how to clean your boxing gloves

How to Clean Your Leather Boxing Gloves

Boxing gloves protect your hands and wrists from injury, as you deliver powerful punches. But like any other ‘clothing’ you wear, they also get dirty. And for gloves, they also get smelly if you don’t clean them regularly! Dirty gloves harbor bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Cleaning boxing gloves:

  • Is hygienic and prevents bacterial growth
  • Prolongs the lifespan of the gloves
  • Maintains freshness and odor control of your boxing gloves

There are several ways to clean your boxing gloves. This article will discuss five ways to keep your boxing gloves clean.

Did You Know? Wearing hand wraps under your boxing gloves helps absorb sweat and moisture that would otherwise make your gloves dirty and smelly.

Wash In Warm Water

This is a gentle and simple yet effective way to clean your boxing gloves. You’ll need a cloth, mild detergent, and lukewarm water. All you need is a cloth, mild soap or detergent, and water. Avoid using strong chemicals and bleaches as they will damage the leather material of the boxing gloves.

Follow these steps to clean your boxing gloves.

  1. Fill a basin with warm water and add a few drops of mild soap
  2. Dampen the cloth with the soapy water
  3. Gently clean the inside and outside of the gloves. Be careful not to soak the gloves for too long, this will damage the leather.
  4. Pat them with a towel and let them dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and heat.

Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties that kill germs and fungi that cause odor and infection. It also helps restore the pH balance of the leather and prevent it from cracking or fading.

To use apple cider vinegar to clean your boxing gloves, follow these steps:

  1. Dilute apple cider vinegar with water in a ratio of one to two (1:2) and pour it into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the solution into the gloves, focusing on the areas that are most dirty or smelly.
  3. Wipe the gloves with a clean cloth or paper towel, removing any excess solution.
  4. Let the gloves air dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.


A deodorizer helps remove the unpleasant odor that comes from sweat and bacteria. Deodorizers used to clean boxing gloves include baking soda, dryer sheets, charcoal bags, or commercial deodorizers.

You can also use natural ingredients like lemon, lavender, or tea tree oil to give your gloves a fresh scent.

To deodorize your boxing gloves with baking soda:

  1. Sprinkle the baking soda in the boxing gloves ensuring all parts are covered
  2. Leave the baking soda in the gloves for a few hours or overnight. This depends on how strong the odor is.
  3. Shake out the baking soda and wipe down the interior of the gloves with a clean, dry cloth

Repeat this process as often as necessary to keep your gloves smelling fresh.

Freeze Overnight


Yes, however odd it sounds, it is a no-brainer way to clean your boxing gloves. Freezing helps kill bacteria and fungi that thrive in warm and moist environments.  It also removes odor.

With this, you only need to place your gloves in a plastic bag and lace the bag in the freezer overnight. Ensure the plastic bag is fully sealed to prevent moisture from entering.

After an overnight in the freezer, remove them and allow them to thaw and dry completely before using them again.

Always Air Your Boxing Gloves

women boxers removing boxing gloves after a session

Always air your boxing gloves after every use. This prevents the accumulation of moisture, sweat, and bacteria in the gloves. It also preserves the quality of the gloves.

After every training session, wipe your gloves with a dry cloth to remove any dirt or sweat. Then open the gloves at the velcro closure and place them in a well-ventilated area. Air them for a few hours until they are completely dry.

You can also stuff the gloves with newspaper or tissue paper to absorb any moisture.

Although you can dry them using a fan or a hair dryer you risk overheating them and this will damage their material.

Remember to Invest in High-Quality Boxing Gloves

women boxers happy in their Tussle’s boxing gloves

Quality boxing gloves are made of durable and breathable materials that can resist wear and tear like leather. Tussle provides high-quality leather boxing gloves tailor-made for women boxers. Our boxing gloves are durable and easy to clean and maintain.

Our gloves are open-palmed providing better ventilation and breathability. This prevents moisture and odor buildup. Aside from the open palm making them versatile and flexible, it makes it easier to clean, air, and dry them.

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