Hand wraps are crucial if you train in boxing, Muay Thai, MMA, or any martial art that requires you to wear gloves.
If you’re hoping to train for longer, I highly recommend always wearing hand wraps when training with or without gloves on to protect your hands.
In this care guide, we’ll look at:
- Why you should wash your hand wraps
- How you can wash your wraps without tangling
- When you should wash hand wraps
- How to easily straighten and roll up your hand wraps
- How long you can use hand wraps and when to replace them
Maintaining your wraps will help them last longer, so let’s get into my complete care guide for hand wraps.
Can and Should I Wash Boxing Hand Wraps?
Yes! That’s the short answer.
Boxing hand wraps absorb dirty sweat, along with bacteria it collects from inside your gloves. This causes your wraps to stink if you don’t wash them, and can even cause bacterial or fungal infections on your hands. Washing your hand wraps is important to keeping your hands healthy.
Not only is washing your wraps good for hygiene, but it also helps to preserve your gloves (boxing or MMA).
It does this by wicking away sweat and creating a semi-protective layer between your dirty, sweaty hands and your gloves.
How To Wash Hand Wraps
Hand wraps are pretty simple to wash, and you can use regular laundry detergent.
You can wash hand wraps in your washing machine with the rest of your training gear, using regular laundry soap. If your wraps are new or brightly colored, you might want to wash them by themselves until you’re confident the excess color has been washed out. You should try to avoid tangling your wraps in the wash.
Your washing machine can tie your wraps into annoying knots that take forever to undo.
But don’t panic, there’s a solution.
3 Ways To Wash Hand Wraps Without Tangling
To avoid your hand wraps tangling in the wash, you need to either stop them from unraveling or restrict how much they can move in the washing machine.
#1 Tie your wraps into a tidy knot
This method is the simplest, and only requires some prewash prep.
Step 1: Hold both hand wraps together and fold them in half
Step 2: Fold them in half another two more times to reduce their length
Step 3: Loosely tie a knot in the center of your folded wraps to keep them all in one bunch
Step 4: Place your neatly knotted hand wraps into the wash as usual
Once your wash is done, simply untie the bunch and hang them up.
Pro: This is a nice, quick method for avoiding your wraps getting very tangled in the wash and only requires some simple untangling afterward.
#2 Wash your wraps in a pillowcase
Washing your hand wraps in a pillowcase is a great way to keep them in one place and reduces tangling.
Step 1: Use a pillowcase that you don’t mind repurposing as a laundry bag
Step 2: Place both hand wraps into one pillowcase and seal it by tying a knot in the center to reduce movement inside the pillowcase as much as possible
Step 3: Place into the wash as you normally would
Step 4: When the cycle is done you can untie the pillowcase and remove your hand wraps before hanging them up to dry
This is quicker than method #1, and is a great free alternative to using a laundry mesh bag.
Pro: Very little prewash preparation is needed, and all you need is an old pillowcase.
#3 Wash your wraps in a mesh laundry bag
Using a mesh laundry bag is the best way to avoid your hand wraps tanging in the washing machine.
Step 1: Get yourself a mesh laundry bag if you don’t have one yet
Step 2: Similar to the pillowcase method, place your wraps in the mesh bag together and zip it closed
Step 3: Put your hand wraps in the wash as normal
Step 4: After the wash, remove your hand wraps from the mesh laundry bag and hang them up as usual
Pro: This is the fastest method for washing your hand wraps without tangling, and the mesh allows your wraps to get enough soap while limiting their movement.
How Do You Dry Hand Wraps?
Drying your hand wraps properly before each workout is important for keeping both your wraps and your boxing gloves from stinking.
The best way to dry your hand wraps is by hanging them over a clothes hanger in an area with free-flowing air. Hang the fabric without tangles or knots because these can cause your wraps to wrinkle, making them harder to use. Also avoid leaving your hand wraps in direct sunlight, as this will reduce their lifespan.
Wraps dry quite quickly, so you won’t have to wait too long between training sessions.
It’s common to alternate between 2-3 pairs of hand wraps if you train more regularly.
How Often Should You Wash Boxing Hand Wraps?
Your hand wraps form a barrier between your gloves and your hands that absorbs a lot of sweat and bacteria that cause them to stink and deteriorate. It’s always best to wash your wraps after every workout, preferably before they get a chance to dry and start to stink.
If you’re unable to wash your wraps, then it’s best to remove them from your bag to let them air out before the stink settles in.
How Do You Keep Hand Wraps From Wrinkling?
Trying to wrap your hands with wrinkled hand wraps is annoying.
To keep your hand wraps from wrinkling, start by hanging them up straight and without knots while they’re still wet. Once your wraps are dry, roll them up while ensuring you don’t flip the fabric over. This will keep your wraps wrinkle-free and also make it easier to wrap your hands the next time you train.
Hand wrap technology has improved a lot, and some of the good brands like Venum create hand wraps that are very easy to untangle and barely wrinkle at all.
How Do You Straighten And Store Hand Wraps?
Thinner hand wraps tend to stay wrinkled if you don’t store them correctly.
To straighten your hand wraps, wash them as you normally would and allow them to dry completely. After drying, roll them up tightly while keeping the fabric straight. Storing your hand wraps like this after every wash will train the material to stay flat, making them a lot easier and quicker to use when training.
This is what your hand wraps should look like when you store them after washing:
Wrinkling normally happens with the cheaper, less sturdy wraps.
Better quality wraps with thicker fabric can help to reduce wrinkling, making your life a little easier.
How To Roll Up Hand Wraps
Rolling up your hand wraps correctly will help to avoid wrinkling.
The basic method for rolling up hand wraps is to:
- Ensure that you start rolling from the end that DOES NOT have the thumb loop
- Hold the end flat between your index and middle fingers
- Roll the hand wrap around your fingers while avoiding crossing over the material
- Keep going until you’ve made a neat roll with the thumb loop on the outside
Here’s a great way to roll up your hand wraps faster, and also creates a nice way of keeping your wraps from unrolling in your kit bag:
Easy Way To Roll Up Hand Wraps
An easy way to roll up your hand wraps is to use a hand wrap roller. It allows you to roll up your hand wrap like a reel on a fishing pole. Keeping the material tight and rolling it with a roller using the lever makes the job far easier and quicker, and prevents your wraps from tangling and wrinkling while storing.
If you don’t have the time or energy to roll up your hand wraps, you can get one of these nifty hand wrap rollers over on Amazon.
Stop rolling your hand wraps like a caveman. Step up your game and get a portable hand wrap roller. It makes rolling up your wraps a breeze so you can do more important things.
How Many Times Can You Use Hand Wraps? How Long Do They Last?
Hand wraps will last you 6-12 months with regular training if you wash and dry them thoroughly after each workout, and store them correctly to avoid any bad smells settling in. If you alternate between 2-3 sets of wraps and avoid tearing or snagging them, you could double or even triple their lifespan.
As with anything, if you take care of your wraps they’ll last much longer.
Getting good quality hand wraps from the start is a great way to get longer use out of your equipment.
How Often Should You Replace Hand Wraps?
Fortunately, hand wraps aren’t too pricy, so replacing them shouldn’t break your bank.
You should replace your hand wraps if:
- You can’t remove bad smells from them in the wash
- Your wraps don’t provide enough support for your knuckles and wrists
- They’re tattered and can’t wrap around your hand securely
- Your wraps are mouldy from incorrect storage
There’s no set time for deciding when you should replace your hand wraps.
Rather, you should replace them when they no longer work for you.
What Are Good Boxing Hand Wraps?
Good hand wraps should protect your knuckles and wrists while punching at full force. This will allow you to train for longer, without the risk of breaking the delicate bones in your hands or spraining your unsupported wrists. Good wraps should last long, shouldn’t wrinkle, and should be easy to untangle.
READ MORE: [BUYERS GUIDE] Hand Wraps | All You Need To Know.
Photo credit: WBC