Leather glove cleaning and care – the ultimate guide

The different types of leather gloves, how to care for your gloves, and so much more.

For many, purchasing a pair of leather gloves leaves you not wanting to go back – with your main wish being to use and care for them as long as possible. For fans of vintage leather gloves, you’ll pay much more attention to the care, cleaning, maintenance, and even storage of the gloves.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about owning a pair of leather gloves, helping you keep yours for as long as possible!

What are the different types of leather gloves?

First, we’re going to discuss the different types of leather gloves – this is essential to know how to care, and look after your own pair. 

 Please note, that when we are talking about leather gloves, we are not talking about gloves made from suede, instead smooth leather, designed and tailored for both weather protection and style.

Below we will different popular types of leather gloves:

  • Deerskin
  • Sheepskin
  • Goatskin
  • Pigskin

As well as this, leather gloves also vary in their lining points. These include:

  • No lining
  • Wool lining
  • Cashmere lining
  • Fleece lining

Leather gloves damage and injury 

Now that you know the different types of leather gloves, and can hopefully recognize your own type, it’s time to discuss the different types of damage and injury which your leather gloves may sustain, and how best to avoid these.

Common damages and injury to leather gloves include:

  • Leather gloves drying out 
  • Growth of mold and rot 
  • Chemical damage 

Leather gloves drying out

Leather gloves will usually dry out when not cared for or alternatively left for long periods without being cared for whatsoever. When your gloves are not frequently cared for, this will cause them to suffer in durability as your gloves need room to breathe, and more importantly, need moisture. Therefore, your gloves are at a much higher risk of drying out if you do not provide them with regular airing and oil/nutrients to maintain their original health.

Once your gloves dry out, they may now feel rough and develop cracks on the surface. This is because leather gloves are constructed of thousands of individual fibers. If left uncared for, these fibers rub against each other, causing wear and tear – and more importantly, internally destroying your gloves.

To prevent this, you will need to regularly treat these individual fibers to allow the gloves to remain smooth, not to rub on each other, and of course, to maintain its original or best as possible, it’s health and durability.

Growth of mold and rot

Mould and Rot. What could be worse on a pair of gloves? If gloves are left in storage in a damp place, or alternatively fill with oil, water, or other nutrients, then this can cause overnutrition – commonly causing leather gloves to grow mold and even rot. 

As imagined, this is a disaster for leather glove collectors and lovers alike. Not only will this affect the overall gloves appearance, but unsurprisingly this will also affect the health of your leather gloves. 

Once developed mold and or rot, the original leather scent will instead start to give off an unpleasant odor. To prevent this, be sure to store your gloves in a dry location while regularly maintaining and wearing to avoid the build-up of water, oil, or other nutrients.

Chemical damage 

What may sound odd for a pair of gloves, chemical damage is actually widespread for those who own a pair of leather gloves. Likewise, it’s straightforward to do too accidentally. Chemical damage may occur for one of two reasons:

  • Leaving leather gloves exposed in the sun for long periods
  • If the wrong detergent is used with hot water when washing 

How to avoid damage and injury in the first place to your leather gloves ?

To take care of your gloves, and of course to prevent future damage or injury we’ve come up with a list of useful tips and guidelines to follow to keep your gloves accident free, fresh, smelling great, and of course, looking a million dollars.

  1. Instead of washing with hot water, wipe your gloves with a damp, warm cloth
  2. Do not expose your leather gloves to the sun for long periods 
  3. Avoid direct contact with heat e.g., hot surfaces and the sun
  4. Do not wash your gloves in the washing machine – this will damage your gloves
  5. Do not dry clean your gloves – this too, will damage your gloves
  6. Avoid immersing your leather gloves completely in water – also consider removing your gloves in the rain, this will prevent the build-up of mold or rot 
  7. Do not touch any corrosive chemicals while wearing leather gloves
  8. Do not use any detergent which is not leather glove specific or friendly
  9. Avoid drinking alcohol with gloves – this will reduce spillage onto the leather, while also prevent leather glove pollution 

How to clean and care for your leather gloves?

Now that we’ve discussed general tips and guidelines when caring for your gloves, it’s time to discuss how to nurse and clean your gloves – even back to health, if needed. Once again, we’ve provided a simple list of advice:

  1. For every 30 times, you wear your gloves, wash 1-2 times depending on the friendliness of the lining 
  2. When washing, use a mixture of baking soda and corn-starch and sprinkle this inside the gloves – this will absorb both oil and any nasty odors

To do this:

  • Prepare 200g of baking soda, 200g of corn-starch, utensils, towels, spoons, and a towel
  • Mix the baking soda and corn starch in a vessel

– Turn the glove lining over, while placing your leather gloves on top of a towel on a flat surface  

  • Spread mixture evenly on the lining using a spoon
  • Let it stand for an hour, turn it over, and repeat consistently on the other side 
  • Hoover any remaining dust and power up
  1. If your leather gloves are used more than 40 times, these should be disinfected to protect the leather and its overall health and durability 

To do this:

  • Prepare white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide solution, water, a 150ml spray bottle, a soft brush, and a towel
  • Mix equal amounts of white vinegar to the hydrogen peroxide solution, and water into the spray bottle

– Turn the glove lining over, while placing your leather gloves on top of a towel on a flat surface

– Spray the glove lining first, ensure to spray, however, avoid soaking the gloves thoroughly

– Turnover and spray the other side 

– Let it stand for 10-20 minutes, pat dry, and let the gloves dry naturally on each side 

– For any remaining residue, use a soft brush to remove this 

  1. For plain stains or a mild infection, wipe with warm water:

To do this:

  • Use a soft cloth, dip in warm water and carefully wipe the leather glove
  • When doing this, remember that genuine leather absorbs water and other liquids, so be wary of how much water you are using (you don’t want a mold situation… believe us)

– This is suitable for small stains such as loach, milk, and even blood 

– Before wiping, ensure there is nothing on your glove which may further damage them – for example, dirt, this will spread and engrain into the gloves

  • It is best to wipe these small stains as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the leather and the gloves itself 

For medium pollution of leather gloves (oil, acidic drinks, juice, or even red wine)

To do this:

– Prepare a warm solution with saddle soap

  • Using a cloth (not a sponge), gently wipe your leather gloves to work on and remove the existing stains 
  • Let the leather dry naturally then put the gloves on and remove several times to stretch and return to usual size 

For heavy pollution of leather gloves (think paint, mold, spills, and dirt as previously mentioned) use proper leather cleaner e.g., Straight cleaner no.2 

To do this: 

– Ensure the leather is completely dry, then apply a thin layer of cleaner on the surface of the leather

  • Wipe off any residual liquid with a dry cloth (ensuring not to smudge) while letting the leather dry naturally

How to nurse your gloves ?

To reduce regular maintenance while preventing stains on your brand new leather gloves, you should learn to nurse and protect your gloves in the first place. This can be done by using waterproof wax (as well as many other leather caring products) to increase your gloves life-span.

When using a waterproof wax, it is recommended to apply this wax to a small portion of the gloves first. This is because it may darken the glove.

To do this:

– Use natural materials such as coconut oil

  • Soak this coconut oil for between 12-24 hours beforehand
  • Take 1tsp of coconut oil and apply this to the palm of your hand
  • Massage the coconut oil into the leather heard, wearing it for 5-10 minutes at the same time 
  • To make the gloves soft, apply a neutral leather cream available at the majority of high street retailers such as Tesco, Boots, and John Lewis – let this dry naturally

How to stretch leather gloves?

If your gloves aren’t fitting properly or could do with a little more give, you may benefit from stretching them out a little. 

To do this, you can stretch them on the edge of a table, doing each finger individually. Ensure to do this gently to prevent any damage or even tears to the gloves. Stretching your leather gloves every so often will prevent them from becoming deformed, torn, keep them fitting, and of course looking their weight in gold.

You can also use a natural lubricant to stretch out your gloves. If you plan on wearing a pair of leather gloves frequently throughout the year, we recommend investing in two or three pairs to rotate these constantly. This will allow each pair time to breathe while preventing general wear and tear much faster.

How to store your leather gloves ?

Finally, to store your leather gloves, we advise keeping them in a cool, dry place away from direct heat and sunlight to prevent chemical damage to the gloves – as mentioned in this article.

Ensure to lay your gloves flat to prevent wrinkling or discoloration, while also avoiding getting your gloves wet. The best places to store your leather gloves are in dry cupboards, shelves, and cabinets. Avoid the build-up of dust, and always remain up to do with their maintenance depending on how frequent you wear them, and how long they’ve been sitting there for.

Finally, I suggest you take turns using several pairs of leather gloves to give it a rest.You can go to our Harssidanzar store and pick up the colors and styles you like.

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