How to Clean Boxing Gloves

The concept of possessing odorous boxing gloves is disliked by all. However, the cleaning process is tricky as considerable damage can arise from machine or hand washing in a short duration. Consequently, understanding particular methods of cleaning is vital to maintain their freshness and extend their longevity.

The trouble with gloves is what’s inside them makes them smell. A boxing workout causes your hands to sweat, which gets soaked up into leather. This then attracts bacteria and leaves your gloves smelling terrible. Here are some top tips for cleaning your boxing gloves: 

How to clean boxing gloves

Wear hand wraps

Wearing hand wraps not only protects your hands by always wearing them under your gloves you are removing the amount of direct contact your gloves have with your hands and therefore your sweat. 

Hand wraps will soak up the sweat directly, helping to prevent it from soaking directly into your gloves so much, and what’s more, they are much easier to wash and keep clean than your gloves ever will be. 

And if you’re on the punching bags for a whole session, your hands will thank you for wearing wraps anyway.

How to Clean Boxing Gloves

Don’t leave dirty gloves to stew

Once you have undertaken a good workout session, don’t leave your gloves full of sweat and dirty in the bottom of your bag for a week. Wipe them out straight away to get rid of as much sweat as you can. Leave them out to dry after every boxing session. 

The worst thing you can do is leave a pair of wet, sweaty gloves in a hot environment like a gym locker or at the bottom of a gym bag as you will be left with a very smelly and unpleasant pair of gloves in that case.

dirty gloves

Wash your gloves regularly

While drying out your gloves and using deodorizing sprays can help, you will still need to wash them regularly, using soap and water, and making sure they have enough time to thoroughly dry them before using them again. 

It is vital to wash them thoroughly when you can, but there are some products you can use in between washes to help solve the smell problem if nothing else, making it a little more pleasant for everyone. 

Use anti-bacterial products

  1. While you can’t wash your gloves fully every day, using an anti-bacterial spray cleaner can help to kill the bacteria to prevent them from building up and turning your gloves into incredibly unpleasant things that you will end up not wanting to put your hands into. 

Make sure you use a product which has been specifically designed for boxing glove use as otherwise you might damage the fabric so always check before using anything new on them.

Try deodorizers

You can look for boxing glove deodorizers which help to get rid of the sweat by absorbing it and give your gloves a fresh smell, for an instant way to freshen up gloves between washes. This is just a temporary way to help get them cleaner. You can hang them in your gloves after each use, to help reduce the sweat which gets soaked into the leather. 


Use hand sanitizers

Try using hand santizers on your hands before you wear your gloves to help kill any bacteria which might otherwise be introduced into your gloves by the direct contact. It’s also good to sanitize your hands after a boxing bout or training session to get rid of any bacteria transference from inside the gloves. 

Keep your hand wraps clean

Wearing hand wraps can help keep your gloves clean but only if your wraps are also fresh and clean as well. Your wraps will be soaking up all the sweat from your hands every time you use them so make sure you keep them clean. 

You can put them in the washing machine but risk them getting ripped or damaged so make sure to put them into some kind of bag first, it could be a pillow case, just to keep them protected from the rough and tumble. 

It’s also important to acknowledge when your wraps have come to the end of their natural life and throw them out. There is only so much washing they can take before they will be worn out and no good to you. 

clean wrap


Boxing gloves, when not looked after properly, can become incredibly offensive-smelling items that will have people running a mile from you when you arrive for a training session so it’s important to keep them clean and regularly deodorized. 

Whatever you do, don’t ever put your boxing gloves in the washing machine as that will ruin them for life, but if you follow all of our seven tips you can keep them clean and smelling fresh for as long as you use them. Make sure any deodorizing or anti-bacterial products you use are designed for the purpose.

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