Sparring sessions can be tough on your hands, but they even be tougher still if you don’t wash the gloves in between uses. Dirty gloves tend to be an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to possible bacterial infections, in addition to them smelling awful.
The good thing is there are a few methods that can help you keep your gloves clean and free from infection, as well as odor causing bacteria.
Below are the different methods, as well as which ones are best for a specific glove material.
- Soaking the gloves in saline solution
One way to kill all the bacteria in and out of your gloves is to soak the gloves in salt water or any other saline solution for one whole night. This will allow the solution to dissolve any bacteria that may be in your gloves. Do not try and use boiling water or boiling the gloves as it will only damage or even destroy the gloves, and at the same time, not kill much bacteria, if any at all.
Be careful, though, because if your glove is made of materials that do not react well with water, you may just end up damaging it. Do your research first before doing this.
- Stuffing the gloves
Glove dogs are believed by many to prevent bacterial growth and increase the lifespan of boxing gloves. If you’re not familiar with water glove dogs are, basically, they’re cotton bags with cedar chips inside that act as a material to draw out bacteria from the boxing gloves when they’re stuffed inside. Though, in truth, you use just about anything instead of just a glove dog.
Some use newspapers to stuff their gloves, while others use a bar of spa. There are also those who use their own socks filled with cedar chips.
If you don’t like stuffing your gloves, you can wrap bandages around your hands before wearing your gloves. The bandages act as a sponge, drawing the moisture from the insides of your gloves and allowing your gloves to stay clean. You do still have to clean the bandages regularly, though, but one could argue that it is easier to clean bandages than the insides of a glove.
- Putting the gloves inside the freezer
What some boxers do is to simply leave the gloves inside the freezer for a few days. This effectively kills most of the bacteria, both in and out of the gloves. However, this is a time consuming process because you’d have to leave the gloves to dry for the next several days. Although, you can off-set the air dry time by putting the gloves in an airtight bag before putting them in the freezer, but doing so won’t be nearly as effective as putting the gloves bare inside the freezer.
- Using Lysol or Febreze
Antibacterial sprays can also help prevent bacterial growth in and out of gloves.
Of course, this method is not 100% successful, but it does work as a type of interim cleaning to help keep the gloves clean in between soaking them in saline solutions, or your other preferred methods of cleaning.
Bacterial infections are not something to scoff at – prevent them by making sure that your gloves are kept clean through any one of these four methods!