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What is the most effective way to clean boxing gloves?

  • Zishan Haider

Boxing Gloves: Why Do They Smell?

It is important to understand why your boxing gloves smell and need to be cleaned before we explain how to clean them.

Boxing is undoubtedly a very physically demanding, high-intensity sport. Sweating is produced at a high rate as a result. A sweat's smell comes from bacteria breaking down protein, salts, and lipids found in sweat. In breaking down sweat, bacteria produce a by-product with a distinct smell - body odour! Even though body odour is not harmful or causes health problems, it can be very embarrassing and lower self-esteem. It is important to note that fresh sweat has no odour, but stale sweat does. You can ensure that your gloves are sweat-free and odour-free for the rest of your life by taking preventative measures.

Here are a few methods to clean your boxing gloves if you need to learn how.

Bags of tea

In most cases, tea bags are used as a method of brewing. By putting a couple of tea bags into your boxing gloves, you will get rid of odours caused by bacteria that are supposed to be dried out. There is no doubt that bacteria need moisture to survive, which makes sense in theory.

No doubt, moisture will always be present in your boxing gloves when you constantly sweat them. This method cannot be applied to long-standing sweat and odour embedded deep within the boxing glove material because teabags can absorb only a limited amount of moisture.

The newspaper

Similarly, a newspaper can also be used for drying out bacteria which may be present on gloves when they are covered in moisture. It is important to acknowledge, however, that most of the population does not keep newspapers around a lot. What is the point of buying it regularly to stuff in your boxing gloves? Is it worth the money? You are the one who has to make the decision.

On the other hand, it's also important to note that newspapers tend to have ink that runs into other materials and can leave a print after too long when they're left on for too long and too much time passes.

Peels of lemons

Using lemons to eliminate the smell of boxing gloves is also possible. It is just a matter of peeling a lemon carefully and leaving the peel in the boxing gloves overnight. It is believed that the potent smell of the lemon and the natural oils in the lemon will mask the smell of the odour that was causing the problem.

Unfortunately, one of the problems with this method is that it does not solve the root cause of the problem (bad bacteria), which has to be removed. In other words, it would be like adding a lemon scent to an odour, but you would only add a lemon scent to it.

Soda (baking soda)

As tea bags and newspapers work on drying out the inside of the boxing gloves and preventing smells, baking soda works similarly. Even though this method does not suffice to effectively eliminate the bacteria-causing odours, as mentioned in previous methods. There is also a downside to this method, which is that it can be messy, and the baking soda particles can, over time, damage the interior material of the house. If there were still traces of baking soda on your boxing gloves, you could imagine how uncomfortable it might be to use them with traces of baking soda still on them.

Spray that is antibacterial

Antibacterial products are available today that can eliminate the bad bacteria responsible for the bad smell in the house. After using your gloves, spray them with disinfectant spray to eliminate bacteria before the sweat can break down and lead to infection.

If, however, you use an antibacterial cleaner on your gloves, you will only be able to kill the already present bacteria. As a result, your gloves will not be protected from new stench-causing bacteria in the future.

Charcoal & Cedar Chips with Activated Charcoal

It is also possible to find products that contain activated charcoal and cedar ships. To deodorize boxing gloves, these pads absorb moisture and leave nothing for the bad bacteria to feed on so they cannot grow.

In the case of new gloves with a small amount of sweat after each use, these products may work. Although they can absorb a lot of moisture, they can only absorb so much before the stale odour of sweat returns, making them ineffective for removing long-existing odours in boxing gloves.

Method of freezing

It is also possible to freeze your boxing gloves to keep them clean. As a rule, most strains of bacteria can only survive at a temperature of 5°C or higher. When the temperature drops below this threshold, bacteria become dormant, and at freezing temperatures, bacteria die. To kill the bad bacteria that can cause bad odours in your boxing gloves, you need to place them in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer overnight before you remove them. The use of this method, however, should be done with caution.

Here are some additional tips you may find useful

Before putting your gloves back into your kit bag, you must allow them to dry completely. The best way to dry them is to keep them out of direct sunlight and away from radiators. There is a possibility that they may crack as a result of this. To reduce the amount of sweat on your gloves, you should wear gloves wraps. However, it would help if you washed your gloves wraps after every time you use them. Make sure you clean your boxing gloves as soon as possible after using them. In your gym bag, you should keep some wipes and some Kit Fresh so that you can be able to prevent odours as soon as possible. The gloves should never be washed or dried in the washing machine or tumble dryer as they will deteriorate as soon as they get wet.