How to Wash Boxing Gloves
At Sporteq, we encourage the participation of anyone when it comes to sport or exercise, whether it’s boxing, MMA, weight lighting and everything in between.
Alongside making sure everyone exercises and practices sports safely, we also endeavour to make sure cleanliness is just as important.
Sometimes you can be so engrossed in your training that you may forget to clean your equipment. It happens!
That is why in this blog, we will be discussing how to wash boxing gloves correctly.
What are boxing gloves and why do they need cleaning?
Boxing gloves are the signature piece of boxing equipment recognisable to anyone, whether they engage in the sport or not.
Boxing gloves serve to soften the blows on an opponent and mitigate hand and wrist damage to the user, through the thick padding of the gloves. Improper or no use of boxing gloves can cause serious and permanent damage to both the user and the recipient.
Boxing gloves are made of a variety of components including leather, velcro, mesh laces, and padding.
The combination of all these components, along with a hot and sweaty hand inside the dark and unventilated environment of the glove created a perfect breeding ground for mould.
So why exactly do they need cleaning?
- The outside of the glove, whether hitting someone’s body or a punching bag, is touching surfaces that will have sweat and various kinds of bacteria on them. It can be worse if the surface is not regularly cleaned.Not cleaning your gloves will lead to these germs spreading to you.
- Again, if gloves have had contact with sweat on the outside and have not been washed, the gloves will eventually begin to smell.
- In consideration of COVID-19, it is responsible to take every step you can to prevent yourself from being infected. This includes cleaning yourself and your equipment after training, either with a punching bag or a partner.
- Clean gloves last longer. You are much less likely to throw a pair of old gloves away if they are well-maintained.
Cleaning the inside of your gloves is important because:
- The buildup of moisture from sweat and the dark, often warm conditions can cause mould to spread. Mould has serious health implications if you keep yourself exposed to it.
- Not cleaning an environment where sweat absorbs, will make that environment smell, which is unpleasant for everyone around you, including you. It doesn’t matter if this environment is a boxing glove or your shoes.
So now that we know the reason why we should clean our boxing gloves, we will now explain to you the process of cleaning them.
How to clean boxing gloves
We understand it would be difficult to properly clean your gloves at the gym, so here is what you can do when you get home after your session.
- Use a tissue, cloth or paper towel and place it in the glove where you would place your hand. This will absorb any remaining moisture in your gloves. Use in conjunction with less than a teaspoon’s worth of baby powder. This will accelerate the internal drying.
- Apple cider vinegar is a popular ingredient for your household cleaning needs. Made from fermented apple juice, the vinegar contains properties which can kill bacteria. Pour some apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle, then spray and wipe accordingly.
- Baking soda can neutralise bad odours, as it fights harmful bacteria. An older method involves putting baking soda in a sock and leaving it in the glove overnight. This also works with rice in a sock.
- Alternatively, you can put a tumble dryer sheet inside your gloves for 24 hours. Dryer sheets are not made for this function, however, placing a dryer sheet inside your boxing gloves will help them smell pleasant, and you don’t run the risk of spilling household ingredients inside your gloves. You can buy tumble dryer sheets at supermarkets.
- Finally, try crumpling up a sheet of newspaper and putting it inside your boxing gloves for a couple of hours. This will help absorb moisture. Be sure to check up on them regularly, so as not to allow the ink from the newspaper to run and trickle into your gloves.
When it comes to maintaining your gloves, is a relatively simple and straightforward process.
At the end of each training session, be sure to:
- Wipe down your boxing gloves with a disinfectant cloth, to remove the moisture from the perspiration that will inevitably collect inside your gloves following each workout. Wipe the gloves in circular motions, without applying too much pressure.
- Then, grab your deodorising spray and give a quick spritz of it onto your gloves. (You can also buy deodorisers in pouch form if you prefer.) Deodorisers act by breaking down the bacteria which builds up from sweat. Quite often, deodorisers are multi-functional, so they can be used for sports shoes and sports bags, too.
- Finally, let your gloves dry by airing them in a cool, dry place. You can try hanging them or placing them in front of a fan; which will help them dry faster.
Depending on how often you train, you want to give your gloves a deep clean at least once, weekly. More than once, if you train multiple times during the week.
Keeping your gloves optimal and clean
- Don’t stuff your gloves in a tight bag straight after your session, open the straps and place them in a plastic back so there is more ventilation for the glove.
- Try not to put on boxing gloves while your hands are wet, this will add unnecessary moisture to the inside of the glove, making the chance for mould and bad smells higher.
- Avoid using household cleaning spray or body deodorant/perfume on your gloves, as some chemicals in the sprays can damage your gloves.
- Don’t stick your gloves inside the washing machine or tumble dryer. This could potentially result in great damage to the gloves altogether.
- You can also buy boxing glove dogs, which are cotton bags filled with cedar chips. These attach to your gloves and absorb sweat and oil while also leaving a pleasant scent. Glove dogs also have the bonus of helping your gloves retain their natural shape.
- Prolonged UV exposure will damage the gloves so do not store them in direct sunlight.
- Never leave your gloves in a hot car. The heat will only exacerbate the smell by adding to the moisture that has already collated inside the gloves.
- Soaking your gloves for a prolonged period of time is also not a good idea, the natural oils in the leather can become loose from the glove, resulting in your glove losing its cushion and firmness, and instead being replaced by a stiff and cracked outer layer.
- Be careful if your only option to wipe your gloves is with a tissue or paper towel. The fibres from the paper can get caught inside your gloves. It may be difficult to remove tiny pieces of paper towels from your gloves, which will be messy and annoying.
- Leaving your gloves to dry on a heater will damage them and cause them to become cracked.
- Never use harsh chemicals on your gloves, such as bleach and lemon juice. Any highly acidic products could break down the materials in your gloves.
- Never mix a bunch of different cleaning materials to clean your gloves, as this could create a messy, sticky residue which will be very difficult to get rid of.
Here to help you maintain
Whether you are a professional or a beginner, keeping yourself and your equipment clean is going to save you from a lot of issues that you can experience if you don’t stay clean. We at Sporteq care for your hygiene just as much as we care for your personal fitness.
You should always clean your clothing and equipment especially if you have multiple sessions on a frequent basis.
In this blog, we hope to have shown you how to wash boxing gloves, whilst also sharing valuable tips to help you stay safe on your boxing/fitness journey. The team at Sporteq is always here to help. If you would like to contact us via email, click the link here.
You can call us at 0161 354 2579
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