Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Quick Fix for Smelly Fencing Gloves

Quick Fix for Smelly Fencing GlovesWhat’s that Smell? Solutions for Smelly Fencing Gloves:

Recently I opened my child’s fencing bag and strong smell almost killed me. I was thinking about accidental dead mouse was inside it! Nope. Not socks, nor shoes – it was smell of hard work from my child’s fencing glove!

That’s right, it turns out that the humble fencing glove can hide some serious stink. I genuinely had no idea that it was possible for my son’s hand to smell so much!

As a loving and caring mom, I immediately gave my son a brand new glove. He put it on and without a beat told me – “I am not going to Summer Nationals with a new glove – I don’t feel my pistol grip in it!” He was absolutely right. Changing a glove to a new brand is not the best idea!! Before a big competition, changing the grip or the glove or even the blade to something new just means trouble. Familiarity with the equipment is essential in the face of a major competition. Don’t change to something new BEFORE major competitions!

We of course decided to keep his glove and not get a new one before major fencing competition. Meanwhile, I started digging into ways to get rid of this dead mouse smell.

Getting the smell out of a stinky fencing glove

We’ve previously talked about cleaning a fencing glove, and the importance of doing so. You can find all of those instructions here, though we’ll go into some of what you need to know right now.

There are a few solutions that I have found to be effective quick fixes. None of these take long, but they all offer you something that works!

  1. Anti-bacterial spray. Dettol is a good one. Coat the inside thoroughly, then leave it out to air dry completely (out of the sun, but in a spot that it will dry completely).
  2. Anti-bacterial detergent. Napisan might just be your best friend in this instance. It’s a fantastic anti-bacterial soap that allows you to clean that glove thoroughly and without harming it. Wash according to the instructions on our previous post, which you’ll find by clicking here.
  3. Baking soda. This is especially good for gloves that don’t have a hugely bad smell. Put a teaspoon into a dry glove and leave it overnight.
  4. Anti-bacterial foot powder. You can find this stuff just about everywhere. It’s kind of like the baking soda in that you use it in the same way, but it’s made for this purpose. A warning here – find one that doesn’t make you or your child sneeze!
  5. Freeze it. Cold is a great way to kill bacteria. They need warmth to live and do their nasty things, so getting rid of that warmth can really work well in your quest to rid that glove of the smell. Make SURE that the glove is DRY before you freeze it, otherwise you’re going to damage it. That means letting it air dry completely, even if it was just wet from sweat. To keep your freezer from smelling like old socks, put the glove in a Ziploc bag first. Leave it there for at least 8 hours, but 24 is better. This trick is pretty magical!

Prevention is the real key

The hands down BEST way to keep a glove from getting smelly is to try to keep it from getting that far in the first place. If you’re not sure of how to take proper care of your fencing glove, we’ve got a blog for that too Click here! An ounce of prevention is well worth a pound of cure!


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  1. R

    I use a new glove at practices the week before tournaments. That’s sufficient to break it in and become accustomed to the different feel.

  2. Anonymous

    Be careful washing sabre gloves and other metallic items. must be done very gently to prevent damage.

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