This is a question I get quite a lot and a recent thread on a popular martial arts forum has compelled me to write a short article about it. I want to take this opportunity to write a short article about how to take care of your leather boxing gloves, because if you do it in the right way then you will have a pair of gloves that will last you for years.
Boxing gloves care is not rocket science and there are not really any hidden processes of taking care of them. Most of the time it’s just down to good old common sense. A lot people ask how do I prevent the leather cracking on the gloves and reduce glove smell? The short answer is that you air the gloves out and wipe them down after each session.
The derogation of boxing gloves leather happens because of the acidity contained in perspiration. Leather is a natural material and when it comes in contact with something that acidic such as sweat it will begin the breakdown. This might be sending up red flags in your mind; and you maybe thinking how do I stop this. Well don’t worry too much about it because all the leather is pre-treated in the factories before the gloves are made to be water resistant. It’s true over time the water resistance treatment will wear off, but this generally takes years to happen. The best advice here is to wipe the gloves down with an alkaline or base solution. Baby wipes tend to do the job just fine.
The next problem you will encounter is glove smell. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when your hands consistently stink after using gloves it starts to play on your mind. The best way to deal with glove smell is to air the gloves out. If you can put them on a shelve in direct sun light that seems to be the best way to keeping the glove smell to a minimum. You can use sprays but that tends to only cover up the smell.
In summary the most effective way I have found to take care of boxing gloves is to air them out and wipe them down after every session. Try not to leave them in your gym bag after use, because you are just asking to have smelly gloves if you do that.
by John Barwell