What to Do with New Goalkeeper Gloves

Your eagerly awaited delivery has finally arrived.

Those fancy goalkeeper gloves that you ordered online have landed right at your doorstep and you’re itching to put them on and start making some awesome saves.

But hold on a minute.

Goalkeeper gloves are quite a bit more sophisticated than that.

They’re not like a pack of sweets where all you have to do is pick one up from the store, make payment and then swallow them whole.

In fact, far from it!

You see, these soccer hand gear products have a lot of moving parts.

I covered that extensively in my article on what goalkeeper gloves are made of, so take a look at that piece as well when you’ve got a bit of time to spare.

You can’t just wear the gloves right off the bat and expect to receive all the manufacturer’s advertised performance benefits in a heartbeat!

So, what you need to do with new goalkeeper gloves before first use is give them a pre-wash in water that’s below 30℃ in temperature. Once they’ve air dried and you start to play, occasionally dampen them with water to ensure the best possible grip. After use, wash them again, and finally store them to dry in a cool environment.

If you stick to the courses of action that have been outlined above, you will be able to keep your new goalkeeper gloves well maintained for a very long time.

Want to find out why?

Then take the initiative and read on!


How do you prepare new goalkeeper gloves?

There’s something about a new product purchase that makes people want to take maximum possible care of it, especially when the novelty factor is still in play.

Goalkeeper gloves don’t escape this pampered treatment either.

[Related article – what to do with old goalkeeper gloves]

Lots of casual soccer players can attest to having previously tried to keep a new pair of gloves they bought in the best possible playing condition.

If you haven’t got the slightest idea of what to do with a new pair of goalie gloves, then read through the bolded summary above once more, before coming right back to this point in the article.

Now, here’s the expanded version…


1. Pre-wash

Don’t be one of those people who executes the following sequence:

  • Rips open the delivery package; 
  • Grabs the item(s) and wears it (them);
  • Tosses the cardboard box away

Rip, grab and toss will only get you so far when it comes to product longevity.

With a new pair of goalkeeper gloves, your very first step should be to wash them.

The reason for giving them a wash is to strip away any preservatives – left over as a result of the manufacturing process – from the latex.

Once that is done, the latex will be “activated”,  meaning that it will be equipped to provide you with the best possible gripping and handling capacity that it can offer.

You’ll want to ensure that warm water that’s not above a temperature of 30℃ is used for this pre-wash procedure, because using water with levels of heat that exceed this limit can damage the structural integrity of the latex palms.

Check out the informative video below, as it walks you step-by-step through the entire pre wash process from start to finish:

You can also have a look at another shorter clip which shows you how to accomplish them same pre-wash result:


2. Drying

When it comes to letting your new pair of goalkeeper gloves dry, you have the option of air-drying by hanging them on a laundry line with a couple of peg clips.

Or alternatively, you could carefully wrap them in a towel as that helps to soak up the excess moisture.

what to do with new goalkeeper gloves - dry them by wrapping in a towel

Once that’s done, leave them to completely dry out naturally for a couple of hours.

Additionally, one particular thing that you need to be aware of is the fact that drying new goalkeeper gloves in certain ways can damage them.

This includes using:

  • Radiators
  • Tumble dryers
  • Irons
  • Airing cupboards

Another one of these dangerous ways is through the use of a hairdryer or another electrical appliance that uses direct heat to dry.

Together with sunlight, these methods damage the latex palms of gloves because the material loses its natural moisture and becomes too parched as a result of the heating process. 

Consequently, you’ll end up with brittle palms because the latex has had most of the inherent moisture that’s used to activate the glove grip stripped away.


What other things can be done with new goalkeeper gloves?


With the pre-wash and air dry stages complete, the next thing you need to do with new goalkeeper gloves is dampen the palms when in use.


Dampen palms with water

Once you begin to play, it’s a good idea for a goalkeeper to wet the palms of their new gloves with clean water.

The reason for needing to dampen them is because latex – one of the materials used in the outer design of goalkeeper gloves – is not meant to stay dry.

It has to be re-activated and made to come alive through wetting it with water.

So, you can use a soccer water bottle for this task, as they are capable of squirting out streams of liquid when their outer material body is squeezed.

what to do with new goalkeeper gloves - dampen the palms with water

You’ll also now understand why some goalkeepers spit on their gloves during matches, as they are able to achieve a similar latex activation effect using their saliva as the chemical catalyst.


Wash right after use

After games and training sessions, you’ll want to make sure that you wash your new goalkeeper gloves immediately after you’ve taken them off of your hands.

You definitely don’t want your gloves to smell, as unpleasant odors can arise from sweat and dirt accumulation during intense soccer activity.

Simultaneously, you’ll want your goalkeeper gloves looking fresh when you’re set to wear them next time there’s a game.

So, you can follow the same set of washing instructions that were outlined in the pre-wash section, and refer to the videos embedded if you need any further clarification on this step.


Store in a cool place 

Once the post-wash has been done, you’ll finally want to keep your new gloves stored away in a cool environment that’s out of direct sunlight.

A great way to do this is to dry them overnight.

This is because even if you intend to keep them in a place where the sun’s rays are able to seep through, they can’t do so because they’d be drying away after the sun has already set!

On a slightly separate note, it’s advisable not to keep your new goalkeeper gloves in a humid area, as such places facilitate the growth of mold and bacteria, which can really do damage to your new gloves.

Finally, when you store your new gloves away, make sure the palms of each glove don’t touch each other when left to dry.

If this happens, you’ll likely come back to glove palms that have stuck themselves together and dried out, meaning you may have to peel them apart.

This action in itself can tear the latex and render the gloves useless for grip, so just be aware of their ability to stick to each other before storing them away.


Closing thoughts

Ultimately, there are so many things to do with new goalkeeper gloves.

As a reminder…

New goalkeeper gloves should be pre-washed and air-dried before being worn for the first time. When in use, you can dampen the palms with water every now and then to keep the latex activated. After use, wash them in water under 30℃ before finally storing them in a cool place that’s away from direct sunlight.

If you follow that outline then you’ll be on your way to owning goalkeeper gloves that last in good condition for a long period of time.

But it must be said that you can’t achieve great goalkeeper glove longevity without a great pair in the first place!
So, check out our article on the finest goalkeeper gloves and see if you can pick up something that works well for your own set of needs.


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Samuel Waihenya
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