Can You Put Boxing Gloves in the Washing Machine?

boxing gloves being cleaned in the washing machine

Your boxing gloves will eventually begin to smell after long periods of use, particularly if you don’t take the necessary steps to get rid of the odour after each use or at least at the end of each week.

Unfortunately, even though it seems like the most efficient way to clean them – putting them in the washing machine is not the answer to getting rid of the smell.

You shouldn’t put boxing gloves in the washing machine since fully submerging gloves in water and cleaning products can cause damage to the inner foams and outer material.

This will only reduce the lifespan of your gloves and you will most likely end up buying a new pair sooner rather than later.

How to clean boxing gloves

There are many alternative methods to cleaning your boxing gloves by hand and these are usually more effective the sooner you begin doing them.

shiny red boxing gloves after they have been cleaned

These different methods can help to reduce the smell of sweat and get rid of built-up bacteria which causes your gloves to smell bad.

If you haven’t been cleaning your gloves properly and you’re looking for a way to save them, here are a few boxing gloves cleaning methods:

Glove stuffing

Glove stuffing is an effective method where you use an absorbent material to draw out any unwelcome moisture inside the gloves, such as newspaper or hamster bedding (stuffed inside a sock).

This common technique is said to get rid of any unwanted dampness and accumulated moisture that would eventually turn into bacteria.

White vinegar and washing up liquid

This mixture is great for wiping down the outer surface of your gloves with a microfibre cloth and warm water. Doing this will reduce dirt and clean away any unwanted liquids such as sweat, blood and saliva.

This method can also be used on other equipment such as headgear, groin protection and shoes.

If you wear trainers while your training then you might want to find out if you can put them in the washer instead of hand washing them. You can read our full guide on putting trainers in the washing machine.

Doing this often will ensure your equipment is sanitary and has a longer life span if you look after it properly.

Sanitiser sprays and disinfectant

Maintaining proper care of your boxing gloves is essential. The average lifespan is between 1-2 years when looked after properly.

cleaning bottle squirting a mist of cleaning liquid

Having an effective sanitiser spray at hand after every use is ideal for constant cleanliness and is a good way to kill any of the bacteria that might be building up.

By using a microfibre cloth you can clean the inside of the gloves and disinfect the area quickly and this will also help with the smell – which is a win-win technique in my eyes.

Baking powder

Another method for absorbing both moisture and odours is to use baking soda.

This method takes a little longer, but it guarantees great results that will clean your boxing gloves – ready for your next use.

To do it, you’ll need:

  • Paper towels
  • A pair of socks
  • Baking powder

Start by using paper towels to wipe both the inside and the outside of the gloves to get rid of any surface moisture and dirt.

Then you can fill both of the socks with baking powder and seal the end of the socks with a knot.

Finally, you can place the socks inside the gloves overnight to absorb all the moisture and draw out any unwelcome odours.

Drying boxing gloves after they’ve been cleaned

It’s not recommended to tumble dry boxing gloves or dry them directly over high heat.

Instead, the best way to dry boxing gloves is to leave them to air dry naturally as this causes the least amount of damage to the material.

If it’s wintertime, hanging them within the distance of a radiator should be fine as long as it’s not for overly long periods of time.

In the warmer months, it’s a good idea to hang them outside to dry as long they’re not in direct sun for too long as this could damage the leather.

After boxing gloves have dried, it is recommended to apply a leather wax or conditioner with a polishing cloth. This will keep them waterproof and prevent the leather from cracking over time.

Washing boxing hand wraps

To achieve the best results when washing hand wraps you should wash them after each use.

If this is not possible, the best way to prevent bacterial growth is to wash them after no more than four uses.

The easiest and most efficient way to extend the lifespan of your hand wraps and gloves is to keep them clean.

Unlike boxing gloves, hand wraps can simply be thrown in the washing machine. Here are some tips for washing hand wraps:

washing machine garment bag
  • Use a garment bag for both quick wraps and traditional wraps.
  • Use the gentle cycle on a 30-degree setting.

The majority of boxing hand wraps may be tumble dried on a low heat setting. Velcro and elastic should be safe as long as extreme heat is avoided, although many boxers opt to air dry them instead.

How to clean hand wraps

If you don’t cover your hands while wearing boxing gloves, they may become contaminated with bacteria and germs.

a pair of clean boxing glove hand wraps

Bacteria and unpleasant odours will accumulate inside your training gloves if you use them frequently and don’t wear hand wraps.

Your hands are protected from harm, made more comfortable, and kept from becoming infected by bacteria and germs by hand wraps.

If you wear hand wraps all the time, you won’t need to frequently clean your boxing gloves.

As opposed to washing your gloves, all that is required is that you wash your hand wraps after every use and sanitise the material.

Washing hand wraps in your washing machine

Unlike boxing gloves, hand wraps can be put in the washing machine.

bubbles from cleaning products in washing machine

Your hand wraps can be quickly and thoroughly cleaned in the washing machine, but you must always use a mesh laundry bag when doing so.

This will prevent any damage to either your washing machine or your hand wraps as they maybe become tangled or lost inside the machine.

When using a washing machine for hand wraps, they will be cleaned correctly as opposed to hand washing which does not ensure complete bacterial removal.

Soaking hand wraps in a soapy solution

Making a soapy solution and soaking your hand wraps for a few hours is another approach to cleaning them.

This is a great option for people that don’t have access to a washing machine or prefer to save money on electricity.

All that’s left to do when you’ve finished soaking them is to rinse them and hang them out to dry. It’s a good idea to put them on the radiator or out on the washing line.

If you need to use them right away, you can put them in the dryer on the lowest heat setting.

If you’re careful, you might even be able to use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.