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Can Boxing Gloves Be Washed?

Last Updated: 16.05.22


Reviews of boxing gloves by Venum as well as other sources of information concerning this essential boxing gear will tell you at some point about how difficult or how easy a certain pair is to clean. When using a pair of gloves for a longer period of time, or just after an intense training session on the heavy bag, they tend to absorb sweat and develop a bad odor.

If they are not properly cleaned and stored, they will remain this way until the next time you put them on and it’s not a pleasant experience to slide your hands into a cold, wet glove. In addition, dangerous bacteria can develop and you can get infected.

The fact that a fighter has to clean his or her boxing gloves is not a pleasant thought, especially since they can’t be cleaned like regular clothing items. Throwing a pair of boxing gloves into a washing machine is not going to prove very effective due to the gloves’ shape and texture. Not even hand washing is effective enough.

However, there are some solutions to this problem. By using these methods you’ll manage to remove sweat, blood, and other impurities from your gloves with high efficiency. Read the following lines to learn more.


Wet cloth

If you are in a hurry and want to slightly improve the condition of your boxing gloves, you could just use a cloth and some warm water. This is not going to eliminate all the bacteria and therefore the gloves might still smell, but it’s sufficient to remove any dirt, blood or other larger impurities.

For proper cleaning, you should use one or more from the following methods. That way you will get much better results.



Anti-bacterial spray

This is very useful for fighters who have sweaty palms. Anti-bacterial sprays like Febreeze or Lysol will prevent microbial growth and as a result, your gloves will not develop a bad odor. In addition, these products are simple to use as well. All you have to do is to spray the boxing gloves both on the outside and on the inside.

The spray does its job immediately and begins to destroy bacteria as soon as you apply it on your gloves. As a small tip, dry the gloves after you spray them. If you spray your boxing gloves and leave them wet by storing them in a place with poor ventilation, the anti-microbial spray will have little to no effect on them. It will only cause a hole in your wallet.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you must stay away from products that contain harmful chemicals. These corrosive substances may damage your gloves and destroy the glues and binders used in manufacturing them. You wouldn’t want that, especially if your boxing gloves are expensive.


Another product fighters use is deodorant. You can acquire special boxing gloves deodorizers designed to maintain your boxing gloves smell-free and clean. Some products even keep your fighting gloves smelling fresh.

The secret to these special deodorizers is that they are made from burnt bamboo sticks. The charcoal is the one which acts as an odor repellent and moisture absorbent. If you are on a strict budget and live in an area where there is plenty of charcoal, you can use them instead of buying deodorizer.

It’s an economical solution that actually works. You just place a lump of coal inside each glove and let it draw moisture along with the bad odor. However, keep in mind that this trick works only for cleaning the insides of your gloves.

Baking soda

As baking soda is a common household item and already has many uses outside the cooking domain, it’s no wonder people found a way to use it for cleaning their boxing gloves as well. To implement this method you need baking soda, a pair of old socks and some paper towels.

First, clean the exterior and interior of the gloves using the paper towels or a damp cloth. Then place baking soda in each of the two socks about halfway and tie their ends. Place the filled socks inside the gloves and tighten the laces or the Velcro straps.

Leave the boxing gloves overnight. When you remove the socks the next day, they will have already absorbed the sweat and the foul smell from the interior of the gloves.


This is another cheap solution that anybody can use. All you have to do is to place your gloves in a bath filled with saltwater. The saline solution kills all the bacteria as it reaches in every nook and cranny of your gloves. As you would do with the baking soda, you should leave the gloves overnight to soak in as much salt water as possible.

The following day you must dry the gloves completely before using them again. This method is cheap, but keep in mind that you first need to find out whether or not the saline solution will damage the glove materials. In addition, if you have scratches or cuts on your palms or knuckles, you may feel discomfort as you wear the gloves again, due to the salt.


This is another inexpensive method. However, it takes time and patience. All you have to do is to place the gloves inside a plastic bag which can be sealed and put them in the freezer. Depending on how dirty the gloves are, you may want to leave them in there for more than one day.

After you remove the gloves from the freezer, you must dry them completely. If you are in a hurry, you can use a blow dryer, place them in front of a fan or let them under direct sunlight.

Take into consideration that genuine leather boxing gloves can be damaged if they are left in freezing temperatures for too long. Avoid doing that if you want them to last.




Another household item that targets the bacteria growing in your gloves is vinegar, more precisely apple cider vinegar. You don’t need more than a couple of spoons of apple cider vinegar. Just rub the vinegar on the exterior and on the interior of the gloves and let them dry completely overnight.

Once you examine them the next day, you can convince yourself that the acidic solution got rid of all the bacteria and also eliminated the bad odor. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, it’s okay to use white vinegar as well.


Lavender oil is a good disinfectant. If you own leather gloves, you may want to use tea tree oil. These products have a double purpose. Besides cleaning the gloves they also prolong their durability, but only if the gloves are made from leather. This happens because the oils trap the natural moisture in the leather.

Take around 5 drops of lavender or tea tree oil and place them in a cup of water to make a solution. Soak a piece of cloth into the solution, then wipe the gloves starting from the inside. In the end, just let the gloves dry out, or speed up the process with a fan or let them in the sun. Additionally, you can stuff the gloves with newspaper. It will draw the moisture out.




Leave a comment


Neblet Trocco

December 23, 2020 at 11:12 pm

This is very true! Will consider this moving forward 🙂

Josh Edwards

October 25, 2020 at 9:44 am

Can i wash it with my washing machine?


October 26, 2020 at 8:37 am

Hi Josh. I wouldn’t recommend doing that as the material can be damaged after a washing cycle.

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