How to Maintain Your Boxing Gear
If you’re new to boxing, you’ve probably encountered one of the many gear-related frustrations that normally come up. Your wraps and gloves might smell rancid, your jump rope’s probably tangled, and your mouthpiece might have a nasty taste. All these problems can be avoided with some common sense and proactive steps. This guide gives a brief overview of proper care for boxing gear.
Handwraps often provide challenges for newcomers. They are time-consuming to wrap prior to a workout, they stink up your bag, and they remain wet with sweat for days. In addition, even if you do throw them in the washing machine, they tangle!
Check out the iSport How to Wrap Your Hands for Boxing guide to diminish some of the frustration associated with wrapping. This guide describes the most effective way to wrap your hands and provides visual aids to help you. Practice makes perfect!
To avoid malodor and dampness, take the wraps out of your bag after each workout, and hang them on anything in your house (i.e. a hook on a door, pipe, or a hanger in your closet). Hanging your wraps helps them dry and prevents mold buildup.
Periodically throw your wraps in the washing machine. Some tips before you toss them in there, though:
- Place each wrap in a small mesh bag or pillow case (tied at the open end) to minimize tangling.
- The colors of the wraps often bleed, so wash them by themselves.
- Most wraps can go in the dryer; although some boxers claim that wraps last longer when they are hung to dry instead.
To prolong the life of your gloves, wipe them down after each workout. Use a washcloth and some antiseptic spray to wipe the inside and outside of the gloves. Some boxers use disinfecting wipes to clean their gloves. Either way, the goal is to kill as much of the bacteria as possible that eventually causes malodor and mold buildup.
Like sweaty handwraps, sweaty gloves should be kept out of your bag in order to dry. The drying process goes relatively quickly if you place your gloves in front of a fan. After they are adequately dry, there are two options you can utilize in order to keep them smelling fresh (or at least bearable!):
- Place a few dryer sheets in each glove, pushing them as deep as possible into the glove.
- Purchase cedar chips or hamster bedding at a pet store. Fill two socks with the chips, tie the end of each sock, and place a sock in each glove.
Both options eliminate undesirable odors that inevitably surface. Never put your gloves in the washer or dryer.
Follow these basic tips in order to care for your other pieces of boxing equipment:
Hot Tip: Glove Dryer
You can buy electric glove dryers to speed up the cleaning process. These stands allow your gloves to air out and dry completely without the possibility of overheating or catching fire — as would be the case if you left a hair dryer inside of your glove. Such stands also can dry headgear and shoes. The only downside is that most dryers run at a high price — usually around $100.
- Headgear and Cup: Maintain these two items by simply wiping them down with antiseptic wipes and airing them out post-workout.
- Shoes: Intense workouts leave your boxing shoes damp, so air them out afterwards. In addition, never wear your shoes outside if you want them to last long.
- Mouthpiece: Always rinse your mouthpiece with water prior to each workout. Clean your mouthpiece post-workout by placing it in a glass filled with a water/mouthwash mixture. Always keep your mouthpiece in its case while in your bag.
- Jump rope: Jump ropes tangle quite easily. Take your rope out of your bag when you get home from the gym. Hang the rope on a hook or hanger to prevent tangling. You can even tie a lightweight object, such as a paperweight, to each handle of the rope as it hangs.
Use Common Sense
None of the approaches above defy common sense. Each of the tips, though, will lengthen the lifespan of your equipment if practiced regularly. Every boxer needs to buy new gear at some point, but proper care will save you from dishing out money when it’s unnecessary.