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Cleaning Boxing Gloves Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Read These Tips

Have you ever been in the gym – training and caught a whiff of something foul and so revolting that it almost hurt your feelings? 

And you madly do a brisk walk in all directions to try and locate the source of this monstrosity, and with a shudder, you realize that the smell is coming off of you. 

The smell is one of the harsh truths of boxing; without proper care and hygiene, your gloves are going to smell – sometimes even worse than a spoiled fish left to rot in a blazing parking lot on a hot day. 

Cleaning Boxing gloves doesn’t have to be complicated, and with Infinitude Fight expert advice, you will learn to clean your gloves with just a few easy tips. 


Boxing Gloves 

Boxing Gloves USA is the most critical armor a boxer will need in the ring. The sheer beauty and intelligent protection the gloves offer make them state-of-the-art tools for boxing. However, the thought of giving them a deep clean or a routine clean brings out bitter afterthoughts. 

Cleaning Boxing Gloves

To put it out, cleaning gloves go against our everyday washing rituals – the relief of throwing laundry in the washer/dryer is something we all are acquainted with. However, cleaning gloves is a different story altogether. 

For those of us who don’t know, the regular practice of hand or machine washing won’t help with washing the gloves thoroughly. 

The machine wash might clean the gloves. However, it will cause irreversible damage to the leather and padding. So, if you are planning to use the gloves for a while, do not machine wash them. 

Read More: Boxing Gloves Care – How to Clean your Boxing Gloves

So how do you go about cleaning your gloves and free them of that nasty bacteria smell? This is a good question, and if you are interested in knowing how to clean your gloves, read on!

But first, let’s discuss the root cause: 

Why Do Gloves Stink? 

The foul smell coming from the gloves is a sign of breeding bacteria. Yes, freaky, right? It is from bacteria! 

The gloves are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria whether you like it or not – but why is it so? In boxing or training, you will naturally sweat a lot, and thus bacteria growth is encouraged through moisture. 

To top it off, most athletes are in the habit of throwing the gloves in a gym bag or any other poorly ventilated space right after using them – the gym bag is also a breeding ground for bacteria – making the gloves smell even worse. 

Why do gym bags or enclosed spaces promote the growth of bacteria?

The bacteria and various germs flourish in warm, dark, and moist environments without sufficient ventilation. How to avoid it? – keep your boxing gloves dry and clean. 


Below are some tips and techniques to keep your gloves fresh and clean: 

Preventive Care

As the age-old saying goes, prevention is always better than the cure, and Infinitude Fight suggests adding routine cleaning steps to save your gloves from germs and bacteria.  

Let your gloves dry completely – 

Drying your gloves entirely after each use is vital in keeping them germs clean – as the germs require moisture to thrive and bacteria need humidity/moisture to grow. If you do not dry the gloves immediately after each use, they might start to smell – and then there is no going back. 

Hang your gloves in a properly ventilated area – 

Additionally, you can let your gloves air-dry; be sure not to expose them to the rays of sun, heat, or rain. 

Wiping the gloves after each use – One more fantastic way to keep the gloves safe from smelling bad is continuously wiping them from both outside and inside by using a clean paper towel or a regular towel after each use. Maintaining this habit will massively decrease the amount of moisture in the gloves and prevent the bacteria from thriving. 


Never put your mitts in the gym bag –

 We know that we have covered this already, but we want to emphasize again just how important this is – do not under any circumstance place your gloves in the bag immediately after being used. 

What you can do is, after a workout/match, put the gloves in a plastic bag – preferably perforated – take them home, remove the gloves from the pack, and put them out to air dry naturally. Once they are dry, it is safe for you to put them back in your bag. 

Hand wraps –

Using hand wraps is the best way to soak up maximum moisture/sweat out of the gloves and prevent them from staying or getting moist in the first place. Hand wraps work like a sponge and soak up all moisture from the padding inside your gloves. 

This method is highly effective; remember to use a clean pair of hand wraps every time you use the gloves. When you buy boxing gloves, we recommend getting a couple of hand wraps with them; an extra or two would help you stay on top of your hygiene game. 

This practice works well; remember to clean your hand wraps regularly thoroughly. Or else the wraps will start to stink, which will make your gloves smell bad too. 

Washing the hands – 

Hear us out; we know this sounds a bit silly, as we know you do not need to be told to wash your hands; however, it is a crucial preventive tip, this is why it made to our list. 

To prevent your gloves from smelling like a trash can full of garbage, always remember to freshly wash your hands and dry them off completely before putting on the gloves. 

Our hands are exposed to so many germs and bacteria daily. When you don’t wash them properly, all that stinky bacteria goes straight into your gloves; couple the bacteria with the moisture from your sweat – the bacteria will indeed thrive in these favorable conditions. 

Save yourself from the headache of removing the foul smell from the gloves by simply washing your hands before slipping on the gloves. 

Tip: Keep a small bottle of sanitizer with you at all times, and use it, as it is an excellent way to keep your hands clean as a precaution before even putting the gloves on. 

What to do when all precautions are forgotten or fail? 

Cleaning Boxing Gloves 

‍There is always a factor of uncertainty in our lives, let’s say if you forget to dry, air out or clean your gloves regularly, or you are too tired to do it after an intense training session or a match. What happens then? Drum rolls, please; yes, you got it right, the gloves will become smelly. 

However, there are ways you can clean the gloves: 

Note: The cleaning methods below can harm your gloves if not used correctly or with the wrong type of gloves. It is always recommended to seek guidance from your manufacturer on how to go about cleaning gloves. 

Anti-Bacterial Spray 

‍We suggest getting a quality anti-bacterial spray to kill off bacteria and germs when you buy boxing gloves. An excellent anti-bacterial spray for the gloves will kill all bacteria and germs, making it an easy solution to the smelly gloves problem. 

How to Use Anti-Bacterial Spray? 

  1. First of all, unwarp the Velcro or unlace your gloves
  2. Spray the gloves generously with the anti-bacterial spray 
  3. In the end, place the gloves out in a well-ventilated area to dry 

The Salt-Water Soak 

Try using the saltwater soak method; put your gloves soak in a saline solution for the night. This is a definitive way to ward off bacteria and purge your mitts from the smell – once and for all. The saline solutions break down bacteria and dissolve it, giving you fresh and sweet-smelling gloves. 

On the other hand, this procedure could also prove dangerous if your gloves are made from specific materials that are non-reactant to saltwater. It is highly recommended that you do your research before employing this method. 

How to use Salt Water Soak Procedure? 

  1. Pour the saline water solution is a large container 
  2. Put your gloves in it, dip them completely
  3. Let the gloves soak overnight and put out to dry in a well-ventilated space the next day

Freezing the Gloves Overnight

Putting the gloves to freeze overnight might sound a bit out of the ordinary and quite odd, but it might turn out to be an effective solution to kill off bacteria. Place the gloves in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for the night. 

The following day, take the gloves from the freezer and dry them out in a well-ventilated space. If your gloves smell too awful – leave them in the freezer for two nights instead – then pit out to air dry. 


Use the stuffing technique to warden-off bacterial growth – some fighters prefer stuffing their gloves to air them out. Stuff with what you may ask? Well, it varies, and it is up to them to decide. Mostly, fighters use paper towels, newspapers, or only a bar of soap. 

The glove dogs are also a good alternative, and these are small cotton bags full of cedar wood chips – their quality? Cedar woodchips draw out bacteria naturally. 

What’s more, dryer sheets are also used with the stuffing procedure; however, the dryer sheets do not help with the primary drying process of the gloves. What dryer sheets do is instead help to cover up the putrid smell of the gloves. This procedure could also be coupled with any of the techniques mentioned above, keeping your gloves from smelling and keeping them fresh. 

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Don’t you love apple cider vinegar? They are used for so many different purposes and are one of the most versatile products. Not only is the apple cider vinegar excellent for weight loss regimes, adding an exquisite flavor to the food, but it can also be put to use for cleaning various things, such as shoes and bags/purses. 

Apple cider vinegar works well for cleaning boxing gloves and fighting off the weird smells too. Using it might be the easiest and most effective way to revive the freshness of your gloves in an instant. 

How to use Apple Cider Vinegar for Gloves?

  1. Take a tablespoon of the product into your palm or pour on to a clean towel
  2. Rub it inside the gloves properly, try to reach in the crevasses 
  3. Put out the gloves to dry thoroughly overnight in a properly ventilated area 

You will notice that your gloves will no longer be stinking the next day. However, if you still see a smell, repeat the process. 

Baking Soda

Using baking soda might be one of the oldest tricks known globally for its quality of killing the odor. Just a dash of the product in your dry gloves will do its magic and lessen some of the foul smell 

How to use Baking Soda for cleaning gloves? 

  1. Take a smidge of the product and sprinkle it into the gloves 
  2. Leave the powder to sit for a few hours 
  3. Shake off the baking soda by grabbing the gloves open-side down; make sure to shake the gloves well to get rid of any remaining product



‍taking care and cleaning boxing gloves doesn’t have to be complicated; you don’t have to overthink it. Ideally, leaving your gloves out in the open to air out properly and giving them a once-over with a wipe/anti-bacterial wipe after an active training session will mostly do the trick and leave your mitts fresh and sweet-smelling. 

Ideally, you could add a tad bit to the boxing gloves price and your budget to get some preventive gear to cut the smell problem at the source. For instance, when you decide to get gloves, make it a package deal and buy hand wraps. You could also get some anti-bacterial cleaning agents – considering the type and materials of your gloves. 

Note: Be advised that using these methods could damage some materials/gloves, so always reach out to the manufacturers and your trainer for the best advice. 

Additionally, if the above mention cleaning techniques don’t seem to work out for your gloves, you should get in touch with your trainer in that case too. 

Experts at Infinitude Fight have loads of experience with various glove techniques, types, and skills, and they are also pro in treating smelly gloves issues. 

Our experts know and understand that not one solution/procedure works out for all glove types; feel free to pick their brains and ask questions from them if you need help – whether you want help with your sparring, training, footwork, or even cleaning your gloves/hand wraps, reach out to them here

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