This is a commonly asked question, and the answer is yes and no. Let’s have a clear discussion on this.
Which Boxing Gloves Are Suitable For Washing Machines?
Most boxing gloves made from artificial leather such as PU and Rexene can be machine-washed. In addition, gloves with the closed cell foam design can be washed in a machine. These gloves don’t absorb water. They also dry well after washing.
However, most other materials and boxing gloves made using the open cell foam technology will be negatively affected by machine-washing. They will also take weeks to dry. Such prolonged dampness will encourage mold to grow and consequently develop a foul smell.
The Do’s and Don’ts
Don’t mix boxing gloves with any other laundry in the washing machine, especially cotton fabrics. The sweaty stench will not end well with them.
For leather gloves, post-cleaning conditioning is necessary. Apply a good amount of high-quality leather conditioning oil and let it soak for 3 or more days. Wipe them well with a clean towel until all the oil dries. Otherwise, you might experience slippery punches if you wear them immediately after oiling.
How to Hand-Wash Boxing Gloves
For the rest of the gloves, we recommend the following organic cleaning routine:
For 1 part vinegar, use two parts water
Use a clean microfiber or cotton towel to wipe the exterior of the dirty gloves thoroughly.
Can I Use Chemical Detergents?
We don’t recommend the use of chemical detergents, especially on real leather, because they ruin the gloves over time with continued use.
Drying Your Gloves
To hasten the drying period, in case you accidentally machine-wash your boxing gloves, use a dehumidifier. Using an open box (open on two ends), let the dehumidifier run continuously while directly attached to one open end of the box containing your wet gloves.
To be certain that your gloves are completely dry, just weigh them. They should be equal or slightly less than the original buying weight.
Whether damp or dry, always leave your boxing gloves in a well-ventilated area.
The greatest enemy for your boxing gloves is moisture; whether from washing or sweat. Moisture promotes the growth of mildew & mold. And since sweating during a boxing session is inevitable, don’t dump your gloves in the gym bag afterward. They will start to stink. Biologically, bacteria feed on the sweat and produce Bromidrosis. This is what results to a stinky smell.
So how do you store them?
If possible, first wipe them clean after every use. And then, use organic carbon deodorizers inside the gloves. If you don’t have any deodorizers, use a normal sock stuffed with bicarbonate of soda or burnt charcoal ashes. These are excellent DIY deodorants.
Leave the sock inside when the gloves are not in use. They will always be dry and odorless.
In addition, you can use essential oils, dryer sheets, or unused tea bags. All these absorb moisture and neutralize bad odor.
Other Methods to Clean your Boxing Gloves
While it is possible to put your boxing gloves on the washing machine for cleaning, it would depend on the material of the boxing gloves and how it is made.
The good thing is that there are other methods to clean your boxing gloves aside from using your washing machine.
Using the washing machine is definitely the preferred method, though, since you won’t have to do anything.
You simply put the gloves inside and begin the cycle.
However, if your gloves are made from open-cell foam technology, there are better ways to clean it.
Here are some of them.
1. Soaking Your Gloves in Saltwater
The primary purpose of cleaning your gloves is to remove the sweat and germs from the inside.
The outside can be cleaned by simply wiping it with a clean cloth, but the inside is quite tricky to clean.
If you soak your gloves in a saline solution overnight, it will kill the germs and bacteria inside.
However, this is not an ultimate solution because there are gloves made from materials that won’t react well with saltwater.
This method is better than boiling the gloves.
Boiling can be a good option only if your gloves can withstand the heat.
Before you opt for this method, you have to do your research and check if your gloves can be cleaned using saltwater.
2. Stuffing Method
One of the things that you can do to clean the inside of your gloves is to stuff the inside and air them out.
This is done to remove the bacteria inside the gloves.
You can try using newspapers to remove sweat and bacteria, and some people use a bar of soap or old socks.
Fill the socks with cedar chips and stuff them in your boxing gloves.
If you don’t want to make your own, you can also buy a boxing glove stuffing online.
They are made specifically for boxing gloves and arrive already filled with cedar chips.
3. Putting the Gloves in the Freezer
Another way to prevent the growth of bacteria in your boxing gloves is to put them in the freezer for a few days.
By doing this, you will kill almost all of the bacteria in your boxing gloves.
However, some problems would arise if you leave the boxing gloves inside the freezer for too long.
If you leave it inside the freezer for a couple of days, the gloves would be covered in ice, so you will have to air the gloves for another few days before you can use it.
This is not really a good option if you have to use your boxing gloves regularly for training.
If you are in a rush and you need to use the boxing gloves right away, there is a simple procedure that you can do to offset this issue.
Prepare an airtight plastic bag and place the gloves inside.
By using an airtight plastic bag, you can prevent water from accumulating inside the gloves.
Put it in the freezer for a few days and spray the inside of the boxing gloves with Lysol to remove the remaining bacteria.
Although this method can speed up the process of cleaning the boxing gloves, putting it inside an airtight plastic container will only put the bacteria to sleep.
This is the reason why you have to use Lysol to remove the bacteria inside the boxing gloves.
4. Using an Anti-Bacterial Spray
Most people don’t really clean their boxing gloves regularly.
They just put it aside and use it again on their next training.
If you are not the type of person who cleans their gloves regularly, using an anti-bacterial spray is the best cleaning method for you.
By using an anti-bacterial spray, you can keep the bacteria at bay, and you won’t have to clean your gloves regularly.
You can try to spray it before and after your sparring session.
You can try using Lysol or other anti-bacterial sprays, but make sure that they won’t irritate your skin.
5. Using Dryers
You can use either shoe dryers or hair dryers.
They are amazing when it comes to drying out the sweat from your gloves.
The heat coming from the dryers would kill the bacteria inside the gloves, and the sweat would dry immediately.
However, the only issue would be the smell coming from the sweat.
If you only use the dryer to clean your boxing gloves, it would be smelly in just a few days because the sweat is not removed.
Also, you should use this method only if the boxing glove is capable of the heat.
While you can also adjust the heat released by the dryer, it would not kill most of the bacteria inside.
If the material of your boxing gloves cannot withstand the heat, you can use a shoe dryer and spray Lysol afterward.
How to Clean Hand Wraps
If you don’t use hand wraps when you wear your boxing gloves, you are promoting the growth of even more germs and bacteria on your gloves.
If you use your gloves regularly for training and you don’t wear hand wraps, bacteria and bad odor would stick to the inside of your gloves.
The main job of hand wraps is not only to provide a layer of protection to your hands and offer comfort but also to prevent the accumulation of germs and bacteria inside.
If you wear hand wraps all the time, you won’t have to clean your boxing gloves regularly.
Instead, you just need to clean your hand wraps, which is easier compared to cleaning your gloves.
Here are some simple tips on how you can clean your hand wraps.
1. Wash Them in Your Washing Machine
Like boxing gloves, your hand wraps can also be washed in the washing machine.
You have to remember that your hand wraps will absorb the sweat of your hands, which means that the bacteria will accumulate on your hand wraps if you don’t wash them regularly.
Using the washing machine is a fast and effective way to clean your hand wraps, but you should never wash them without a mesh laundry bag.
Your laundry machine might damage your hand wraps, and hand-washing won’t guarantee that all the bacteria will be removed.
The use of a mesh laundry bag will make sure that the hand wraps would be cleaned properly while also minimizing the risk of damaging them.
You can use a lingerie bag, an old sock, or a pillowcase as alternatives if you don’t have a mesh laundry bag.
2. Soak Them in a Soapy Solution
Another way to clean your hand wraps is to mix a soapy solution and soak them for a few hours.
After you’re done soaking them, you just need to hand-wash afterward.
You can then hang them up or put them in the dryer, especially if you need to use it immediately.
Pro Tip: Hang the Hand Wraps Outside After Using Them
This is not exactly a cleaning method, but it is a way to extend the time between washes.
This would help keep your wraps free from bad odor since they are not placed in a tight and hot space.
You can just put them in a hanger and hang them outside your house.
The sun and the wind will dry the hand wraps for you, which can prevent bacteria from accumulating.
These are some of the ways to clean your hand wraps, but you have to remember that old hand wraps should be thrown out.
If you’ve been using your hand wraps for years, it is better to replace them with a new one.
There will come a time when the hand wraps will start to break down, and washing it would be pointless.
More Maintenance Tips When Using Your Boxing Gloves
After washing or cleaning your boxing gloves, there are a few precautionary measures that you have to do to make sure that bacteria will not easily penetrate inside.
Do not wear your boxing gloves if they are still wet.
Make sure that the gloves are completely dry before you wear them.
Not only will it not be comfortable to use when it’s wet, but germs and bacteria will also accumulate faster if you do this.
Wash your hands and apply hand sanitizer before you wear your gloves.
If you make sure that your hands are clean before wearing your gloves, you can be sure that the bacteria from your hands are removed, and they will not transfer to your gloves.
Do not put the boxing gloves in your training bag after using it.
After your training, the best thing to do is to leave your gloves outside for a while or put them in an airtight plastic bag.
Doing this makes sure that the bacteria will not breed inside.
Clean your gloves as soon as possible to remove the bacteria and prevent them from multiplying.
If you leave your sweaty boxing gloves for a couple of days without cleaning it, it would be smelly and full of bacteria when you use it again.
Don’t dry your boxing gloves in the sun for a long time, especially if the gloves are made from leather.
Similar to any other product made of leather, you should only leave the boxing gloves in the sun for a maximum of 30 minutes.
The Bottom Line
We hope the above discuss answers the question “can you wash boxing gloves in a washing machine?” The most important factor is to understand the material and design of your boxing gloves. This way, you will have better ideas on how to wash them.