How to Clean MMA Gloves

How to Clean MMA Gloves

MMA gloves are an essential piece of gear for any martial artist, protecting the hands during training and competition. However, like any frequently used sports equipment, they can accumulate sweat, dirt, and bacteria over time. Learning how to clean MMA gloves is not just a matter of hygiene; it's also about preserving their lifespan and ensuring optimal performance. This guide dives into the significance of maintaining your gloves and the common challenges fighters face, laying down a foundation for why regular cleaning is indispensable.

The Importance of Cleaning MMA Gloves

When it comes to mixed martial arts, your gloves are as crucial as your technique. They endure intense sessions, absorbing sweat, blood, and the occasional tears, making them a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. However, knowing how to clean MMA gloves properly can mitigate these issues, extending their life and keeping your hands safe.

Common Issues in Glove Maintenance

MMA fighters often encounter several challenges with glove maintenance:

  • Bad Odor: A direct consequence of sweat and bacteria accumulation, leading to gloves that smell less than pleasant.
  • Bacteria Build-up: Without regular cleaning, gloves can harbor harmful bacteria, posing a risk to you and your training partners.
  • Material Degradation: Sweat and moisture can degrade the materials of your gloves, shortening their useful life significantly.

Understanding how to clean MMA gloves effectively is the first step towards combating these common issues.

Why Cleaning Your MMA Gloves is Essential


The warm, moist environment inside your gloves is perfect for bacteria and fungi to thrive, which can lead to skin infections and diseases. Regular cleaning eliminates these harmful microorganisms, protecting not just your skin but also those you train with. Learning how to clean MMA gloves properly ensures a safer training environment for everyone.


MMA gloves are an investment in your training and performance. By cleaning and maintaining them, you're not only ensuring they're safe to use but also extending their lifespan. Proper care prevents the breakdown of materials, meaning you won't have to replace your gloves as frequently. This aspect of knowing how to clean MMA gloves can save you money and hassle in the long run.


Clean gloves are more than just a pleasure to wear; they're also a performance enhancer. Well-maintained gloves retain their original shape, grip, and comfort, allowing you to focus on your technique rather than adjusting your gloves mid-fight. Furthermore, gloves free of accumulated sweat and grime provide better wrist support and cushioning for punches, making understanding how to clean MMA gloves essential for any fighter looking to perform at their best.

In conclusion, learning how to clean MMA gloves is a critical aspect of your training regimen. Not only does it keep you and your training partners safe from bacteria and fungi, but it also ensures your gloves last longer and perform better. Stay tuned for our step-by-step guide on the best practices for cleaning your MMA gloves, ensuring they remain in top condition fight after fight.

Ensuring the longevity and safety of your MMA gloves starts with a deep understanding of their makeup and the initial steps you should take before the actual cleaning process begins. Knowing how to clean MMA gloves properly means recognizing the differences in materials and construction, which can significantly affect your approach to cleaning them. Let's delve into the characteristics of MMA gloves and the essential pre-cleaning preparations.

Understanding Your MMA Gloves

Materials Used

When it comes to MMA gloves, they primarily come in two materials: leather and synthetic. Leather gloves are known for their durability and flexibility, offering a comfortable fit and excellent resistance to wear and tear. However, they require specific care, including the use of leather-friendly cleaning agents and conditioners to maintain their integrity over time.

Synthetic gloves, on the other hand, are often lighter and less expensive than their leather counterparts. They're easier to clean, generally requiring only basic cleaning solutions. Despite their ease of maintenance, synthetic gloves might not last as long as leather gloves under intense usage, emphasizing the need for regular care.


The construction of MMA gloves – including padding, stitching, and ventilation – plays a crucial role in determining the best cleaning methods. Gloves with intricate stitching and detailed designs may require more gentle cleaning techniques to prevent damage. Ventilation holes, designed to reduce moisture and improve comfort, also necessitate careful cleaning to avoid clogging that can lead to bad odors and reduced breathability.

Pre-Cleaning Preparation

Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Before you begin the cleaning process, it's vital to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Each pair of MMA gloves may have specific care guidelines to ensure their longevity. For example, if you're planning to use a product like Matguard disinfectant spray, verify that it's suitable for your gloves' material. Adhering to the provided instructions can prevent unintentional damage and ensure that your gloves are cleaned effectively.

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

Materials needed to clean mma gloves.

Having the right cleaning supplies on hand is essential for effectively cleaning your MMA gloves. For a comprehensive clean, you'll need:

  • Disinfectant Spray: A crucial item for killing bacteria and eliminating odors. Matguard disinfectant spray is a popular choice among athletes for its effectiveness in combating germs without damaging equipment.
  • Disinfectant Wipes: Ideal for quick clean-ups and targeting specific areas, disinfectant wipes can be gently used on the surface of the gloves to remove dirt and sweat residue.
  • Soft Cloth: A soft, damp cloth can help in the gentle removal of surface dirt and is especially useful for leather gloves.
  • Mild Soap: For a deeper clean, a mild soap mixed with water can be used on synthetic gloves to help remove stubborn dirt and sweat. 

Gathering these supplies before you start ensures that you're prepared to tackle the cleaning process head-on, keeping your MMA gloves in pristine condition for your next training session or fight.

Understanding the nuances of your MMA gloves and preparing adequately for their cleaning are foundational steps in their maintenance. Stay tuned for the next sections, where we'll guide you through the step-by-step process of how to clean MMA gloves, ensuring they remain a hygienic and durable part of your fighting arsenal.

Maintaining the cleanliness and integrity of your MMA gloves is paramount for every fighter, from the enthusiastic beginner to the seasoned professional. This comprehensive step-by-step guide will walk you through how to clean MMA gloves effectively, ensuring they remain in top condition for as long as possible.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Guide

Surface Cleaning

Start by removing surface dirt and sweat to prevent buildup and odor:

  • Disinfectant Wipe: Gently wipe down your gloves with a disinfectant wipe. This is effective for both leather and synthetic gloves, providing a quick solution to eliminate bacteria on the surface.
  • Leather Cleaner: For leather gloves, consider using a cleaner specifically designed for leather. This ensures that the material is not only cleaned but also preserved, preventing damage from harsh chemicals.

Deep Cleaning

For a thorough clean that keeps your gloves in the best shape:

  • Hand Wash for Synthetic Gloves: Use a disinfectant spray lightly over the surface of synthetic gloves and gently scrub with a soft cloth. Avoid soaking the gloves to prevent material degradation.
  • Cleaning the Inside: Spray the inside of the gloves with a disinfectant spray to kill bacteria. Ensure the spray is lightly applied to avoid soaking the interior padding. This step is crucial for eliminating odor-causing bacteria and should be performed regularly.


Proper drying is essential to prevent the breakdown of materials:

  • Air Drying: Always air dry your gloves in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat sources such as hairdryers or direct sunlight, which can warp or crack the material.
  • Newspaper Stuffing: To maintain the shape of the gloves and absorb excess moisture, consider stuffing them with newspaper after cleaning.

Conditioning (For Leather Gloves)

Leather gloves require extra care to stay supple:

  • Leather Conditioner: After cleaning and drying, apply a leather conditioner to prevent the material from drying out and cracking. This step helps in maintaining the gloves' flexibility and durability.


Proper storage is key to extending the life of your gloves:

  • Cool, Dry Place: Store your gloves in an area with good ventilation and away from direct sunlight to prevent mildew and material degradation.
  • Moisture-Absorbing Products: Use glove dogs or other moisture-absorbing products to keep your gloves fresh and dry between uses.

Maintaining Your Gloves Between Deep Cleans

After-Use Care

  • Wipe Down: After each use, take a moment to wipe your gloves down with a disinfectant spray or disinfectant wipe. This simple step can significantly reduce bacteria buildup and odor.

Regular Ventilation

  • Air Them Out: Make it a habit to air out your gloves after training. This not only helps in odor control but also prevents the accumulation of bacteria caused by sweat.

Following this guide on how to clean MMA gloves not only ensures that your gloves stay fresh and functional but also protects you and your training partners from potential skin infections. Regular maintenance and care of your gloves are as essential to your training regimen as the physical training itself. Keep your gloves clean, and they'll serve you well in many battles to come.

Ensuring your MMA gloves are properly maintained is crucial for every aspect of your training, from health and hygiene to performance and durability. This final section will cover the essential do's and don'ts of cleaning MMA gloves, conclude with a summary of why this practice is so important, and answer some frequently asked questions.

Do's and Don'ts of Cleaning MMA Gloves


  • Do Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always start by checking the manufacturer's care guidelines specific to your gloves.
  • Do Use Appropriate Cleaners: Use cleaners suitable for the glove material—gentle, non-abrasive cleaners for synthetic materials, and leather cleaner for leather gloves.
  • Do Air Dry Your Gloves: Always let your gloves air dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
  • Do Clean After Every Use: Wipe your gloves with a disinfectant wipe or spray after each use to prevent bacteria buildup.


  • Don't Soak Your Gloves: Never immerse your gloves in water, as it can damage the material and affect the padding.
  • Don't Use Harsh Chemicals: Avoid cleaners with harsh chemicals that can degrade the glove materials.
  • Don't Dry with Heat Sources: Avoid using hairdryers or placing your gloves in direct sunlight to dry, as it can warp the material.
  • Don't Ignore the Inside: The inside of the glove needs cleaning as much as the outside to prevent odors and bacteria growth.

Knowing how to clean MMA gloves is fundamental for anyone practicing mixed martial arts. Regular cleaning not only ensures your gloves last longer but also protects you and your training partners from bacteria and odors. Clean gloves contribute to better performance, offering a comfortable, secure fit during every fight. Establishing a routine cleaning schedule is an essential part of your training regimen, underscoring your commitment to hygiene, health, and the longevity of your equipment.


How Often Should I Clean My MMA Gloves?

Clean your MMA gloves after every use with a disinfectant wipe or spray to prevent bacteria buildup. A deeper clean should be performed every few weeks or as needed, depending on frequency of use.

Can I Use Natural Cleaners on My MMA Gloves?

Yes, natural cleaners like a mild soap solution can be effective, especially for synthetic gloves. However, always test a small area first and ensure the cleaner is appropriate for the glove material.

How Can I Deal with Persistent Odors?

Persistent odors can be tackled by ensuring your gloves are thoroughly aired out after each use. Using a disinfectant spray can also help eliminate odor-causing bacteria. For tough odors, consider using glove deodorizers or a mixture of baking soda and water for a deeper clean, ensuring the mixture is compatible with your gloves’ material.

Remember, maintaining your MMA gloves through regular cleaning is just as important as any other aspect of your training. Keep your gloves in top condition to ensure they're ready for every training session and fight.