How to Easily Wash Dirty Football Gloves

Overhead view of soiled football gloves

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 - 10 mins
  • Total Time: 1 min - 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5 to 20

Watch any college or pro football game, and nearly every player is wearing football gloves. Linemen and defensive players wear gloves for protection and to get a better grip on opponents. Made from silicone, the palms of the gloves adhere to the variations on the surface of the ball while conforming to the shape of the player's hands.

Of course, those gloves get dirty from the grass and sweat just like the rest of a football uniform. Learn how to clean them during the game and how to wash them correctly to preserve their sticky quality.

Before You Begin

Every pair of gloves will have a care tag with instructions on how to wash them. Some manufacturers recommend hand washing only while others state the gloves can be tossed in the washer. Take the time to read the instructions before washing. For all gloves, hand-washing is the safest way to control water temperature and prevent damage from other items in the laundry load.

If the gloves have leather components, hand washing is always best. Football gloves should be washed thoroughly after every practice and game.

Detergent Non-bleaching laundry detergent
Water Temperature Cold
Cycle Type Gentle or hand wash
Drying Cycle Type Line dry or low
Special Treatments Do not use bleach
Iron Settings Do not iron

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Washing machine
  • Sink or plastic container
  • Automatic dryer or clothesline
  • Clothespins
  • Microfiber towel
  • Mesh laundry bag


  • Non-bleaching laundry detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar


Overhead view of materials needed to clean football gloves

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

How to Hand Wash Football Gloves

  1. Create a Cleaning Solution

    Fill a sink or plastic tub with cool water. Add about one teaspoon of non-bleaching liquid laundry detergent to the water and stir to disperse the liquid.

    Mixing a cleaning solution

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  2. Add the Gloves

    With the right side out, add the gloves and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. Be sure the gloves are fully submerged.

    Submerging the gloves in a cleaning solution

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  3. Wash the Gloves

    Gently squeeze the soapy solution through the gloves. If there are tough stains, add a drop of detergent to the area and work it into the stain with your fingers.

    Rinsing the gloves in the cleaning solution

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  4. Rinse the Gloves

    When the gloves are clean, drain or empty the soapy water. Fill the sink or plastic container with cool water and rinse the gloves until no more suds appear. Gently squeeze out the excess water.

    Wringing the gloves out

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  5. Dry the Gloves

    Hang the gloves to air-dry. Use clothespins on the fingertips to fasten them to a clothesline or use a skirt hanger to clip them on the hanger and hang from a shower rod.


    If you are in a hurry to get the gloves dry, roll them in a terry cloth towel to help absorb the excess water. Then, turn them inside out and repeat the process.

    Hanging the football gloves to dry

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

How to Wash Football Gloves in a Washing Machine

  1. Select the Washer Settings

    Be sure the washer is set to cold water and the gentle cycle to prevent excessive wringing. Use a non-bleaching laundry detergent.

    Setting the wash temperature for football gloves

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  2. Add the Gloves to a Mesh Washing Bag

    To protect the gloves from snags or tears from other garments, place them in a mesh washing bag.

    Adding football gloves to a mesh bag

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  3. Wash as Usual

    Add the mesh bag to the laundry load and wash as usual. The rest of the laundry load should be sorted well to prevent any color transfer (dye-bleeding) to the gloves.

    Placing the mesh beg into the washer

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  4. Dry the Gloves

    If recommended by the manufacturer, tumble dry the gloves on low heat or hang to air-dry.

    Placing the gloves into the dryer

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

How to Remove Odors From Football Gloves

The bacteria from sweat and body oils can leave the inside of football gloves reeking. Learn how to remove the stink.

  1. Use a Baking Soda Solution

    After washing the gloves, if they still stink, fill a sink or plastic container with cool water and add one cup of baking soda. Stir to mix well and add the gloves. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes, an hour is better. Rinse well and allow them to air-dry inside out.

    Pouring baking soda into a basin of water

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

  2. Wipe Down With a Vinegar Solution

    Mix one-half cup of distilled white vinegar and one-half cup of water in a small bowl. Dip a lint-free microfiber cloth in the solution and wring until not dripping. Turn the gloves inside out. Wipe down the inside of the gloves with the vinegar-soaked cloth. Do not rinse. Allow them to air-dry inside out.

    Wiping the glove with a vinegar solution

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

How to Clean Football Gloves During a Game

To restore any stickiness that might be lost due to grass, dirt, sweat, or body soil, wipe the palms of the gloves with a damp microfiber towel to restore the tackiness.

Repairs and Storage

Football gloves cannot usually be repaired if they are ripped or torn. Most leagues do not allow the use of glue on gloves for any reason and stitching a rip can interfere with the fit of the glove.

All gloves should be washed and dried completely before storing them in a breathable cotton bag in a cool, dry place.

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. MIT News, January 20, 2019. Massachusetts Institute of Technology