How To Remove Odor / Stink from Goalkeeper Gloves

There are a half-dozen “remedies” related to removing bad odors from goalkeeper gloves, but there is only 1 true way to do it, but you should understand first, WHY THEY STINK.


Bacteria are single-cell organisms that are neither plants nor animals. They usually measure a few micrometers in length and exist together in communities of millions. A gram of soil typically contains about 40 million bacterial cells. A milliliter of fresh water usually holds about one million bacterial cells. Your skin is covered in bacteria. So, if bacteria is the culprit, it’s easy to understand WHY your gloves stink.

Sweat does NOT stink, but bacteria does.

When you sweat in your gloves or wipe sweat from your forehead with your goalkeeper gloves, you irritate the bacteria that is already present on your skin and on your gloves. Bacteria loves dark, damp areas, so putting sweaty or wet gloves in a dark bag for a few days will enhance the odor. There are a few ways to get rid of it, but the key is to KILL THE BACTERIA FIRST, then wash and DRY your gloves.


A common “solution” to getting rid of odor in your goalie gloves is to use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). While baking soda DOES in fact work to remove or absorb odors, it does it through absorption; Basically, baking soda absorbs the moisture that the bacteria reside in. The side effect of using it to kill odors in your goalkeeper gloves is that the baking soda will fill the pores of the latex and dry it out.

So, baking soda is BAD for your goalie gloves.

Picture of isopropyl alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol kills bacteria that causes odor
The best way to kill odors in your gloves is to use Isopropyl alcohol, also known as Rubbing Alcohol.

Steps to Remove Odor from Goalie Gloves:

  1. Pour bottle of rubbing alcohol into bowl or sink
  2. Immerse gloves in rubbing alcohol for 30 seconds
  3. Rinse gloves (very important to rinse the alcohol out)
  4. Wash as normal, using a mild, natural soap
  5. Dry gloves in front of a low speed fan
  6. Apply KEEPER BALM to clean, dry gloves
  7. Drop your gloves into the lap of the person who had been complaining the loudest about your stinky gloves and say, “BOOM!”

Rubbing alcohol INSTANTLY kills bacteria. All bacteria. So, immersing your goalkeeper gloves in rubbing alcohol for 30 seconds will instantly kill the odor.

After you soak them in alcohol, immediately submerse them in water, then wash them like normal.

No more stink.

Then apply KEEPER BALM® for exceptional grip, for the life of your gloves.