how to clean football gloves

How To Clean Football Gloves: The Complete Guide

Not every player in football wears gloves. However, they remain an important gear for wide receivers and running backs that catch the ball often. Just like any other sports equipment, gloves need to be cleaned well. 

Furthermore, players that wore gloves plummeted more to the ground leaving gloves smeared with grass stains and mud.

Looking on how to clean football gloves? Regular cleaning is important to have your gloves looking good and smelling great. There are no two ways about it! You just have to clean them. And, you’re not just going to toss them in the laundry.

Generally, hand-washing is recommended. However, you can also wash them in a washer if the manufacturer states, but carefully.

In this post, I’ll show you two simple ways to clean football gloves. 

How Do You Clean Football Gloves

No matter the type and brand of football gloves you have, you can hand wash them in running tap water. However, not all football gloves can be washed in a washing machine.

Generally, there are two ways to wash football gloves. This is through hand washing or machine washing.

Let’s look at the two ways in detail.

5 Steps How To Clean Football Gloves Using Hands

Cleaning football gloves using hands is the safest and most recommended way. Hand washing gloves can be the only way to clean them if the manufacturer advises against machine-washing.

It is a gentle approach that ensures gloves don’t wear fast. If you’re looking to clean gloves using your hands, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Prepare Cleaning Water

The first step in cleaning your football gloves is preparing water. You can fill water in a tub, sink, or bucket. You can use cold water, but lukewarm water is recommended. However, don’t go any higher than lukewarm.

filling tub with water

Add some little mild soap detergent to the water. You can also use some denture cleaning tablets for sticky gloves. Stir and let the detergent dissolve evenly.

Step 2: Soak the Gloves

With your water and detergent mixed, go ahead and soak the gloves for a few minutes.

Push the gloves to the bottom and let them soak for a minute or two.

Step 3: Scrub the Gloves

After soaking the gloves, gently scrub them with your hands to remove any dirt. You can use your fingers or any soft sponge and rub all stained areas.

Avoid using anything abrasive that can damage your gloves. In most cases, your fingertips alone can get rid of all dirt and stains.

Step 4: Rinse

After scrubbing the dirt, empty your bucket and rinse the gloves under clean running tap water.

Rinsing clears all dirt and any soap that might be lingering.

Step 5: Let Them Dry

With every soap rinsed, drain all the water in the gloves by squeezing them before airing them to dry.

You can place them on a flat surface, rack, or clothesline.

NB: Never place your gloves in a dryer or close to excess heat. This can damage your gloves.

How to Wash Football Gloves in the Washer

Apart from hand washing, you can also clean your gloves in the washing machine. However, the process of cleaning a washer is complicated and varies brand by brand.

football gloves

The first step is checking the manufacturer’s recommendations concerning machine washing. Only machine-washable gloves should be washed by machine. Otherwise, consider hand-washing.

After reading the instructions, brush off the gloves to remove any dirt and loose debris. It is a crucial step if you play on natural grass.

Next, flip the gloves inside out. Turning the gloves inside out helps protect the grips on the gloves from damage. 

Protect them in a pillowcase

With the gloves turned inside out, go ahead and protect them inside a pillowcase or lingerie bag. This is a crucial step, especially for top-loading machines that have rougher cycles.

Wash on a cold and gentle cycle

You can now wash your gloves in cold water under a gentle cycle. Avoid warm water as it can damage components of your gloves.

Air dry

Lastly, go ahead and air dry your gloves. Make sure you dry the gloves outside on a clothesline or rack. Avoid using a dryer as it can damage your gloves.

Why You Should Wash Your Football Gloves

You need to wash your football gloves to remove any mud and debris that stains them on the field. Nobody wants to wear dirt and smelly gloves.

After the game, the sweat stays in your gloves. So, it makes sense to clean them immediately after the game to clear the sweat.

You don’t want the sweat and dirt staying on the gloves for hours. If you leave gloves unwashed, they can easily develop unpleasant smells. 

When players fall to the ground, gloves get stained with mud and grass stains. Washing them after every game to remove the stains is necessary.

Proper Care Between Washes

In between the washes, it’s pretty important to take great care of the gloves. Cleaning is one step, taking care of them between cleaning and wearing them is crucial.

The first step is to clean your gloves immediately after removing them. This is important as it makes it easier to clean them.

football player holding the ball

A simple trick to deal with the sweat is to tack in a newspaper after removing the gloves. This will wick in the sweat and any moisture. It will ensure gloves dry faster and prevent bad odors.

Discard the paper when you’re ready to use the gloves and play.

How Often You Should Wash Your Football Gloves

You should wash your football gloves once every or every other week. However, you can wash the gloves after a game if they are extremely dirty and need cleaning. 

Since you’re not going to use them after every use, make sure you air them after a game.

If possible, get more than one football glove and establish a rotation. Get at least two pairs and rotate them back and forth. Having more than one pair of gloves gives you the freedom to clean one pair and use the other. You’ll never have to worry about the other pair taking a long time to dry.

How Do You Clean Smelly Football Gloves

You can clean smelly football gloves by hand washing or cold washing in a machine using a non-bleacher detergent. Normal glove cleaning involves a simple detergent and gentle scrubbing of the gloves.

However, to combat the smelly, you require a strong anti-bacterial denture. This is the only way you’re going to eliminate the smell. You can also turn the gloves inside out and air them out. 

This will help clear the smell. Air out the gloves after every game if you cannot wash them right away.

If you decide to wash them, use a bucket of water mixed with baking soda. You can also search for recommended products to mix with water like OxyClean. 

After mixing the ingredients with water, let the gloves sit in the water for at least 30 minutes.

How Do You Clean Nike Football Gloves?

You clean Nike football gloves by hand washing or putting them in a cold water washer under a gentle cycle. When hand washing, soak the gloves in lukewarm water, rub the dirt, rinse, and air dry.

When machine washing, check if machine-washing is recommended, turn inside out, wrap inside a pillowcase, cold wash in a gentle cycle, then dry.

Do Washing Football Gloves Ruin Them?

Washing football gloves and even football pads wrongly can ruin them. When washing football gloves, you need to use cold to lukewarm water. Using hot water or water above lukewarm temperatures can ruin your gloves.

Hot water can create irreversible changes to your gloves. Additionally, when washing gloves, you need to avoid scrubbing them with abrasive brushes. Instead, use your fingers or soft sponges. 

Abrasive brushes can tear part of the gloves and remove the grips that allow for easy ball catching.

How To Wash Football Gloves Without Losing Grip?

You can wash gloves without losing grip by soaking them in cold to lukewarm water and scrubbing them gently. Instead of using abrasive brushes and a lot of force, consider using your fingers to gently scrub the dirt. 

Put a lot of focus on areas with stains and mud. Most dirt and stains on gloves wash away after soaking them for a few minutes. Make sure you use the correct detergent. Unless the gloves are smelly, a common soap detergent can clean your gloves.

The general rule, be GENTLE! Scrub your football gloves with your hands or use a soft sponge. While some manufacturers claim their gloves are machine-washable, it’s always safe to hand wash them.


That wraps everything from me! Now you know how to clean gloves efficiently. Cleaning gloves should be done once a week or after every other week. 

Otherwise, consider getting two pairs of gloves and practice rotating usage. You can wear one glove this week and another glove the following week.

Taking proper care of gloves can extend their lifespan and prevent bad odors from sweat. You can hand wash the gloves or check if the manufacturer recommends a washer.

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