How To Clean Boxing Gloves Naturally?

There's no greater joy than spotless boxing gloves. Cleaning them, however, can be a costly job. Taking care of them and knowing how to clean boxing gloves guarantees their hygiene and longevity and keeps the bad smell at bay.

Top-notch boxing gloves are generally made of leather. Their production systems and padding materials are also identical, making their cleaning methods almost the same. 

We have compiled the most effective natural ways to clean gloves that will not only save you some bucks but also get the job done. The following methods can also be used to disinfect all other fighting sports and gym gloves.

Use an Anti-Bacterial Spray

Several antibacterial products can kill the bad bacteria that triggers the foul smell. The use of antibacterial spray destroys germs in your gloves before they break the sweat particles down. You may also use the spray before you hang your boxing gloves in dry air or sunlight. A spray can solve this issue quickly and refresh your gloves faster than other methods. Here is what you need to do: 

  • Detach your gloves.
  • Spray the liquid on the gloves, thoroughly, inside and outside.
  • Let the gloves stay in the open air for a couple of hours to dry them out.
  • You will have new fragrant gloves on your hands in no time.

Note: Do not make a routine of this cleaning process. An anti-bacterial solvent only kills the current bad bacteria. It won't shield your gloves from the fresh bacteria-causing stench in the long run.

Use Lemon Peels

Lemons can be utilised to deal with the smell of gloves as well. It's as easy as peeling a lemon and placing the peel in the gloves overnight. The strong scent of the lemon and the natural oils are expected to operate by camouflaging the smell of the bad bacteria.

Unfortunately, the issue with this approach is that it does not isolate the root of the problem. That means you'd just add the scent of lemon to the pungent smell caused by the bacteria.

lemon peal for cleaning boxing gloves

Using Disinfectant Wipes

You may also use some kind of disinfectant wipe to scrub the inside and the outside of your gloves.

But the wipes won't remove the sweat entirely. But the wipes can pry the germs away from the internal and external layers of the gloves.

Saltwater Soak

Saltwater is another famous method to clean boxing gloves. It serves as a saline mixture to destroy any germs in the gloves.

Immersing your gloves in a salt bath overnight is a sure-fire method of killing bacteria and getting rid of the stench. The salinity breaks down the bacteria and dissolves them in the gloves. This approach is deemed a safer alternative to boiling gloves because it can ruin the gloves rather than just killing bacteria. All you have to do is: 

  • Take salt water in a container big enough for your gloves. 
  • Soak the gloves in it.
  • Leave them soaked overnight and dry them the morning after.

Note: This technique can harm the gloves. Since you're going to immerse your gloves in brine for several hours. Not only can this cause cracking of materials, but if the gloves aren't properly dried, this process can probably make the situation worse. Moreover, it can be harmful to gloves made of non-salt water-reacting materials. So it's safer to do some research before you soak your gloves in saltwater. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be used to disinfect a number of different items like bags and shoes. It is very good for washing boxing gloves and eliminating the smell as well. It's a super fast and super-efficient way to refresh your gloves. Here is what you need to do:

  • Spoon a tablespoon of ACV in your palm.
  • Massage it completely within the gloves and let them dry for a night. 
  • In the morning, all the stink will be gone.
  • If adding it once doesn't work, you can add vinegar more than once.

Apple cider vinegar for cleaning boxing gloves

Freeze the Bacteria Away

This may sound out of place to you, but it is the most efficient way of killing bacteria. Many strains of bacteria are typically only viable at temperatures over 5 °C. Below this temperature, bacteria become inactive and is destroyed at freezing temperatures.

Placing your gloves in a waterproof bag in the freezer for a night can destroy the harmful microorganisms in your gloves before they can cause unpleasant odours. Moreover, this freezing treatment for gloves makes them incredibly clean. It's safer to store the gloves in a plastic bag before tossing them in the freezer. You can also freeze them for one to two days rather than one night.

Note: Proceed with the freezing technique cautiously. Based on the type of material of your gloves, this method can be very damaging. Cold temperatures can force leather and plastic to break over time. Not only will this destroy the look of your gloves, but these gaps are also the ideal location for harmful bacteria to thrive in.

Stuff the Gloves

Some fighters stuff their gloves in order to air them and discourage bacterial contamination. Glove dogs are probably the most efficacious because they are designed specifically. 

In addition to preventing bacterial contamination, they also enhance the life span of the gloves. Glove dogs are basically small cotton bags lined with cedar chips. Some boxers recommend using a newspaper or a soap bar for this.

Also read: Tips for Choosing the Right Boxing Gloves for Beginners!

How to Clean Boxing Gloves With Baking Soda

Baking soda can function against every odour emitting bacteria. But you can't just sprinkle it into the glove. All you have to do is:

  • Fill a pair of socks with baking soda.
  • Stuff them in the gloves and leave them like that for a night.
  • All the pungent odours will be gone the next day.

However, it seems to be a messy process that has the ability to destroy the inner substance of your gloves over time because of the baking soda particles. And imagine how unpleasant it would be to wear gloves with remnants of baking soda still inside.

Baking soda for cleaning boxing gloves

Add Essential Oils

You may use a blend of tea tree and lavender oil to disinfect your gloves and clear the bad smells. They have antiseptic qualities, and these specific essential oils are also advantageous for the gloves as they extend their lifetime by sealing the natural moisture within the leather.

  • Apply 5 drops of oil into a cup of water.
  • Dip some fabric in the mixture, and then use it to disinfect the gloves.
  • Allow them to dry sufficiently before you use them.

essential oils for cleaning boxing gloves

Coronavirus and Cleaning Boxing Gloves

Concerns about the coronavirus, COVID-19, spread have been rising across the world, and we have seen places like fitness centres, martial arts schools, and home gyms closed due to it.

Exercises like boxing involve the use of tools and equipment that regularly come in contact with other people while training or in competitions. It's always a great idea to disinfect your kit after every session to safeguard against the spread.

how-to-protect-boxing-gloves-from-coronavirus-covid19

How to Clean Gloves to Prevent COVID-19 

Some boxing gloves are machine-washable. They're the easiest and the simplest to clean because you can just toss them in a wash cycle, then through a dryer cycle, and voila! They're clean.

Open-hand sparring gloves are also easy to wash because you can quickly spray them or scrub the entire area with a disinfecting wipe. Whereas closed-finger gloves and boxing gloves can be a bit more complicated since you have to make sure that you reach every corner and clean them all the way to the sealed fingers/thumb.

One way to clean them is to wrap an antibacterial cloth around your finger and reach into the insides of the glove and then turn your hand around to disinfect it. And keep in mind, no matter how successfully you wash your gloves, you do need to wash and sanitize your hands after you wear your gloves.

If you haven't already bought your own gloves and use the communal gloves of your gym, it's the perfect time to invest in a pair of your own. And put a hold on sharing gloves for a while now!

Also read: A Step by Step Guide to Wrapping Hands for Boxing!

The Final Takeaway

Cleaning gloves is not a science test: you don't need to think it through. Just leaving the gloves out in the sun and cleaning the outside of the gloves is generally enough to leave them smelling good.

If you do make an effort to undertake the extra maintenance mentioned above, you're never going to have to worry about undesirable smells. Just take a couple of minutes to do a little cleaning after you practice. This will guarantee that you optimize the lifetime of your gloves and train hard and fresh.