November 30, 2020 6 min read
Eww, that smell, those workout gloves can get so disgusting really fast, and even washing them (if you dare) still doesn’t quite cut through the stench. You may have only worn them a few times and already are noticing a smell. Why do your gloves smell so bad?
Trapped sweat grows bacteria that breaks down proteins, carbohydrates, fatty acids, and leaves behind smelly chemicals like ammonia and urea. Worse yet, this bacteria could cause infection and rashes. The solution: Gym Skins by STKR Concepts are hand protection that doesn’t grow smelly bacteria.
Whether you are lifting, doing yoga, or doing kettlebell swings it is essential to have hand protection, but not at the risk that it could cause infection and rashes.
The best bacteria growing environments are ones that are confined airtight spaces that are moist, and tossing your wet workout gloves in a gym bag is one of the main reasons work out gloves are more prone to smelly bacteria. Aside from the smell, uncleaned gloves tend to stiffen over time, rubbing the skin more and actually lessen your grip strength and increase the chance for blisters.
You can try to prevent some of the stench, by washing your hands before a workout, and afterwards you can sanitize them with a wipe, but be sure to thoroughly hand dry out your gloves with a towel or allow them to thoroughly air dry after every workout. It’s best if the gloves can air dry outside of your gym bag. If you are rushed for time, dry them out with a hairdryer and be sure to get all of the moisture out.
One of the biggest contributors to the smelly workout gloves is putting them in a gym bag wet with sweat. It’s just breeding grounds for stinky bacteria. To prevent this, first sanitize the gloves with a Lysol wipe or lightly mist some disinfectant spray over the gloves both inside and out.
Literally, turn them inside out and try to cover every part you can. I know it’s kind of a pain but sanitizing them this way can greatly reduce the chances of bacteria growing on them. Keep in mind it's nearly impossible to get every nook and cranny inside those small finger holes but try your best to cover as much surface area as possible.
If you work out at least a few times a week you will want to hand wash your gloves with mild antibiotic dish soap and water once a week and let them air dry ideally in the sun. Aside from the soap, the sun can help sanitize and remove odors as well.
Just a side note if you have allergies, you’ll want to air dry these in your home next to a well-ventilated window instead so that your gloves don’t absorb allergens from your outdoor environment.
One of the least expensive odor remover options is baking soda. It is a natural odor remover that helps neutralize smells.
Just note that baking soda does not kill germs and because of this you will want to use some type of disinfectant to kill any potential germs.
You might be tempted to use an alcohol solution to kill off bacteria but using alcohol that is over 70% might be harsh to your glove, drying it out and causing the material to stiffen or deteriorate affecting your ability to grip.
Leather naturally has a musky smell and then on top of that, they can quickly start growing smelly mold and bacteria in the pores of the gloves. It’s essential that after every workout you physically remove all sweat moisture with a towel or air dry before placing them in your gym bag. So how do we clean smelly leather gloves?
*always follow manufacturer's directions and washing recommendations
Some prefer gloves or weight lifting grips while others claim a natural grip is more important. Ultimately most people who opt for workout gloves or grips need some type of skin protection to prevent skin injuries caused by friction.
Of course, there are going to be die-hard weightlifters that suck up the pain by building blister by blister, callus layer by callus layer until they have a padded layer of dead toughened skin they prefer to grip with. But that’s not for everybody by any means. Plus, you can still get blisters under calluses, which are the worst as they are more prone to infection. Keep in mind, the person with those callused hands may not mind having hands of stone, but the person they touch may not appreciate it.
Most workout gloves are made out of leather due to its durability handling a lot of weight and repetitive use but that is also why they end up stinking so bad. You can attempt to prevent them from smelling, by washing them often or bearing with the odor or by buying a new pair often. However it can really add up price-wise, $13-$50 a pop, possibly every couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on how often you use them.
We highly recommend the Gym Skin grip and you can wear them with or without gloves. These are made out of neoprene fabric which is ideal for moist activities and it’s typically found in products like wet suits and is known for its durability, flexibility, and is also incredibly lightweight. The neoprene material is a type of synthetic plastic and because of this, provides a more optimal grip.
Granted, not all hand protection is the same, most gloves are too thick when you really need to “feel” your grip, versus, the gym skins by STKR are ultra-thin grips that are so thin that they don’t get in your way, but actually improve your gripping ability.
Unless you are entering powerlifting competitions, you’ll want to invest in some hand protection. When lifting heavy weights, the last thing you want to have happen is your grip slipping due to sweating and potentially getting an even bigger injury.
Wearing workout gloves can prevent calluses but not necessarily infection. Since sweat gets less airflow in gloves the risk of infection is greater.
The whole point of buying workout gloves or grips is to add an extra layer of hand protection between your hand and whatever your hands up against.
Now that you know the ins and outs of keeping your workout gloves from stinking, you can enjoy time in the gym without smelling last weeks workout. You will appreciate it, and so will your gym companions. Your hands will also appreciate the protection from blisters and calluses with the help of the STKR Gym Skins.
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