Youth: 3 Tips to Keep Goalie Gloves Clean and Stink-Free

Nov 30, 2020

*This article is part of an educational series for soccer parents and players new to soccer*

The saying goes that the smellier a goalkeeper’s gloves, the better a goalkeeper they are. Could this be the reason some goalkeepers ignore the funky smell that comes from their gloves after a few games? Whether or not this saying is true, it is true that without proper care, after a certain point, every goalie’s gloves start to well, stink. 

Dirty soccer goalie gloves are not only unhygienic and tend to put off your teammates, but they can also affect your playing ability. Dirty gloves won’t have the same grip that clean gloves have, and the latex will break down faster. To help keep your goalie gloves in good condition for the long haul, here are three tips on how to keep soccer goalie gloves from smelling. 

Tip #1 - Wash Them Before Your Wear Them

Soccer goalie gloves are designed to protect goalkeepers’ hands from fast-moving shots, hard kicks, and they provide extra grip to stop soccer balls from going into the net. Gloves like the Gladiator Pro 2 are made to be flexible and padded to protect fingers and wrist from impacts.  To keep their gloves functioning at a high level, every goaltender should learn how to maintain them. 

Brand new goalkeeper gloves come directly from the manufacturer with preservatives from the manufacturing process still on the gloves. Pre-washing your gloves gets rid of the preservatives used to ensure that the latex is preserved in pristine condition until you buy them.  

It is essential to pre-wash your new goalkeeper gloves before you use them for the first time. This wash activates the latex and increases the grip of your gloves, making them ready for use. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing. 

Tip #2 - Wash After Every Use

After a game, you may be tempted to toss your goalie gloves in your bag with the rest of your equipment and forget about them until the next practice, but this treatment can have serious consequences. Dirty latex will lose its grip, and the grime can also degrade the latex, meaning you’ll be shopping for new gloves sooner than later.

Here’s an easy guide to washing your gloves, step by step.

  • Hand wash your gloves using warm but not hot water (no warmer than 30C) immediately after use. Harsh brushes or scrubbers can damage the latex. 
  • Place a glove on one hand and place it under the water. Use your other hand to scrub out the dirt, then do the same thing with the other glove on the other hand. You may need to squeeze out the dirt several times.
  • Rinse off with clean water. Do not wring out the gloves, but gently squeeze to get out the water.
  • Run some water in the inside of the glove to rinse away any dirt and sweat.
  • You can also use a glove cleaning solution, just be sure to rinse well and follow the care instructions.

Tip #3 - Thoroughly Dry Your Gloves

It is essential to allow your gloves to thoroughly dry between uses. If they are not adequately dried, bacteria and mould can grow, creating a horrible smell and harming the latex. The best practice is to let your gloves dry naturally in a well-ventilated space away from sunlight and excessive heat. Properly drying gloves usually takes about a day. 

One way to speed up the drying time is to place the wet gloves on a dry towel and apply pressure with the towel. Don’t scrub or wipe the gloves - this can damage the latex. Another tip is to fill the gloves with paper towels or newspaper to help absorb more water and speed up the drying time. 

Never use direct heat such as a radiator or hair dryer to dry your gloves. You should also keep them out of the sun. These can all dry out the latex causing it to crack. 

Tip #4 - Proper Storage

Now you’ve mastered how to clean and properly dry your goalie gloves. The next step is to store them properly in between games.

  • Keep your gloves out of direct sunlight in a reasonably cool environment. A warm moist space can cause mould and bacteria to grow.
  • Don’t let your gloves dry for too long. Leaving them out can cause the latex to dry and crack and become brittle.
  • Use a storage bag or glove wallet to keep them safe and secure between uses. Gladiator 2 Elite Gloves come with a special breathable mesh storage bag to help keep them fresh and protected.
  • When storing gloves together, make sure that the palms are not touching. If kept together, the latex palms can stick together and cause tears when you pull them apart.
  • If you are storing your gloves for the season, put them in a cool, moist location in a well-ventilated glove bag. 

Bonus Goalie Glove Tips

Latex gloves have a better grip when they are slightly moist. Squirt some water on your gloves to improve your grip during a game. 

Never use your palm to get up off the ground. This force can cause wear and damage to the latex. Instead, make a fist and use the outside of your glove to help you stand up. 

Proper care of your goalie gloves will help them last longer and improve your performance on the field. If you are looking for a new pair of goalie gloves, check out our selection of goalie gloves for the most recent 2020 models.
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