Using the best boxing gear will directly affect your performance as we’ve already mentioned in our recent post. Taking good care of your gear including your boxing gloves will also affect how much you can use your various pieces of equipment and how comfortable and safe you are while wearing them.
Since boxing involves lots of impacts and sweat, the gloves you use need to be cleaned every time you use them so you can prevent bacteria and bad smells from building up. Plus, cleaning them will also extend their lifespan. If you’re interested in learning more about how to clean your boxing gloves properly and, thus, make them last longer, the following tips might be of help.
Storing your boxing gloves
The first thing many professionals recommend is that you should take the gloves out of the gym bag as soon as possible yet the way you place them in your bag is also of great importance. Many boxers prefer to store them in a separate plastic bag they can later discard.
This way the bacteria inside the gloves won’t reach your gym bag or the other pieces of equipment you use and store in the bag. Once you’ve reached your place, it is best to clean your gloves right away and thus stop harmful microorganisms from getting hold of your equipment. If you can’t take care of that immediately, then let them air.
Soaking your gloves in saltwater
One of the most common and effective ways to clean your boxing gloves is by soaking them in a saline solution. What makes this method so popular and effective is the bacteria-killing properties of saltwater. The solution will break down the bacteria that have accumulated inside the glove.
Before doing that, though, make sure the material used for your gloves can be cleaned this way. If you have the green light to use this method, all you have to do is to soak the gloves in the saline water and leave them in it overnight. Take them out the next morning and let them dry.
If you don’t have the time or the space to soak your gloves in saltwater, you can go for the now popular anti-bacterial sprays. Using them is nothing complicated and today’s market offers some highly effective products. Read the product label carefully before you buy and make sure the spray does not irritate the skin since you will have to use it to clean the inside of your gloves.
Once you’ve found a product that matches your needs, you will have to simply unlace your gloves, spray the solution inside them, and let the gloves dry and air in an open area. Many boxers usually alternate the cleaning methods; therefore, you might want to go for this cleaning process when you’re time-poor or don’t have what it takes to clean them classically.
Remember that some sprays contain harsh chemicals that can damage the gloves or irritate your skin. Choose carefully and use such cleaning products moderately. If you want a more natural cleaning solution, you can mix water with apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, put the solution in a spray bottle and spray the inside of the gloves.
Spray the same solution on the outside of your gloves as well and then use a clean towel to wipe them down. In case you have leather gloves, you might also want to use a conditioner formulated specifically for such materials in order to prevent the leather from drying.
Stuffing the gloves
Another simple way to clean your gloves is to stuff them with various items such as newspaper, paper towels, or anything that can absorb the moisture and thus prevent the bacteria from spreading.
Many boxers go for the so-called glove dogs that are cotton bags filled with cedar chips. Placing them inside the gloves will basically absorb the bacteria. There are many other items you can use as glove dogs.
You can simply wrap your hands in hand wraps to clean the inside of your gloves. The wraps will absorb the moisture. However, you will have to wash the wraps thoroughly in order to prevent them from developing harmful microorganisms.
Freezing the gloves
Many boxers clean their gloves using the freezing method. As the name suggests, the gloves are placed in the freezer and left there for a few days. By doing so, you will stop the bacteria from spreading. It is true that not all the harmful microorganisms are killed, and therefore, it is better to also spray the gloves with an anti-bacterial solution once you remove them from the freezer.
Plus, since moisture builds up, your gloves may be covered in ice when in the freezer. To prevent that from happening, some boxers prefer to use a plastic airtight bag and place the gloves in it and then place the bag in the freezer. If, for some reason, you don’t use such a bag, then make sure to air the gloves for a few days after removing them from the freezer.
Drying the gloves
The way you dry the gloves is as important as the cleaning method you use. It is best to let your gloves dry somewhere out in the open. Remember that exposing them to direct sunlight for too long can damage them, though, especially if they are made of leather. This material will suffer the same damages as the human skin, therefore make sure you let them air somewhere safe.
In case you practice or fight regularly and don’t have too much time at disposal to let the gloves dry naturally, you can use a blow dryer with a cool setting. Heat, just like the sun, can damage the leather and harden it. Check the inside of the gloves after five minutes or so to see if the moisture has vanished.
Keep in mind that the above-described cleaning methods cannot be employed for all types of boxing gloves. Check out the materials of your gloves and choose accordingly.