You know you have invested quite a bit in your MMA gloves, and you want them to last for as long as possible. But cleaning such gear might not be as simple as washing your MMA shorts in your washing machine, with a bit of detergent and making sure that you respect the recommendations for fabric cleaning written in fine print.
Cleaning your MMA gear and maintaining it requires a little bit of knowledge. To make sure that you don’t end up doing more harm than good, it is a good idea to pay attention to what hurts your gear and what doesn’t.
Why do you need to clean your MMA gear?
While training, you will end up sweating, because this type of exercise is highly demanding on the body. That is not something you can stop from happening. The clothes you wear are easy to wash, but gloves, headgear, and shin guards are a different matter.
They are made from materials that can suffer a lot of damage due to sweating. They can also become smelly and even moldy if there is not enough maintenance. You will need to do a lot of maintenance work if you want to keep your MMA gear looking as good as new, without any nasty smells and other problems.
The thing is MMA gear, especially the sound quality items, tends to be expensive. You surely don’t want to see your investment going down the drain, and yourself forced to purchase a different pair of gloves, or new headgear, or other shin guards. That is why the following advice will help you.
How to clean your gloves and other gear
Most MMA gloves and headgear are made from either natural leather or synthetic leather. Fortunately, there are plenty of products on the market right now that are safe to use with leather of any type, so you can count on such cleaning supplies to do their work.
- Anti-odor sprays
To start with the beginning, you should go for some anti-odor sprays. Usually, these have anti-bacterial properties, so they are quite good for eliminating the risk of growing bacteria on the outside and the inside of your boxing gloves.
You can use such sprays for your shoes, too, and your headgear might get the same treatment if you want to eliminate the risk of rendering your gear useless.
Make sure that you leave your gear out to dry before using it again. While the anti-odor sprays can be used for stopping bacteria growth, they won’t dry your gear. So, to ensure the best results, leave your gloves, or your shoes, or your headgear out to dry for a few hours.
- Essential oils
Some essential oils, like the ones obtained from tea tree or lavender, have anti-microbial properties, and they are all natural. A significant aspect of essential oils is that they manage to treat the leather the gloves or headgear are made of so that it lasts for a longer time. They do that by locking the natural moisture inside the structure of the material.
Create a mix from a few drops of essential oils and a cup of water. Use a cloth to dip into the mix, and then wipe the surface you need to be cleaned. Don’t forget about the inside, too. Since the lining can be the place where most of the bacteria tend to grow, you should treat it with the same care, as well.
Leave your gear to air dry. This way, you will have fresh smelling gloves or shoes in no time. And you will not have to worry about having to purchase new gear.
- Disinfectant wipes
Another thing you can use to clean your MMA gear is disinfectant wipes. These may not be as efficient as the method described earlier, but they are a quick solution for regular maintenance.
- Homemade solutions
In case you don’t want to rely on commercial cleaning products, there are some solutions you can use at home. One of them is to use lukewarm water and a piece of cloth. Bear in mind that you will be able to take most of the grime out, but bad smells will remain.
To ensure that unpleasant odors will go away, too, try a solution of diluted vinegar (about one tablespoon in a cup of water). This will kill the bacteria and therefore, the smells, too, but having to endure the vinegar scent afterward might not be that great.
For gloves and shoes that don’t stink the next day, you can use a scrub with apple cider. It is recommended to get apple cider on your fingers and scrub the inside. Leaving the gear to air overnight should do the trick.
Another great option to eliminate bad smells is to use baking soda. To harness the power of this kitchen supply, you will need some old socks that you can stuff with baking soda, and then put inside the gloves or the shoes. The baking soda will absorb the smells, and the next day, you will have your gear smelling as good as new.
What you should never do to your MMA gear
No matter how tempted you might feel, don’t just soak your gloves, headgear, shin guards, or shoes in water or any other liquid. Your gear will suffer deformations, and you will not be able to make them regain their initial shape, either. Plus, the material they are made of will suffer irremediably.
Just the same advice goes for the temptation of throwing your MMA gear into a washing machine. That is never a good solution, and it’s a sure way to shell out money for new equipment.
The last piece of advice refers to using alcohol-based products to clean your gear. It is true that alcohol kills bacteria, but it also ruins the leather. You’ll never do yourself a favor if you pick such cleaning supplies. Just stick to the above recommendations, and you’ll be on the winning side.