8 Ways To Keep Your Boxing Gloves Fresh

Have you ever been training and kept catching a whiff of something so vile and offensive that it hurt your feelings?  Have you ever been angrily glaring around the room searching for the culprit of the criminal act only to realize to your shock and embarrassment that the true perpetrators were located directly above your very own forearms?  

One of the harsh realities of boxing is that without some proper hygiene and care your gloves can end up smelling worse than a rotten tuna sandwich left on the floor of a paper mill.

Here at Train for Life we take cleanliness and hygiene very seriously so here are 8 wonderful tips for keeping your boxing gloves fresh.


  1. Make Sure You Wear “Hand Socks”

    Always wear a clean pair of wraps under your gloves every time you train.  Not only does the wrap help to protect your hands and wrists in kickboxing class but it also acts to absorb sweat like a sock for your hand.  

    Make sure you wash your wraps either by placing them in a mesh bag in your laundry or by washing them in hot water with dish soap. If you are washing wraps with laundry make sure you are aware that often times newer wraps leak a lot of excess dye when washed.

  2. Wipe Them Down

    After a workout wipe the outside and inside of your gloves with an antibacterial wipe or use an antibacterial spray.  Any good gym will have wipes available for this purpose.  Sport sprays can be purchased or made at home.  There are a variety of DIY spray recipes online.


  3. Suck It Up

    No we don’t mean toughen up and deal with the stink!  Grab something to absorb moisture and odor and stuff it into your gloves.  Baking soda, bags of cedar chips,  commercial shoe and glove odor absorbers, and even newspaper can really help with keeping your gloves smelling so fresh and so clean clean.


  4. Chill Out

    This is a strange one but it really works.  Wait until your gloves are completely dry and then put them in a large freezer bag.  Place the bag with your gloves into your freezer (or someone else’s if you are daring) for 24 hours or more to freeze out all those stinky bacteria.  


  5. Let Them Breath

    After workouts make sure to leave gloves in an open and airy place rather than in a gym bag or the trunk of your car.  If they can dry out there will be less time for bacteria to hang out and grow in a damp, dark environment.


  6. Odor Masking

    Slip a couple dryer sheets into your gloves once they dry out and leave them in there until your next practice.  It’s not going to make your gloves any cleaner but it can keep you from suffocating your training partners.


  7. Bathe Those Beauties

    Yes it is possible to wash your gloves without hurting them.  In the sink or a bucket make a gentle solution of water and dish soap.  Submerge your gloves and agitate them a bit.  Take them out and squeeze as much water as  you can out.  Hang dry them outdoors.


8. Time To Say Good Bye

We know you have accumulated a good deal of mojo and talent in those gloves but if you love something you have to let it go.  Buy some new gloves.  You wouldn’t wear the same pair of running shoes 3 times a week for a 6 month period and expect them to smell nice.  Gloves are not something you are meant to keep forever.  

When you buy a new pair of gloves consider putting the month and year that you purchased them in paint pen on the band.  Every 6 -12 months you will definitely need new gloves (more often if you are a machine and train all the time).  Not only will this keep you from killing all the plants you walk by but the padding in your gloves will stay firm and do a much better job of protecting those lethal weapons you call hands.