Simple Ways to Clean, Disinfect, Care and Store Leather Gloves

It is without a doubt that your leather gloves will get dirty after using them frequently.

This happens more so because leather is just animal skin that easily absorbs oils from your hands. That oil then makes them attract dust and other particles and over time your pair of gloves gets extremely dirty.

When your gloves get visible dirt and scuff marks, it is high time that you clean them thoroughly. You need to provide good care to them when you decide to wash them so that they can remain in proper condition.

Keep reading to learn how to take good care and preserve your leather gloves.

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How to Wash Leather Gloves?


The inside lining of your leather gloves is made of materials such as wool, silk, or cashmere.

Cleaning this inside lining is a little bit complicated and it requires you to do it in the correct procedure or simply hire a professional to clean them for you.

If you decide to wash them yourself, you can do it using the following steps:

Step 1: Expose the inside lining of your gloves by turning them inside out.

Step 2: Using a spray bottle, spray the inside lining with a solution of white vinegar and water without soaking the material.

Step 3: Allow that spray to stay for about 20 minutes then dry your gloves in a cool and ventilated space without exposing them to direct sunlight.

Step 4: Turn your gloves right side out and smoothen the leather exterior then apply it with a leather conditioner.

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When washing the exterior of your gloves, you should use mild soaps like saddle soap or Marseille soap. This is because if you use harsh chemicals your gloves will become stiff and uncomfortable since their natural oils are eliminated.

Also, leather gloves whose natural oils are removed will have a reduced lifespan.

Clean the outside of your leather gloves in the following steps:

Step 1:To remove stains from your gloves, coat them with a solution of white vinegar and water using a cotton ball. Allow the solution to stay for a few minutes then wipe it off using a soft microfiber cloth.

Step 2:Using a damp cloth apply the lather of your preferred soap on the gloves then wipe it off completely using a clean damp cloth.

Step 3:Place your gloves in a cool and ventilated place for them to dry and stretch a few times so that they can take their original shape. Do not dry them in direct sunlight to prevent them from stiffening and shrinking.

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Dos and Don’ts When Clean Leather Gloves

Cleaning your gloves is a good way to enhance their condition and prolong their lifespan. However, you don’t just wash your leather gloves in any way because there are do’s and don’ts that you have to observe when doing it.


  • Use saddle or Marseille soap or any other mild soap to clean your gloves. These soaps have good amounts of natural fats good for your leather gloves.
  • Dry clean your gloves. Dry cleaning your gloves help to maintain the leather oil.


  • Do not use harsh soaps and chemicals to clean your leather gloves. Harsh chemicals usually remove natural oils from leather hence your leather gloves become stiff and brittle. This significantly reduces the lifespan of your leather gloves.
  • Do not twist or wring your gloves after washing. This will help in preserving their shape.

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How to Remove Odors on Leather Gloves?

Your leather gloves might get stinky when used over time. The good news is that you can easily remove the bad odors from them using various techniques as explained below:

Step 1: Spray your gloves with a vinegar solution then wipe the excess using a clean cloth. The acidity of the vinegar solution not only removes the bad smells but also kills bacteria.

Step 2: Put baking soda on your gloves overnight then vacuum it up in the morning and the odor will be gone because baking soda is a natural odor eliminator.

Step 3: Apply leather conditioner on your gloves frequently which helps to strengthen them and keep off bacteria and bad odors.

Step 4: When your gloves are humid ensure that you dry them in an open place outdoors where there is fresh air. This way you will easily eliminate bad odors from your gloves.

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How to Care for Leather Gloves?

how to clean leather work gloves

– Stretching

Leather gloves tend to become stiff after some time. To prevent this from happening, it is essential to stretch them once in a while.

You can gently stretch them along the edge of a table and also, do not forget to stretch each finger.

A gentle and firm stretch to your leather gloves helps to keep them flexible and strong.

– Storage

Ensure that your leather gloves are dry before you can store them. Store them in a drawer or a wooden cabinet or any other cool and dry place free from dust.

The place where you store them should also be well ventilated and away from direct heat or sunlight. Also, when storing your leather gloves lay them flat to prevent wrinkling and discoloration.

– Cleaning and conditioning

When your leather gloves have visible dirt or odor, it is high time that you clean them.

After cleaning them, apply leather conditioners such as leather milk.

Leather conditioners help to keep your gloves healthy, strong, and protected from impurities like water or mud.

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What to Use with Leather Gloves Waterproofness?

Leather gloves are made from animal skin and hence they are naturally resistant to rain. This makes them fine under the rain as far as you do not dip them into the water intentionally.

However, there are a couple of products that you can use to enhance their resistance to water.

One famous of these products is Nikwax which you can apply to your pair of clean leather gloves.

The excess Nikwax is removed using a cloth and then the gloves are allowed to dry.

The only downside of using Nikwax and other products on your gloves is that their appearance is compromised especially if your gloves have light colors.

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What to Use to Disinfect Leather Gloves?

how to disinfect leather gloves

To disinfect your leather gloves you can use mild soaps and water.

Soaps such as saddle and Marseille are very effective in killing most bacteria and germs on your gloves.

The use of chemical sanitizers such as hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol is not that necessary since they may bleach and damage your gloves.

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How Can I Make My Leather Gloves Soft Again?

Sometimes your leather gloves get so stiff and consequently they feel uncomfortable when you wear them. Below are steps that you can use to soften your gloves:

Step 1: Put your gloves in boiling water for about 10 minutes or put them in hot water until the water becomes lukewarm.

Step 2: Wear the gloves for about 30 minutes or one hour to help stretch them.

Step 3: Then hang the gloves in a cool ventilated place until the dripping stops.

Step 4: Wear the gloves again while damp and continue stretching them

Step 5: After that, apply to rub alcohol to the leather using a cloth. Do this away from the fire because of the flammability of alcohol.

Step 6: When the gloves dry, wear them and apply a leather conditioner as you flex your hands to continue stretching. After that, they will be soft again.

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1. Does Water Ruin Leather Gloves?

The water spills and rainwater that come into contact with your gloves will not soak them up so fast because the gloves have a protective layer that gives you ample time to wipe the water away.

However, when the water gets into your leather gloves, the only damage that happens is that the leather becomes stiff and this is not a major issue of concern. That is because you can soften your gloves again using the procedure given above.

2. Can I Wash Leather Gloves in the Washing Machine?

It is not advisable to wash your leather gloves using a washing machine.

Hand washing is the best because you can handle them with care and they remain in proper condition.

A washing machine, on the other hand, will make your leather gloves change in texture, color and general look hence it is not worth it.

3. Do Leather Gloves Shrink When Wet?

When wet leather gloves are allowed to dry in places away from direct heat or sunlight, they do not shrink.

However, when they are exposed to even a little heat they can easily shrink. This happens because the direct sunlight or direct heat ‘cooks’ your leather gloves and consequently shrinks them.