Informational, Mainteinance

How To Keep Goalie Gloves From Smelling? Best Practices 

Goalkeeping is a demanding position in any sport, and the last thing you want is to be hindered by unpleasant-smelling gloves. The stench isn’t just a personal discomfort; it can also affect your gameplay and, let’s be honest, isn’t the most pleasant experience for your teammates. In this guide, we’ll delve into the causes of smelly goalie gloves and, more importantly, how to keep them smelling fresh.

How To Keep Goalie Gloves From Smelling?

Causes of Smelly Goalie Gloves

Sweating during gameplay

Goalkeeping involves intense physical activity, leading to significant sweating. This sweat, when absorbed by the gloves, becomes a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.

Bacterial growth

The combination of sweat and the dark, moist environment inside the gloves creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. This microbial activity contributes to the unpleasant odor.

Improper storage

Leaving gloves in closed, damp spaces or gear bags without proper ventilation can lead to the development of mold and mildew, intensifying the smell.

Pre-game Preparation

Before we dive into cleaning routines and DIY solutions, let’s discuss preventive measures you can take before hitting the field.

Washing hands thoroughly

Start with clean hands to reduce the introduction of bacteria into the gloves during gameplay.

Using hand sanitizer

An extra layer of protection, and hand sanitizer can help minimize bacterial transfer.

Choosing breathable gloves

Opt for gloves made from breathable materials to allow better airflow and reduce sweat absorption.

Cleaning Routine

Now, let’s explore the essential cleaning routine to maintain odor-free gloves.

Wiping down after each use

After a game or practice, wipe the gloves down with a damp cloth to remove surface sweat and bacteria.

Washing according to manufacturer’s instructions

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for washing your gloves. Typically, hand washing with mild soap is recommended.

Drying properly

Avoid leaving gloves in direct sunlight or using excessive heat. Allow them to air dry naturally to prevent damage.

Odor Control Methods

To tackle existing odors, consider these effective methods.

Inserting moisture-wicking materials

Place moisture-wicking materials, like newspaper or cedar shoe inserts, inside the gloves to absorb residual moisture.

Applying specialized glove deodorizers

Invest in glove-specific deodorizers designed to combat bacteria and leave a fresh scent.

Allowing for proper ventilation

Store gloves in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of moisture and odors.

DIY Solutions

For those who prefer natural alternatives, try these DIY solutions.

Baking soda and cornstarch mixture

Create a mixture of baking soda and cornstarch to sprinkle inside the gloves. This absorbs moisture and neutralizes odors.

Essential oil-infused sachets

Place sachets filled with lavender or tea tree oil inside the gloves for a natural, pleasant aroma.

Freezing the gloves

Seal the gloves in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer overnight. The cold helps kill bacteria and eliminate odors.

Storage Tips

Proper storage is crucial in preventing the recurrence of unpleasant odors.

Avoiding closed, damp spaces

Store gloves in a dry, well-ventilated area to discourage the growth of mold and mildew.

Using glove-specific pouches

Invest in pouches designed for goalie gloves to keep them protected and allow for ventilation.

Letting gloves air out

After each use, let the gloves air out by placing them in an open area, ensuring proper ventilation.

Investing in Quality Gloves

Sometimes, prevention is the best cure. Invest in high-quality gloves made from advanced materials for better durability and odor resistance.

Benefits of high-quality materials

Explore gloves with moisture-wicking linings and antimicrobial treatments for enhanced odor control.

Durability and odor resistance

Higher-end gloves often come with features that not only improve performance but also combat the issues of sweat and odor.

Breaking Bad Habits

Lastly, some habits might be contributing to the persistent smell of your goalie gloves.

Avoiding storing gloves in gear bags

Closed bags limit ventilation and encourage bacterial growth. Store gloves separately to allow air circulation.

Not leaving gloves in direct sunlight

Excessive heat and sunlight can damage the materials. Find a shaded, well-ventilated spot for storage.

Regularly checking and maintaining gloves

Take the time to inspect and clean your gloves regularly. Small, proactive steps can prevent major odor issues.

Importance of Timely Maintenance

Consistent maintenance is the key to enjoying fresh-smelling gloves throughout their lifespan.

Prolonging glove lifespan

Regular cleaning and proper care can extend the life of your gloves, ensuring they remain effective for longer.

Enhancing overall gameplay experience

Fresh, well-maintained gloves contribute to a better playing experience, allowing you to focus on the game without distractions.

Tips for Different Types of Goalie Gloves

Not all goalie gloves are created equal. Consider these tips based on the material of your gloves.

Leather gloves

Follow specific care instructions for leather gloves to preserve their quality and prevent premature odor.

Synthetic gloves

Synthetic materials require different care. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for optimal maintenance.

Hybrid gloves

For gloves with a combination of materials, tailor your care routine to address the unique needs of each component.


How often should I clean my goalie gloves?

Cleaning after each use is ideal, but at least once a week is recommended for regular maintenance.

Can I use regular deodorizers for my gloves?

It’s best to use specialized glove deodorizers designed for sports equipment to ensure effectiveness and safety.

Is it necessary to air out gloves after each use?

Yes, allowing gloves to air out after each use helps prevent the buildup of moisture and odors.

What if my gloves get wet during a game?

Wipe them down with a dry cloth as soon as possible and let them air dry. Avoid using heat sources.

Are there specific cleaning products for goalie gloves?

Yes, there are cleaning solutions designed specifically for goalie gloves. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.


In conclusion, keeping your goalie gloves smelling fresh is a combination of preventive measures, regular cleaning, and strategic storage. By incorporating these tips into your routine, you can enjoy a more comfortable and hygienic goalkeeping experience. Remember, the key is consistency. Take care of your gloves, and they’ll take care of you on the field.


How do I know when it’s time to replace my goalie gloves?

Replace gloves when you notice significant wear and tear, loss of grip, or persistent odors despite proper care.

Can I wash my goalie gloves in a washing machine?

It’s generally not recommended, as the agitators and detergents can damage the materials. Hand washing is preferable.

Are there natural alternatives to commercial deodorizers?

Yes, natural options like baking soda, essential oils, and cedar can effectively control odors.

What role does humidity play in glove odor?

High humidity can contribute to bacterial growth and odors. Proper storage in a dry environment is crucial.

Any recommendations for storing gloves during the off-season?

Clean and thoroughly dry the gloves before storing them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

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