You don't want your boxing gloves to smell like garbage, and that's the truth. So we'll go over a few steps you can take to ensure your gloves are always clean and fresh and to avoid any potential hygiene issues.
When you train with boxing gloves, you'll notice that intense sessions can fill your gloves with sweat, especially if you don't wear hand wraps (although we suggest you always should). Sweating can cause an increase in bacteria, causing hygiene issues and, in some cases, a foul odor.
As with most things, it's far easier to take a few steps to prevent this from happening than it is to fix the problem once it's occurred.
Make sure to keep your hand wraps clean.
If you don't air out and wash your hand wraps frequently enough, bacteria will grow and smell. Likewise, if you use those foul-smelling hand wraps inside your nice clean boxing gloves, the gloves will also begin to smell.
Avoid the gym bag
A closed gym bag is a massive breeding ground for bacteria of all kinds. Also, because it's where you throw all of your sweaty gear after training, there's a lot of humid moisture trapped inside. The longer you leave the moisture in your bag, the worse it will get, so open and empty your bag immediately after training.
Consider all the items you undoubtedly put in your bag after training: used gloves, hand wraps, possibly even sweaty clothes, used shin guards, or headgear, depending on your training style.
When you finish training and return home, you should wash all your sweaty clothes and hand wraps. Then, if possible, Remove your gloves and other items from the bag and place them in a well-ventilated area. The bare minimum you should do is open your bag and let it air out a little.
You can get gear specifically designed to air out, such as our tote bag, to make life a little easier.
Air them out
After you've emptied your gear bag, you should probably go ahead and air out your gloves. There are boxing gloves that have a mesh palm, but the inside can get sweaty sometimes. Most days, as long as the room is well ventilated, you should be able to get away with just slightly opening the glove up more than usual. Still, on occasion, you should make an effort to open them up as much as possible so that they dry out properly. If your gloves do not have a mesh palm or use them frequently, you should try to do this more regularly.
When using Velcro gloves, it is critical to completely undo the Velcro strap and allow the gloves' cuffs to open as much as possible. When wearing laced gloves, ensure the laces are as loose as possible. Some gloves have enough wrist flexibility that you can fold the cuff of the glove over itself, exposing more of the outsides. However, be cautious about forcing this or doing it too frequently, as it is unlikely to be suitable for the materials or padding of the gloves when bent out of shape for long periods.
Wipe them down
When training, few people think to wipe down their gloves - after all, leather is usually good at drying off quickly - but it's probably a good idea.
Take, for example, sparring. Let's say you spar with ten people. That's ten people your gloves have touched, all of whom are likely sweaty from hard training, plus the gloves have probably connected your own face through blocking. All those people's sweat remains on the boxing gloves after training, which can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria. You won't notice any difference, but the next time you train, you're spreading that bacteria to others and repeating the process. And what if someone has a nosebleed or a small cut that you haven't noticed?
The gloves can become unpleasant after a while. Wiping down your gloves ensures that they are clean and sanitary. When you're finished training, a quick wipe with a towel should solve most of the problems. You can give them a quick wipe with a damp cloth regularly (avoid soaking the leather, though). You can give them a quick once-over with an anti-bacterial disinfectant wipe to give them a proper clean, but don't do it too frequently.
Use deodorizing inserts
In addition to blowing out the gloves, you can use absorbent materials to help speed up the process and reduce moisture. For example, we've heard of individuals stuffing silica gel and inserting it inside the gloves.
These tips will help keep your boxing gloves fresh for longer, so you can keep using that favorite pair of gloves while only making a few simple changes. It's always much easier to prevent the buildup of bacteria than it is to remove it altogether. Remember to consistently train and purchase your training needs here at Hawkeye Fightwear.