Sports gear used regularly requires a good amount of care and maintenance, and a sportsman is only as good as the way he treats his gear.
We know the importance of correct footwork, hip movement, and hand positioning, but a boxer’s equipment is also an important piece of the puzzle that needs to be taken care of.
At the top of the list is a boxer’s pair of gloves, the one item that is commonly replaced too early due to miss care and a lack of regular maintenance. Over time a glove will produce enough bacteria to cause irreversible damage.
Nobody likes a foul-smelling glove that builds up fungus and mildew.
The question is how can you properly maintain your pair of gloves? They can’t be turned inside out like a sock or jumper, and you can’t put your gloves in a washing machine without destroying the material.
We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you sustain your pair of gloves, so you won’t have to keep requesting a new pair for Christmas.
Where Not To Store Them
First things first, there are many places that a pair of boxing gloves do not live. Other than making the short trip from house to the boxing ring, they do not live in a gym bag. Period.
We want to avoid leaving our gloves tucked away in the boot of the car and forgotten about until it’s too late.
It’s likely to build up bacteria and ruin the quality of the glove. Have you ever accidentally left a protein shaker sealed tight in a gym bag overnight, only to open it the next day and be greeted by a waft of pungent, foul-smelling air?
This is exactly what you’re doing when you forget to take your gloves out of your bag and store them properly. They begin to stink of sweat and it ruins the quality of the product.
Not only should you avoid leaving your gloves in a gym bag, but you also don’t want to store them in a drawer, in the cupboard under the stairs, or at the back of your closet.
Your gloves need time to breathe and recover from all of the moisture that’s built up after a hefty sparring session.
That’s why we recommend you hang them up rather than let them sit idly in a dark space. But before we get to storage, we need to make sure they’ve been cleaned before storage.
Cleaning The Boxing Gloves
The first step is to make sure the gloves are dry by using a towel, followed by an antibacterial wipe. Make sure to go all along every area on the outer parts of the glove, as well as the inside, making sure to cover every possible spot.
That being said, don’t go overboard with the products: a little goes a long way here, and don’t be too keen to apply a load of wipes, as the excessive application can also damage the glove material.
You can take this one step further by applying an antiseptic spray and glove deodorant once the gloves have been wiped down.
That way there’ll be zero chance of odors dominating the glove and you’ll have the freshest smelling gloves that are ready to use the next time you lace up.
The final step is to stuff the inside of the gloves with newspaper to absorb any of the excess moisture that’s been left on there from the wipe-down phase.
An alternative option is to use socks filled with cedar chips to help alleviate a foul smell. Make sure to tie the sock once you’ve inserted the cedar chips, and pad out your gloves as best you can.
How To Store Your Boxing Gloves
Now it’s time to choose the best place to store the gloves. As the title of this article suggests, we recommend that you hang your gloves up. This provides the most effective protection against bacteria and helps to dry the gloves quicker.
Think of how you hang your washing up to dry after a spin cycle at the local laundromat. The same logic goes for your gloves: you don’t want to go through the entire process of cleaning them only to find they are still stinky because they haven’t been stored away properly.
Choose a spot that allows for plenty of ventilation so the moisture can be effectively removed. A good place to hang gloves would be anywhere close to a heat source, such as a radiator or boiler.
You could also put them in front of a fan as this has been shown to help remove bacteria.
Whilst it might seem tempting, you want to avoid leaving your boxing gloves outside in the sun to dry, as this can damage the gloves. Many boxers report gloves can begin to peel when left outside drying so avoid this tempting option.
Now that your gloves have been cleaned properly and are stored in the correct place, here are a couple of tips to extend the lifespan of your boxing gloves. One option is to purchase a second pair and alternate between the two.
Having a backup pair is great because you’ll double the lifespan of the glove, and it gives you the chance to either buy two pairs at a discounted price, or the option to try out different weights and brands that you can experiment with for drills or sparring.
Many boxers alternate footwear for a similar reason and this tip also works great for gloves.
We also advise you not to buy cheap and put a little extra money in upfront, as this will pay dividends down the road, as cheaper models wear out very quickly and are not designed for long-term sustainability.
We know the temptation to buy a cheap pair is strong, but you’ll end up having to splash out on another pair a lot sooner than you had planned, which means you may have spent the exact same amount, had you put a little more investment into a better quality set of gloves.
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