How to Clean Soccer Goalie Gloves

Glove care is one of those topics that I’ve covered quite a bit on the site. In looking through some of my articles on the topic though, I got the sense that I put a lot of emphasis on how to dry goalkeeper gloves. Also, I’ve talked about putting gloves in the washing machine. There’s not necessarily a right answer to how to clean soccer goalie gloves. However, there are a couple of good ways to get the job done. In this particular article I want to go through the most effective way in my opinion to get the job done. There’s one wrinkle in this process. It is something that I want to address.   

The fact is that the type of glove that you have is going to dictate the options that you have to clean it. Not all gloves are made the same way and therefore not all of them are going to react the same to different cleaning methods. If you have thicker gloves that are going to absorb a lot of water then pressure washing them in a sense is not going to be a good idea. On the other hand most of the modern gloves are not going to have an issue with you taking a relatively high powered hose to them. Obviously an actual pressure washing hose is not what you want to use. However, you could use the one that you have in your backyard. Since I’ve gotten started with this, let’s keep this train of thought going. 

How To Clean Soccer Goalie Gloves – The Quick Method

The quick method that you’re going to have available to you when it comes to how to clean soccer goalie gloves is going to be to hose them down. If you’ve got a set of gloves that you want to clean at the same time this is the perfect method. What’s bad about this method? You may be using up way more water than you would need in a more diligent method. You could put the gloves into a tub or a bucket to make sure that you’re saving a lot of that water. To be honest though, the best way to get your gloves clean through this method is to put them out on the patio or the grass and just water them down with enough pressure to get all the stains out.

This is going to be a great method if you want to clean the gloves quickly. At the same time it’s going to be a method that will work best with thinner gloves. A lot of those bulkier gloves that you can find out there are going to take in a lot more water than you want them to. So whatever time you’re saving in the cleaning process you’re going to make up for it in the drying process. Naturally if you’re dealing with a thicker glove you’re usually going to want to limit the amount of water that you use. Remember that even if you use this method you still have to pick a drying method so stay tuned for that.  

bath bathroom bathtub indoors
Photo by Burst on

Cleaning When You Want To Be A Bit More Diligent

If you’re dealing with soccer goalie gloves that are a bit thicker or maybe are on their last legs the water pressure method is not going to be an effective one. Just because it typically will wear down the gloves a bit. The more diligent method involves filling a bucket or even your sink at home with water. You can use soap, shampoo or a specialized gloves shampoo. What you’re going to do is wet the glove and try and scrub a lot of the dirt stains and things like that away. Does the way that your glove looks impact performance? Yes, and no! The reason why you want to get rid of the dirt stains is because they can get stuck to the glove and make you lose grip even if the latex on the glove doesn’t rip. 

The same goes for those rubber pellets on turf fields. What they do is just leave your palm with a coat of rubber on it basically. That’s going to impact performance. It’s not that you want to clean the gloves, so they look brand new. What you want is to get that first layer of latex that has all the grip back. In this method what you want is to use soap that won’t embed itself in the glove. Otherwise, the soap can be a problem. I’ve recommended using an old toothbrush to scrub the glove down. Be careful with how hard you scrub so that you don’t end up ripping the gloves!   

Understand What Type of Glove You’re Dealing With

This is basically what I was talking about earlier with the different cleaning methods. If you want to pressure wash your old gloves the wash may be more detrimental than helpful to the glove. Also, a very thick glove is going to be hard to get dry. With that in mind you may want to limit the amount of what that you’re using with these types of gloves. Another thing that you can do to kind of help out the drying process is to squeeze that water out of these gloves as you’re washing them. That way by the time that you’re done doing the cleaning you won’t have as tall of a task to get the glove dry. With any glove you want to squeeze as much water as you can out before you choose any drying method.

I just pictured some of the bulkier gloves that I have lying around here. Water is going to get into these gloves through the palm and the backhand. They tend to get very heavy when I wash them. If I just leave them like that and try to dry them out there’s a good chance that they’re still going to be damp after a long while. Damp gloves usually stick up the place! It’s super important that you help yourself out and do some active drying if you will before you even decide how you fully want to dry your goalie gloves out.   

person holding grey hair dryer
Photo by Element5 Digital on

The Active Drying Method

I’ve talked about this a couple of times on the site already. My favorite method of actively drying goalkeeper gloves involves using a hair dryer. There may be other things out there that you could look into as active drying methods. Of course, putting your gloves in the dryer is one of those methods. A lot of goalkeeper glove manufacturers are going to frown upon this idea of putting your goalkeeper gloves in the dryer. This is because there is a risk that you’re essentially taking. If the gloves get caught on something they can rip apart. However, I’m not completely against using the dryer. Especially if you’re going to be putting a bunch of gloves in there at once. Be Very careful with any velcro that the gloves may have. 

The real active drying method is without a doubt the one I talked about first. Use a hair dryer or one of those air dryers that are present in public bathrooms and things like that. If you happen to have one of those at home, that could be a good way to dry goalkeeper gloves. It gives you the chance to see how the different parts of the gloves are drying out. Once you’ve gotten to the point where you think the gloves are dry enough you can stop. Also, it gives you the chance to dry the glove from the inside. At times with non active drying methods even when the outside is dry the inside is still damp. Damp goalkeeper gloves turn into smelly goalkeeper gloves real quickly!  

goalkeeper gloves left out to dry

The Easy Drying Method  

The easiest way to dry out goalkeeper gloves is just to hang them out to dry. There are a ton of different situations though that you have to account for. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that you’re going to end up with hard goalkeeper gloves without a ton of grip. The other bad scenario that you can find yourself in, involves the gloves staying damp and stinking up the place. All of the goalie glove manufacturers out there are going to tell you to dry the gloves out in the shade. Why do they say that? The problem with too much sunlight is that it can harden the latex that you need to be a bit softer. I’ve talked about this in other articles on the site. Good grip usually comes from soft latex. 

When the palm of the glove starts to harden you’re going to lose a lot of that grip. Just leaving your gloves out to dry in the shade seems easy enough. Yet, you do have to make sure that you don’t leave them out there too long. This method is also not the best one to choose if you need to use the gloves the next day. What I typically do though is hang them out to dry within a bathroom in my house. The atmosphere is a bit moist usually and that helps make sure that they don’t dry out too much. Yes, there are times that even after 24 hours they are not dry enough. I take the hair dryer to finish them off if that happens.   

How Often Do Goalkeepers Change Gloves?

How Often Should You Clean Your Goalie Gloves?

If you’re dealing with the gloves that you use only for games then cleaning them right after the game is typically going to be a good idea. Especially if you’re going to have at least a couple of days to make sure that they dry out before you have to put them on again. If we’re talking about the gloves that you use for training, cleaning them out once a week is also going to be a good idea. If you have a two-day break between training sessions you may want to take advantage of that to make sure that you get your gloves cleaned out. Make sure that they are dry enough before you put them back on.

It’s not a big deal grip-wise if you put the gloves back on when they’re still a bit damp. The problem is going to be the smell issue that I talked about earlier. Going ahead and cleaning your gloves every single day may not be a great idea. In a lot of ways you’re going to be adding more wear and tear than the gloves would have otherwise. A good idea though for those who train daily is to make sure that the gloves are dry before the next session. Usually you’re going to want to get the glove wet to maximize the grip. Just make sure that you dry out the glove before the next session. You can give it a good cleaning at the end of the week. 

How to Clean Soccer Goalie Gloves – Conclusion

There are probably different elements to cleaning soccer goalie gloves that you hadn’t taken into account. Soccer goalie gloves can be very delicate in more ways than one. If you’re not cleaning them right you could be doing more harm than good. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be cleaning your gloves. You just need to make sure that you’re doing it the right way. Hopefully with the tips and tricks that are provided here you’ll be able to craft a cleaning method that fits your particular needs. That way your gloves will be able to last for a long time!