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How to Wash Boxing & MMA Gloves

April 4, 2023

Boxing is a popular combat sport in which athletes throw punches at each other with padded gloves. Not only is it an Olympic sport but it also has its own World Championships that take place every year.

Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is similar in that it’s also a combat sport in which two competitors compete against each other in a ring or a cage. The difference is that boxing uses a variety of punches while MMA incorporates an array of martial arts.

They’re both intense workouts, however, and can cause you to work out a sweat. That’s why it’s so important to clean your boxing and MMA gear on a regular basis. At the end of the day, no one wants to be associated with odors.

How to Wash Boxing Gloves

how to wash boxing glovesBoxing gloves play a large role in both sports since you use them to throw punches at your opponents. And the fact that they’re thick and padded means they tend to retain odor.

Now you might be wondering, ”can you clean your boxing gloves by throwing them in the machine’? The answer is no.

The tumbling action would cause the leather gloves to dry and crack. But don’t worry there are other ways to clean boxing gloves. Let’s take a look.

Soaking Your Boxing Gloves in Salt Water

Did you know that you can sanitize your boxing gloves by soaking them in salt water? The saline will break down the contaminants in the smelly boxing gloves, leaving them fresh and clean.

For this method, simply prepare a saline solution in a tub or a container. Once it’s thoroughly combined, add your boxing gloves and allow them to soak in the solution.

For the best results, leave the gloves overnight in the saline solution – that will give the salt plenty of time to do its job. The next morning, take them out of the container and rinse them with water.

Let the boxing gloves dry in a well-ventilated area afterward.

Freezing Your Boxing Gloves

Another way to clean boxing gloves is by putting them in the freezer overnight. The low temperature will kill off most of the odor causing agents.

Before you place the gloves in the freezer, however, put them in a plastic bag – that will seal them off from the rest of the items in your freezer.

If necessary, you can keep them up to two days in the freezer. When you take them out, they might be a little wet. If that’s the case, let them air dry before using.

Using an Anti-Bacterial Spray

Anti-bacterial sprays will effectively kill the bacteria in your sparring gloves.

As an added bonus, it will also get rid of any odor that might be present. Just make sure they are dry completely before wearing them again.

Cleaning Boxing Gloves With Apple Vinegar Cedar

how to wash boxing glovesYou’ve probably heard this before but apple cider vinegar can be a great cleaning agent. Simply pour a bit onto a moist cloth and use it to rub the inside and outside of the gloves.

The vinegar will not only clean them but will also remove odors. When you’re done, lay them out and allow them to air dry overnight. Depending on how dirty your gloves are, you might have to apply the vinegar more than once.

Using Cedar Chips

Cedar chips can be used to draw contaminants and moisture out of the boxing gloves. For this method, you’ll want to fill a pair of clean cotton socks with a handful of chips (the same ones that you’d use for animal bedding or smoking food) – that will keep the boxing gloves clean. Alternatively, you can use small cotton bags filled with chips.

How to Deodorize Boxing & MMA Pads

To clean the pads, it’s best to wipe them down with anti-bacterial wipes. If necessary, you can also apply a deodorizing spray; this will remove any odor that is present.

Avoid putting them in the washing machine as they might get damaged in the wash cycle.

Pro-tip: It’s important to air them out before putting them in a bag. This will help to prevent odors from developing.

The Best Way to Clean & Sanitize Boxing/MMA Headgear

how to wash boxing glovesIt’s not uncommon for headgear to develop an odor, especially if you’ve used it for a while. If yours is made out of leather, you’ll want to avoid putting it in the laundry as that can cause it to crack.

Instead, clean the surface with a few anti-bacterial wipes. Afterward, you can wipe it dry with a paper towel.

Given that your headgear is not made out of leather, you might be able to put it in the washing machine. Add a bit of gentle cleaner such as ACTIVE Detergent and set it to a delicate cycle. Put your headgear in a mesh laundry bag and place it in the machine.

As far as drying goes, you’ll want to let it air dry. Do not put it in the dryer as that can damage the fabric.

Note: Always double check the care instructions for your headgear before putting it in the washing machine.

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Picture of Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

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