How To Properly Care For Your Boxing Gear
Whether you typically spend a lot on your equipment or as little as possible, you still want to get as much “life” out of it as you can. A large factor in how long your gear lasts is determined by how well you care for it.
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky was once quoted saying, “I don’t like my hockey sticks touching other sticks, and I don’t like them crossing one another, and I kind of have them hidden in the corner. I put baby powder on the ends. I think it’s essentially a matter of taking care of what takes care of you.” This is such a great mindset to have about treating your tools of the trade with a level of professionalism, no matter what sport you’re talking about.
Starting with hand wraps, you should allow them to dry thoroughly before putting them away in your gym bag. You should also wash them regularly using a hand wrap wash bag. The cleaner you keep your wraps the longer they will help prevent your gloves from getting stinky. They’re your first line of defense in making your gloves last longer.
Next, when you’re done using your gloves wipe off any excess sweat, oils or dirt. This prolongs the glove life. These contaminants break down the leather and foam materials that gloves are made out of. Also don't leave them in your humid gym bag to form bacteria and mildew. Instead, store them in a cool, dry place and only put them in your bag once you're ready to head off to the gym. It's even beneficial to periodically use a mild lubricant or leather cleaner to keep them supple. Leather can dry out and crack and, that alone, can shorten the life of your gloves.
The same rules apply to your headgear and groin protector. Let them dry out thoroughly after use and be sure to wipe off any sweat, blood, moisture or Vaseline you applied during sparring. All body fluids weaken the materials used in construction, man-made or natural, and reduce the protective properties of the equipment you use. The faster you can get the equipment to dry, wipe it down and get the moisture out, the less time those fluids have time to do damage.
Lastly, but no less important, is taking care of your skin, especially the areas coming in contact with eqiupment. If you sweat a lot, take a towel or extra shirt with you and don't bask in your own nastiness. Yeah, you're going to sweat and be somewhat unpleasant, but don't be THAT GUY/GIRL who wears their bodily functions like a badge of honor. Towel off once in a while. It's not only courteous, but will save your gear from being forced to absorb every bit of blood, sweat and tears you produce.
It only takes a few minutes to properly care for your gear in order to get hours and hours of more life out of it.