How to Clean Boxing Gloves: A Step-by-Step Guide

Boxing is a physically demanding sport that requires not only strength and endurance but also proper equipment. Boxing gloves are an essential piece of equipment that must be cleaned regularly to maintain their quality and prevent unpleasant odors from developing. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to clean boxing gloves effectively.

Why Clean Your Boxing Gloves?

Boxing gloves are frequently exposed to sweat, dirt, and bacteria during training sessions, which can lead to unpleasant odors and the growth of harmful bacteria. Cleaning your boxing gloves after each use is crucial to prevent these issues and extend the life of your gloves.

What You’ll Need to Clean Your Boxing Gloves

To clean your boxing gloves, you’ll need the following:

  • Warm water
  • Mild detergent
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol
  • Deodorizing powder
  • Towel or cloth

How to Clean the Outside of Your Boxing Gloves

Removing Dirt and Grime

  1. Begin by wiping the outside of your gloves with a clean, damp cloth or towel to remove any loose dirt or debris.
  2. Create a solution of warm water and mild detergent in a bowl.
  3. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution and wring out the excess water.
  4. Gently wipe the outside of your gloves with the damp cloth or sponge, being careful not to soak the gloves.
  5. Rinse the gloves thoroughly with clean water and then dry them with a towel.

Using Disinfectant Spray

  1. After cleaning the outside of your gloves, spray them with a disinfectant spray.
  2. Allow the spray to sit on the gloves for a few minutes to kill any bacteria or germs.
  3. Wipe the gloves with a clean cloth or towel to remove any excess spray.

How to Clean the Inside of Your Boxing Gloves

Using Hand Sanitizer or Rubbing Alcohol

  1. Open the wrist of the glove and apply a small amount of hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol to the inside.
  2. Rub the sanitizer or alcohol over the entire inside of the glove, being sure to cover all areas.
  3. Allow the sanitizer or alcohol to dry completely before closing the wrist of the glove.

Using Deodorizing Powder

  1. Another option is to use a deodorizing powder specifically designed for boxing gloves.
  2. Sprinkle a small amount of the powder inside each glove and shake the gloves to distribute the powder evenly.
  3. Leave the powder in the gloves overnight and then shake them out the next day.

How to Dry Your Boxing Gloves

Air Drying

  1. After cleaning the inside and outside of your gloves, leave them to air dry in a cool, dry place.
  2. Avoid exposing your gloves to direct sunlight or heat, as this can damage the gloves.

Using a Drying Machine

  1. If you’re in a hurry and need to dry your gloves quickly, you can use a drying machine.
  2. Place your gloves in a mesh laundry bag and then put them in the dryer on a low heat setting.
  3. Add a few towels to the dryer to help absorb moisture.
  4. Allow the gloves to dry for 10-15 minutes, checking them frequently to ensure they are not overheating.
  5. Once they are dry, remove them from the dryer and let them cool down before using them again.

Tips for Maintaining Your Boxing Gloves

To keep your boxing gloves in good condition, here are some tips to follow:

  • Always air out your gloves after each use to allow them to dry completely.
  • Avoid leaving your gloves in your gym bag or any other enclosed space where moisture can accumulate.
  • Use a deodorizing spray or powder regularly to keep your gloves smelling fresh.
  • If possible, rotate between two pairs of gloves to allow each pair to air out between uses.
  • Store your gloves in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat.

When to Replace Your Boxing Gloves

Even with proper care, boxing gloves will eventually wear out and lose their effectiveness. Here are some signs that it’s time to replace your gloves:

  • The padding feels flat or lumpy.
  • The stitching is coming apart or the leather is cracking.
  • The gloves emit a foul odor that cannot be removed.
  • The gloves no longer provide proper support or protection for your hands.


Cleaning your boxing gloves is a crucial part of maintaining their quality and preventing unpleasant odors and harmful bacteria from developing. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your gloves remain in good condition and last for as long as possible.


Can I use regular detergent to clean my boxing gloves?

It’s best to use a mild detergent to avoid damaging the gloves’ material.

Can I put my boxing gloves in the washing machine?

It’s not recommended, as the machine can damage the gloves and cause them to lose their shape.

Can I use bleach to clean my boxing gloves?

No, bleach can damage the gloves’ material and cause them to deteriorate faster.

How often should I clean my boxing gloves?

It’s recommended to clean your gloves after each use to prevent bacteria and unpleasant odors from developing.

Can I accelerate the drying process by using a hairdryer?

It’s not recommended, as the heat from the hairdryer can damage the gloves and cause them to lose their shape.

Photo of author


A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, owner and writer of BJJ Bear.

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