for the regular practitioner, especially during training focused at speed and endurance. Sweat and dirt make the boxing gloves smelly and unpleasant for further use.

Bacterial growth is responsible for the foul smell and may cause skin irritation too. Fret not; there are ways to clean your boxing gloves using very cost-effective chemicals that are designed specifically for cleaning and sanitizing the gloves.

Those who fight in the ring are even prone to having blood on their gloves. It is not pleasant to have blood on the gloves. Therefore, professional fighters should also know the practical techniques to clean gloves.

Please remember that gloves seldom tolerate hand-wash or machine-wash well. So, unless your manufacturer has stated that your gloves can be washed the traditional way, do not try those ways.

How to clean and deodorize your boxing gloves?


Odor: Foul-smelling gloves is the most common reason why boxers clean their gloves. Since the foul odor is caused by bacteria decomposing the fluids of the body, an anti-bacterial spray is an ideal treatment for the foul smell.

Apart from the anti-bacterial treatment, there are also deodorizing sprays and fresheners that make your gloves smell good, for a change.

Cleaning and deodorizing may not be a one-time activity that you perform over the weekend. It is better to maintain your boxing gloves in a cleaner condition during regular use.

Here are some tips to keep your gloves clean:

Fresh air

If you stuff your boxing gloves into your gear bag right away after boxing, you’ll have a bad odor in no time. After a workout, keep your gloves on a window sill or anywhere where they are exposed to fresh air and sunlight.

Sunlight is a natural germ killer, and fresh air takes the odor away. You would also have your gloves dried in the most hygienic natural way.

If your gloves have Velcro (hook and loop mechanism), ensure you open the gloves and then keep them in the air.

Antibacterial Sprays for Cleaning Gloves

Keeping your gloves in the air can only go so far in keeping your gloves odor-free. You need chemical sprays to maintain your boxing gloves.

The antibacterial spray is the first and essential treatment that you can give your gloves. As we have already mentioned before, foul smell is caused by sweat and bacteria; if you sweat heavily, you should stock up on these sprays.

One of the popular sprays on Amazon is this – Live Luv Lavish that acts as a deodorizer and disinfectant.

Another very commonly used spray is the Vapor Fresh Natural Cleaning and Deodorizing Spray. This is available in a pack of one or a set of three. Buy as per your requirement.

Used regularly, these sprays can ensure a long life for your gloves and also motivate you to workout daily because they smell good.

Insertable deodorizers

Insertable deodorizers are made from fabric that needs to be placed inside the gloves. It absorbs unwanted moisture and prevents the breakdown of the glove material.

They are offered in different “flavors” where, after removal, your gloves smell fresh with the fragrance of your choice. Insertable deodorizers are very popular, and we have for you the most popularly purchased item – Meister Glove Deodorizers for Boxing and All Sports.

Rated at 4.5 stars and reviewed by over two thousand users, this is one of the best options you get in the market. Meister has a reputation for producing the best quality products related to boxing and martial arts. Don’t miss out on this fantastic product.

Use your hand wraps as a moisture remover

Most boxers or Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) practitioners usually have multiple pairs of hand wraps because those get sweatier more quickly than the gloves. If you have numerous pairs, use a clean and washed pair of hand wraps.

Stuff the hand wraps inside the boxing gloves to cover as much surface as you can. The gloves are made of absorbent material and help remove moisture and sweat from inside the gloves. This method allows users to keep their boxing cloves cleaner, and they require less-frequent washes.

Since it is much easier to clean the hand wraps, this is one of the most convenient methods used by athletes. Many hand wraps are certified for machine washing. In such cases, it is good to have three or four pairs of extra hand wraps so that you can ensure that you wear a fresh pair of wraps and clean gloves every time you go for a practice session or a fight.

How to keep your boxing gloves clean?

Now that you have seen some ways that can help you get the fix quickly and easily, lets read about the comprehensive cleaning methods:

Using saltwater

Saltwater is a natural disinfectant, and if you soak your boxing gloves in a mild saline solution, the fabric absorbs the saltwater. This kills the germs and hence removes the odor from your gloves. When you rinse and dry them, any residual sweat is also removed from the fabric, making your gloves smelling fresh and clean.

Note that not all materials are meant to be used with saline water. Check on your manufacturer’s website whether the gloves are safe to wash.

Using the freezing method

Microorganisms are sensitive to both extremes of temperature. You may use an airtight bag and place your gloves in the bag and then place them in the freezer for 2 to 3 days. So much exposure to cold kills many microorganisms or causes a lot of them to go into hibernation (consider them as alive but deactivated).

Ensure that you use the airtight bag properly because moisture may seep in and form ice crystals over the gloves posing a cleaning challenge.

Once the boxing gloves are frozen for the required time, take them out of the freezer, remove them from the airtight bag and allow natural air to flow in. Fresh air restores them to their normal state.

It is advisable to spray some antibacterial and freshening substances since cold may not have killed all the bacteria. Lysol disinfectant spray is a very widely used chemical to kill germs in linen and boxing equipment.

You may purchase Lysol from Amazon – click here.

Using only a disinfectant spray

For those who require a fix – quick and straightforward, a spray with a disinfectant like Lysol can get the job done and remove odor to keep the gloves ready for a next practice session or a fight.

However, you need to remember that a disinfectant spray only kills the odor-causing bacteria. The moisture and sweat still remain. Sweat can be very deterring to using the gloves again.

To help with the sweat, ensure that the gloves are kept in an airy environment.

Using a hairdryer

Using a hairdryer is a fast and straightforward way to keep your gloves dry especially if you want to reuse the pair. After a workout or a match, there is a lot of sweat accumulation which may make the gloves slippery and uneasy.

Using a hairdryer, with or without heat, does the job pretty well. The constant flow of air helps dry the sweat. If used with heat, the job is completed even faster.

Be aware that hair dryers can blow very hot air if set at the maximum setting, and those temperatures may damage the gloves. Try to use the hairdryer at a moderate setting or without heating, if it has that functionality.

Using a shoe dryer

A shoe dryer works equally well, if not faster, in getting your boxing gloves dry. It is hardly a problem to carry a can of disinfectant-cum-freshener. One the gloves are near dry, spray some of the fresheners and allow them to dry completely. You can be ready to fight within no time.

Take care of the hand wraps

This is an essential step that many people miss out on. You may have cleaned your gloves using the best of the sprays and allowed for long drying time. If, however, you use them with an unfreshened pair of hand wraps, all that effort goes for a toss.

Boxing hand wraps are made of absorbent material to remove moisture from reaching the gloves. Hence, reusing a wet and smelly set of hand wraps is hardly a good idea.

Since hand wraps and gloves are worn together, they must be cleaned together. The advantage is that hand wraps are cheaper, and most practitioners have at least three or four sets of hand wraps. Ensure that you used a cleaned or washed set of hand wraps with a cleaned pair of gloves.

After your practice sessions, ensure that the supply of clean hand wraps is maintained because it is short, your effort of cleaning the gloves would be in vain.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q) How should I keep my boxing gloves clean?

A) Keeping the boxing gloves clean requires regular effort. It is not about cleaning the gloves over the weekend. Also, gloves are unusual because, for most things, cleanliness is about looks. For a pair of gloves, cleanliness is about getting the gloves germ-free, odor-free, and in a well-maintained condition to using them for long.

The most crucial point to remember is to not put the gloves in the bag with all the other boxing gear. Put your gloves where they get to “breathe,” i.e., they are exposed to natural air. A window sill is a good idea. Sunlight and fresh air remove the moisture and help remove the odor.

If you require quicker cleaning, there are disinfectant sprays and blow dryers that can be used.

Q) Should I wash my gloves in the washing machine?

A) This is not a good idea. The gloves are specially shaped to match the human hand. Regular twists, turns, and rotations inside the washing machine rip the fabric apart rendering the gloves unusable.

That said, hand wrap and gloves require equal cleaning attention. If your hand wraps are machine washable, sure, throw them in the machine.

Q) Is it okay to use an unwashed set of hand wraps with a pair of washed gloves?

A) That is not a good idea. The whole point of washing and cleaning the gloves is to remove the moisture and the odor. Bacteria and sweat cause the odor. If you use an unwashed pair of hand wraps, you pretty much are nullifying the cleaning of the gloves.

That said, if you cannot always have a fresh pair of hand wraps available for the next practice session, you have no choice.

Q) Are the cleaning and deodorizing sprays safe?

A) Yes, the cleaning sprays consist of antimicrobial chemicals and some fragrance. These chemicals kill the bacteria and sanitize your gloves while the scent makes then pleasant smelling for that next workout session. The chemicals are designed for use on linen which means that they are safe for contact with the skin. Beware though, spraying more is not going to get you a cleaner pair of gloves. There is only so much spray required to kill the germs. If you spray too much, you may get skin irritation.


Boxing gloves are essential for the sport, but they tend to get dirty, both from inside and outside. From the outside, the punches may even lead to blood stains in some extreme cases. Inside, almost always, the gloves start to smell after an intense session because of the heat and sweat that provide a perfect breeding place for odor-producing bacteria.

Cleaning the boxing gloves is necessary from an aesthetic and health perspective. There are many ways to wash the gloves. Using a can of disinfectant and deodorizer is one way. Once sprayed inside the gloves, the bacteria die, and then the gloves can be left off for drying.

The other most common way of cleaning the gloves in regular usage is to stuff a fresh pair of hand wraps that absorbs the moisture and keeps them dry. A blow or two from a hairdryer is often sufficient to make the gloves perfectly dry.