With frequent use, leather gloves will start accumulating dirt and grime from the various surfaces it comes into contact with. In addition, leather is a porous material that collects dirt and grime quickly from the skin and liquid.
When your leather gloves have a faded appearance, it may be time to give the gloves a proper cleaning. Proper cleaning refers to cleaning the gloves on the inside and outside.
Leather is a sturdy yet delicate material that will damage quickly if not cleaned properly with the right cleaning products.
Specialist leather cleaning solutions should be used to clean the exterior of leather gloves, such as saddle soap. Alternatively, an at-home remedy can be mixed to deal with stubborn stains on the surface of the gloves. The glove’s interior should be cleaned using a cleaning detergent designed explicitly for leather gloves or a water/vinegar mixture.
How do you take care of leather gloves
Cleaning leather gloves isn’t simply a matter of throwing the gloves in the washing machine and hoping for the best. Leather is a material that needs to be handled with extreme care.
As such, a range of unique cleaning solutions exists to clean the interior and exterior of leather gloves. In this step-by-step guide, we will look at professional cleaning solutions as well as remedies that you can mix from ingredients you probably already have in your home. Leather gloves must be cleaned with a specialized soap or cleaning agent that will not dry out or damage the gloves.
Cleaning the exterior of leather gloves
This section will look at proper cleaning and stain removal. It’s best to try and remove individual stains before washing your gloves to ensure that you remove all dirt and grime from the glove’s surface.
Here’s a simple-to-use at-home remedy that you can apply to stubborn stains on your leather gloves. This solution will quickly lift the stains and prepare the gloves for proper deep cleaning. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water.
Use a cotton swab or ball and dab the mixture onto the stains. Make sure that it’s not dripping wet. It should just be damp enough to coat the stain. Dab the mixture over all the visible stains. Use a soft cloth to clean the gloves and allow them to dry, but don’t sit them out in the sun to dry.
Washing leather gloves
Contrary to what the name implies, you won’t be soaking your gloves in a bath of water and chemicals.
Start by selecting a soap to wash your gloves with. Various soaps on the market are designed specifically for leather gloves. You want to be sure to use a soap that isn’t made with harsh chemicals. Leather gloves are made from cowhide. The hide has natural oils, and the harsh chemicals in some soaps may strip the leather of the oils and cause it to become hard and stiff.
The best soap to use is saddle soap.
The next step is to dampen a soft microfiber cloth and lather the saddle soap. Apply the lather to every part of the glove. Make sure to work the lather in between the fingers. Work the lather into the gloves in a circular motion until the entire surface of the glove is covered in the soap. Use a clean damp microfiber cloth to wipe away the soap.
On a side note: leather tends to shrink if it gets wet and is dried too quickly. Do not use an outside heat source like a hair dryer or direct sunlight to dry your gloves. In addition, while the gloves are drying, pull them on a couple of times. This will help stretch the gloves and ensure they maintain their shape while drying.
Condition your leather gloves
Conditioning leather gloves is necessary to help maintain the luster of the gloves and keep them in tip-top condition. In addition, it will prolong the life of your gloves. It’s best to opt for a conditioning treatment that is lanolin-based.
Using a clean, dry microfiber cloth, apply some leather conditioner to the gloves. It’s best only to apply small amounts of leather conditioner at a time. You don’t want to oversaturate the gloves. Work the conditioner into the gloves in a circular movement and continue the steps until the entire surface of each glove has been covered in the conditioning cream.
The conditioner will penetrate the glove and restore flexibility in the fibers of the leather. The conditioner serves several other purposes too. It helps to prevent the gloves from becoming brittle, makes the leather stronger and more durable, and conditions the leather. It replaces the oils that dry out. Some leather conditioners contain components that will help the leather repel water after cleaning it.
However, if you would like to make your leather gloves water-resistant, you will need to add a leather protectant to the gloves.
Cleaning the interior of leather gloves
You’re not entirely done yet. There’s another step. You need to clean the inside of the gloves as well. The inside of leather gloves is traditionally made from silk, cotton, wool, and in some cases, cashmere. These materials are exposed to your skin and may develop an odor over time. Therefore, cleaning the lining of the gloves is equally as important as cleaning the outside.
Prepare and clean the inside of the gloves
Start by turning the gloves inside out. Cleaning the inside can be tricky, but it’s far from impossible. Take the water and vinegar mixture you made for the stains on the surface of the gloves and put the mixture in a spray bottle. Spray the lining of the gloves with the mixture. Be sure not to soak the lining.
Allow the mixture to sit on the lining for approximately 20 minutes before patting the lining dry. Allow the gloves to dry naturally. Do not use an external heat source, which may damage the leather.
You can turn the gloves back around and store them when the gloves have completely dried.
Another home remedy you can use to remove odors from your gloves is baking soda. This remedy will only remove odors and isn’t as effective at cleaning the glove’s interior. Place the baking soda into the gloves, and put some into each finger. Allow the baking soda to work by resting the gloves in a cool, dry place for two hours.
Then, turn the gloves inside out and remove the baking soda. Gently remove any residual baking powder before turning the gloves again.
Things to consider
Before you apply your homemade cleaning solution to the gloves, you may want to test a patch that is not visible. This will help to determine if the water and vinegar mixture is too harsh for the specific type of leather.
Some stains are very stubborn and set very quickly. It also doesn’t help that leather is a porous material. The quicker you address a stain on your gloves, the better. This does not necessarily mean you must wash your gloves every time you remove a stain. You can opt only to remove the stain if washing isn’t required.
Always be mindful of the tools you use to help clean your leather gloves. A soft toothbrush or soft bristle brush may work. Never use abrasive materials or brushes to rub any cleaning agent into the surface of the gloves, as it may severely damage the leather.
When washing your gloves, always remember to reinforce the shape by putting the gloves on a few times.
Can leather gloves be hand washed?
The answer is yes!
Leather gloves can be hand washed using a mild soap, but they should not be submerged in water. The leather will stretch and loosen up if the glove is soaked in water for too long.
To clean them, you should first use a dry cloth to wipe off any dirt or debris that might have accumulated on the surface of the gloves. Then, put some liquid detergent on your hands and rub it into the gloves to get rid of any stains or spots. Finally, rinse off the soap with cold water and let it air dry before wearing it again.