Ahhh new gloves (aka non smelly gloves). There’s nothing like slipping on a pair of new gloves. The fresh scent of new leather. The way the soft, protective insides fit snugly around your hands. And the fact your hands don’t smell like sweaty feet after training.
There are a special breed of Thai Boxers out there, who manage to recreate a similar feeling every time they slip on their gloves. Even when their gloves are six months old. Here are some tips on how to join the No Smelly Club.
- wash your hands before training. Yes, it may sound a little counter-productive (after all, you’re just going to get sweaty right?) but have a think about it. Although you take a shower after training, your gloves don’t. Whatever bacteria existed on your hands pre-training is now living on in your glove – not washed down the shower drain. If you’re running late, just squirt a dose of hand sanitizer (we have some at reception) on your hands before you chuck on your handwraps.
- speaking of wraps, we hope you’re using them. Not only do they help to cushion your hands, they also prevent abrasions and also soak up sweat – and yes, hands sweat profusely inside that glove. The handwraps will reduce the amount of sweat going into your glove, making it easier to dry out quickly. Besides, have you smelled shoes which have been worn without socks repeatedly? Ewww.
- dry gloves are the key to no smell. If you can air them out after training by a window, pulling and twisting the velcro and fastening it back so that it dries out faster. Or loop the velcro together and hang it from your washing line (wash out for rain!). If you’re lucky enough to have a sunny day, throw out your gloves and shinguards for a suntan session. The sun has properties to naturally kill bacteria. Which is why in Thailand you’ll see the Thai fighters regularly “sunning” their gear. Just make sure you sun your gloves with the open side facing the sun. This will ensure more sun gets into the glove and lessen the chance of the leather on your glove cracking if you leave it out for too long.
- another quick-fix a fighter shared with us was to put a hair-dryer on cool setting and then use it to dry out the inside of your glove. This doesn’t work so well when it’s AFTER you’ve left it in your gym bag overnight.
- we often get asked how often you should wash your wraps. You could apply the “sock” principle to your wraps. If they’ve just been used a little, you can air them out. If they’re sopping, then put them through the wash. And if they are still damp from your sweat – you are just reintroducing a whole new colony of bacteria into your glove.
- never use wet wraps – even if they are just out of the wash. Wet wraps are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Invest in a few pairs of wraps if you can’t do your washing frequently enough.
- don’t store your used wraps inside your gloves. We’ve seen people store their soggy wraps inside their gloves – there for them to use the next time they want to infect their hands and gloves again.
- the surface of your glove just needs a wipe down with some warm soapy water to keep it looking good. That will suffice to get rid of any blood, sweat and tears until next time.
- don’t share your gloves. It sounds selfish, but who knows where those hands have been, and whether they have any warts looking for a new home. If it’s a matter of life and death (ie, your girlfriend/boyfriend will kill you if you don’t), then at least make sure that they have clean and wart-free hands and are using clean hand-wraps.
- don’t use communal gloves. This is one of those tricky ones. Our gym gloves are for people who are new to the sport, and therefore haven’t go the budget to invest in their own, or are just giving it a few goes before committing to their own gloves. Unfortunately, the constant use, and the fact they live at the gym means they are stinky.
- even if you’re on a really tight budget, don’t get a pair of leather gloves for under $50. It may look good, but it will probably be a poorly constructed pair which can cause injury to your hands, and wear out fast. It’s a better idea to sacrifice a bit of comfort and go for non-leather gloves which still provide protection for your hands. You can get a pair of good quality synthetic leather gloves for under $60, which still provide good wrist support and cushioning, but don’t contour to your hands as comfortably (compare synthetic shoes to real leather shoes). Ask us for what brands to avoid, and how to spot a good pair.
- if your gloves are already stinky, you can try a liberal spray of anti-bacterial spray like Dettol, to coat the inside and then leaving it to completely air out and dry. If they’re too far gone, it may be a lost cause.
There are plenty of other ways we’ve heard of for getting the stink out of your gloves, but these are the ones we’ve tried and tested. (Anyone tried putting their gloves in the freezer?)
Let us know if you’ve found any ones that really work!