It’s nine in the evening, you’re just getting back from class. You’re tired and sore. You want a beer, a shower, a bed, or all three. You glance at your training bag, a heap of discarded wraps gloves, shorts, and whatever else. It’ll hold till morning, right?
We get it, you’re tired. But trust us, you really want to take care and maintenance of your gloves seriously. The truth is, gloves are probably the most important, and expensive, parts of your kit. When you find the perfect gloves, it’s a dream come true. Your punches feel faster, and your hands feel better after training. So if your gloves are taking care of you, why aren’t you taking care of them?
Leaving your gloves in you bag, only to be picked up and used the day after tomorrow, is a sure way to ruin them within a year. You wouldn’t not shower after training (we really hope you do).
So let’s talk about giving some TLC to your Sanabul gloves. When we designed our premium Battle Forged or Gold Strike Gloves, we envisioned gear that will get better with use. Fortunately for you, there are some simple steps you can take after practice to clean your boxing gloves, and prevent or reverse smelly boxing gloves.
1) Wipe the gloves with vinegar spray
Although chemical disinfectant based sprays and wipes will kill bacteria and leave a fragrance, most household cleaners are too harsh to use frequently for cleaning boxing gloves. A simple solution of diluted white vinegar is an excellent deodorizing solution. Put a tablespoon of vinegar in a spray bottle and fill the rest with water. You want a fairy diluted solution of vinegar.
Use the mist setting on the spray bottle and lightly spray the inside of your boxing gloves. Wipe thoroughly with a rag - note: paper towels may leave fibers in the inside of your boxing gloves.
The key to using vinegar as a cleaner is to use a very diluted solution. The acid reduces bacterial growth and helps break down odors, however strong vinegar solutions will leave a noticeable smell that may take time to dissipate. Less is more.
2) Dry out your smelly boxing gloves
Probably the biggest cause of bacterial growth on gloves is leaving your wet, smelly boxing gloves in a dark, damp environment such as a gym bag after training.
Whether you use the vinegar spray wipe-down or not, it is crucial that you dry out your boxing gloves every time you train. Bacteria and fungus such as ringworm breeds in the dark. Drying out your boxing gloves help reduce the bacterial growth and prevent your boxing gloves from smelling bad.
Leaving the gloves out in the sun exposes the gloves to UV light which kills bacteria. However do not leave them for extended periods as the sunlight will damage the boxing gloves over time. Never use a dryer on boxing gloves, as this will destroy both genuine and synthetic leather, as well as damage the padding of quality boxing gloves.
3) Use a pair of glove dogs
Glove dogs are essentially fabric tubes packed with moisture absorbing material. They offer the advantage of drying your boxing gloves on the inside. Some glove dog fillings leave a pleasant scent. Glove dogs also help your boxing gloves retain their shape and avoid getting smashed when packed in with other gear.
You can buy or make your own glove dogs.
If you want to make your own glove dogs you will need to order cedar wood chips or another moisture absorbing material. Fill an old stocking sock with the cedar-chips and tie it off once its packed stiff. You can add a drop or two of essential oil if you have it to provide an additional pleasant aroma.
After you wipe down your gloves, stick your glove dogs into your boxing gloves to dry them out from the inside. Don’t use more than a drop or two of essential oil in each glove dog as these oils can be very strong and may irritate your hands if there is significant residue.
4) Condition leather boxing gloves once or twice per month
Sanabul Gloves all use engineered leather, so no conditioning is necessary. But if you are using organic leather gloves. We’re willing to bet you rarely condition them.
Leather is literally the skin of an animal, and like human skin, it cracks when it gets too dry.
Once cracks begin to form in any section of the leather, bacteria can enter the crack and begin to colonize the foam padding of the glove. Once this happens, you’re unlikely to be able to remove the smell from your boxing gloves.
Depending on how frequently you use them, monthly or bi-monthly conditioning of your gloves is the best way to prevent the leather from cracking.
Conditioning your boxing gloves refers to the process of rubbing a natural or synthetic oil- based cream into the leather of the glove. The oil will keep the leather supple and postpone or prevent stiffness and eventual cracking in the boxing gloves.
There are a wide range of synthetic leather conditioners on the market, but even small applications of a natural oil such as coconut oil can help the leather retain its softness and durability.
Good gloves should go on the journey with you. We want your Sanabul gloves to be in your bags for as long as possible before you’re ready to move up. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of you!