How To Clean And Maintain Boxing Gloves

Hopefully you reached this article before your gloves are already looking worn, dirty and smelling like leftovers in the fridge from last year. If not, well, maybe we can still help you.  Bottom line is, you need to clean your boxing gloves from time to time.

Using an empty sterilized spray bottle. Mix a 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar (1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar). Mist the outside of your gloves, let sit for 15 seconds and wipe off the solution completely, preferably with a microfibre cloth. Similarly, spray inside of your gloves a couple of times, let sit, and again using a microfibre cloth —thoroughly dry up any moister inside the glove.

A good way in keeping your gloves from reaching that ugly state is regular maintenance and care routine. This is also important to help increase the lifespan of your boxing gloves.

In this article we are going to go through different ways to maintain your gloves after every use, also how and when to do a deeper clean.

Many solutions currently on the internet promote ways to mask the smell of your gloves or to use manufactured cleaning products that are harmful to your boxing gloves.

We suggest using a natural method when it comes to cleaning your boxing equipment. This keeps your gloves in better quality and not exposed to harmful chemicals that would deteriorate your gloves over time.  The least intrusive way and most cost effective is to mix your own solution.

Best Way To Clean Boxing Gloves

Step 1: Create your cleaning solution

Using household cleaners such as dish soap or laundry detergent mixed with water, is one way of creating a solution to wash your boxing gloves.

However, over time these chemicals could prove to be harmful and in the end, ruin your boxing gloves.

We suggest making your own natural solution of equal parts water and vinegar and pouring it into a spray container. This is a gentler way of cleaning your gear.

Step 2: Mist the outside of your gloves.

Spray the outside of your gloves, just enough to cover its entirety.

Using a clean dish towel or preferrably a microfibre cloth, wipe of the excess completely.

Repeat this step for the other glove.

Step 3: Cleaning the inside of your boxing glove.

Using the same vinegar water solution, spray 2–3 spritz into your boxing gloves. 

And using another clean dish towel or microfibre cloth, wipe down the inside completely, ensuring no moisture is left.

When both gloves are done you can stuff newspaper or a dry cloth inside to absorb any missed moisture.

Step 4: Dry your gloves

Although your gloves would be almost dry by now, its still a good idea to have them hang in a well ventilated area. 

This is also a great time to add 1 or 2 drops of essential oil on both the inside and outside of your gloves to have a more pleasant scent.

Do Boxing Gloves Need To Be Washed

If you plan on keeping your gloves for a long period of time, and would like them to stay at a certain level of quality, then cleaning them is inevitable and also highly recommended.

After multiple uses, when left neglected, the insides of the boxing glove builds up alot of dirt and sweat. When left untreated, bacteria will begin to form and grow, causing slow deterioration inside the glove as well as an awful smell. A homemade vinegar cleaning solution would be more than enough to help you clean and disinfect.

What type of vinegar is best for cleaning?

Apple Cider Vinegar and White Vinegar are both great natural cleaning agents. White Vinegar being more acidic then the two, is a stronger cleaning solution but also comes with a slightly stronger scent. Alternatively, Apple Cider Vinegar has a sweeter and less noticeable scent but is not as strong on the cleaning side.

How to keep your boxing gloves from smelling

After every work out, getting into the habit of wiping down your gloves, and absorbing the moisture inside. Is a great preventative way to keep bacteria from forming and growing inside your gloves (which causes the stench). And also increasing the lifespan of them. 

If wiping them with cleaning solution every time is too time consuming, at a minimum – stuff your boxing gloves with newspaper, a clean piece of cloth or glove deodorizers. 

When Should you Clean your Boxing Gloves?

Moisture accumulated quickly inside your boxing gloves and hand wrap. If you’re anything like me, I toss my gloves to the side and forget about them. This is not ideal for glove maintenance. Because of the moisture, it becomes a great enviroment for bacteria growth. 

I found that the best way to keep you gloves fresh, is to eliminate any moisture in your glove after every work out. You can do this by stuffing news paper, or a clean microfiber cloth inside your gloves to absorb the moisture. A very simple product that you can leave with your gloves are glove deodorizers. They help eliminate alot of moisture and some even leave a nice cedar scent.

If it hasn’t been clear by now, keeping moisture for settling in your gloves is the best way to prevent unwanted dirt and smell inside your gloves.

How to Soak your Boxing gloves.

Soaking your gloves is another option for a deep clean and to rid the gloves of the dirt and smell.  Keep in mind, this option is a lengthier process.  Once you soak your gloves, you will need to provide edaquate time for it to dry out properly.  Usually this could be a 2-3 day process depending on how fast your gloves can dry. Putting them in a drier is never an option.

Step 1.  Fill a container or bucket

You will need to start with a bucket or large container that can fit your boxing gloves with enough water to cover the whole glove.  At this point, add some salt and vinegar, let soak overnight.

Step 2: Weigh your boxing gloves down.

Find a heavy object that can weigh your gloves down, and not damage itself or the gloves in the process.  Some rocks or bowls should suffice.

Step 3: Dry your gloves

The next morning, remove your gloves from the bucket and shake out the excess water.  Wipe off the excess water on the outside and as best you can on the inside of the gloves.

Hang dry your gloves for at least a day or until it is completely dry.  Putting it by a vent or fan would dramatically increase the drying process.

Be sure to not use them until all the moisture is gone.

clean your boxing gloves


Regularly maintaining your gloves is a good routine to have for cleanliness and increasing the lifespan of your gloves.  By following the methods above, you can ensure to keep your gloves from stink and nasty dirt build up on the inside. While you’re at it, hand wraps or boxing wraps should be regularly maintained as well to help preserve longevity and for overall hygiene.

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