How To Clean Your Muay Thai & Boxing Gloves

Anyone who has ever trained in Muay Thai or Boxing knows how the gloves can get. The stench often stays on your hands long after you finish training for the day. The odor is often strong enough for the people around you to notice. If you can smell your stinky gloves, so can everyone around you in the gym. 

However, that’s not the only reason you should want to keep your Muay Thai/Boxing gloves clean. Doing so also protects your hands against skin infections like irritant contact dermatitis. Keeping your gloves clean increases their longevity, saving you money down the road. 

This article will cover tips that help keep your gloves clean and the proper way to clean them. 


How To Clean And Keep Your Boxing/Muay Thai Gloves Clean

The notorious smell of boxing gloves comes from bacteria breeding inside it. The insides of the gloves soak up sweat as you train, and the moisture creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Airing your gloves after each training session can help prevent this, especially if you live in a dry environment. However, how boxing gloves are designed makes them more challenging to air out than most things. The innermost part of the gloves, where your fingers go, often has fabrics restricting the free flow of air. 

Fortunately, there are many tricks boxing and Muay Thai students use to remove moisture from their gloves after training. These include:


1) Clean Your Gloves After Every Training Session

Make it a habit to clean your gloves when you’re done training for the day. Start by using a damp cloth to wipe off sweat from the exterior. Sweat on the exterior doesn’t cause much stink, but it can damage the leather of your gloves. 

Once you’re done with that, use a small dry towel to wipe the insides of your gloves to absorb the moisture. A hairdryer works even better if you have one. Just blow into the gloves for a few minutes to dry out all the sweat. Keep your gloves separated from your damp training clothes in your gym bag. Instead, place them in a mesh area, so they keep getting aired out in the bag. 


2) Use Glove Deodorizer

Glove deodorizers contain ingredients that remove odors and moisture. It also leaves a fresh smell behind, so you freshen up the gym instead of stinking it up. Glove deodorizer also helps to increase the lifespan of your gloves by preventing damage due to moisture. 

You can substitute with cosmetic powder if you don’t have any glove deodorizers laying around, but you eventually want to switch to the real thing since it’s designed explicitly for boxing/Muay Thai gloves. 


3) Don’t Store Your Gloves In Your Gym Bag Overnight

Try not to keep your gloves in your gym bag overnight since this restricts how much air they get. Instead, make it a habit to take them out each night and store them in a dry part of your home. 


4) Use Disinfectant

If your boxing gloves are already starting to smell, use an organic disinfectant that’s made for athletic gear to freshen them up. Sprays are one of the more convenient options, but you can also use a towel soaked in liquid disinfectant. Shoe sprays also work since many contain ingredients that kill odor-causing bacteria and absorb the smells caused by sweat. 


5) Throw Them In The Washing Machine

If your boxing/Muay Thai gloves already have a horrendous smell, it might be time to throw them in the washer. This approach is somewhat controversial since it completely soaks your gloves in water, and drying boxing gloves can be a challenge, but you can get away with depending on the materials your gloves are made of. 

Gloves made out of artificial leather like Rexene and PU are typically safe to put in the washer. Also, ensure your gloves have a closed cell foam design since this type of padding won’t absorb moisture. Gloves made with open foam technology absorb moisture when immersed in water, and they can take weeks to dry out fully, so don’t throw those in the washer. 

Once you’ve confirmed your gloves are washing machine safe, start up the washer, set it to the “delicates” setting, then add some detergent and disinfectant. When your gloves are done washing, use some fresh-out-the-dryer towels to remove as much moisture as you can from inside the gloves. Push the towels firmly against the insides of the gloves, so it drains out any water in the padding. 

Afterward, use a hand-held dryer on low heat setting to dry out your gloves. It might take a while, but it will get the job done.


6) Silica Gel

Silica gel is another effective way to remove moisture from your boxing/Muay Thai gloves. It absorbs all the moisture around it, denying odor-causing bacteria the moisture they need to thrive. It’s an inexpensive solution, and it works well. 


The Importance Of Hand Wraps

muay thai hand wrap

The primary purpose of hand wraps is to protect your wrists when you throw punches, but that’s not their only job. Hand wraps also absorb sweat as you train, limiting how much moisture your gloves absorb. Hand wraps are also a lot easier to wash than boxing gloves, so always wrap your hands before putting your gloves on. Think of hand wraps as socks for your hands that also protect your wrist. 

Try to wash your hand wraps after every training session. You don’t even have to throw them in the washer since handwashing them is just as easy. Fill a bucket with soapy water and agitate the wraps for one or two minutes before rinsing them off. 

Hands wraps are one of the more affordable pieces of equipment people who train in Muay Thai or boxing use, so you can simply buy enough to cover all your weekly training sessions and wash them when you’re doing your weekly laundry. 

Never use smelly hand wraps before putting on your gloves since that will transfer the stink to your gloves. 


You may also like:

How To Wrap Your Hands For Muay Thai And Boxing

More in Beginners

Boxing 101: Catching And Blocking

Boxing 101: Catching And Blocking

The fundamental goal of boxing is to hit your opponent without getting hit. Some boxers will tell you that being offensive is the best defense, but that’s not true. Throwing a punch creates openings for…

5 Boxing Guards To Study

5 Boxing Guards To Study

Boxing is perhaps the purest form of combat known to man. Nothing could be simpler than duking it out with nothing but the hands. Despite its inherent simplicity, there are several different styles and tactics…

7 Surprising Benefits Of Boxing

7 Surprising Benefits Of Boxing

Boxing is one of the most globalized combat sports, and the top boxers remain some of the highest-paid athletes in the world. Anyone can master the sweet science and enjoy the many rewards that come…

What Is The Von Flue Choke?

What Is The Von Flue Choke?

BJJ is often called “human chess” because it works the body and mind simultaneously. This fact is highlighted as you become more experienced and start facing better opponents, and you start seeing more of the…

Also On Evolve