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How to Clean Leather Work Gloves?

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How to Clean Leather Work Gloves

There are numerous ways on how to clean leather work gloves depending on the level of cleanliness that your gloves need. For deep clean results, you can wash your leather work gloves using water, mild liquid detergent, and salt.

However, if you’re aiming for regular cleaning or maintenance, you can use vinegar, water, and mild liquid detergent.

In cleaning the exterior section, use a cotton ball dipped in vinegar to remove stubborn stains and a damp cloth with mild liquid detergent in cleaning the entirety of the glove’s exterior. You may use an old toothbrush to get rid of hard-to-reach dirt build-up.

Furthermore, to tackle the interior section, the best way to clean it is to use a mixture of water and vinegar and spray it into the material. The mixture will effectively disinfect and deodorize the material leaving it sterile and safe to use on your next job.

Clean Your Leather Work Gloves in 6 Steps


Brush off hard-settled dirt using an old toothbrush

Wiping off dirt removes the loose dirt and dust from your leather work gloves, however, hardened dirt is not that easy to eliminate.

One of the best cleaning hacks you can use is brushing hard-to-remove dirt using an old toothbrush. Make sure to cover every corner and creases especially the fingertips areas where dirt most likely accumulates in this area.

You may also do this when washing your leather work gloves. The detergent does its magic in loosening the dirt build-up. You may use your old toothbrush to brush off tiny specks of dirt that managed to settle in the nooks. It also gives your gloves the deep clean it needs after maximally utilized on a hard day at work.

Prepare a Soapy Solution

The next step is to prepare a bucket of cold water, add one-half cup of mild liquid detergent and a tablespoon of salt. Then gradually mix the soapy solution to ensure that the salt is fully dissolved. Salt is a popular cleaning agent and when combined with liquid detergent, it will give your gloves a gentle yet thorough clean.

Put the leather work gloves into the soapy solution

Next, put the gloves into the soapy solution and let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes to allow the solution to penetrate into hard-to-reach areas and loosen stubborn dirt. Gently rub the gloves after to help remove the filth and grime. Rub every section of the gloves to ensure that every angle is well-cleaned.

For stubborn dirt, you can use an old toothbrush to remove filth and grime from creases and contours. Gently brush the dirt off and make sure to include the spaces in between fingers as most dirt tends to settle in that section.

Prepare another bucket of cold water

Prepare another bucket of cold water. Once you finish rubbing the gloves and have removed stains and filth from them, remove them from the soapy solution and place them into the bucket of cold water. Rinse off the soapy solution from the gloves in a gentle rubbing motion.

Rinse and remove traces of soapy solution

Remove traces of soapy solution by squeezing the gloves gently. Do it in a downward motion to ward off excess water. You can use a microfiber towel to remove excess water.

Fold the towel in half, lay it flat on the table, place the gloves on top of the towel, and then cover it with the other half of the towel. Gently press it down to allow the towel to absorb excess moisture.

When using a clothespin, make sure to use the inner fingertip section to maintain the original contour and shape of the gloves.

Hang it in and let it dry

Lastly, let your gloves air dry naturally. You can hang it outside on your clothesline, leave it until fully dried.

How to Clean Leather Work Gloves: The Exterior Section


Leather is a durable material and it naturally repels water and can withstand harsh conditions. However, it is sensitive to harsh chemicals and these can damage the integrity and natural shape of the gloves. Harsh chemicals can also eliminate the natural oils on the leather material leading to early breakdown, chip-off, and damage.

When cleaning leather work gloves, use mild or saddle soap instead of strong cleaners. This helps give the gloves a deep clean without the harsh and damaging effects. Want to know how to effectively clean your leather gloves exterior? Read on to find out!

  1. Start off your cleaning session by removing visible stains with vinegar and water. Mix a 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar, dip a cotton ball into the solution, and gently rub the stains off. Once all obvious stains are removed, let the gloves dry before going into the next stage.
  2. To clean the whole exterior section, use a damp cloth with mild liquid detergent and gently wipe the leather. This will remove dust, dirt build-up, and grimes from your work gloves. Make sure to cover all parts including the contours in between fingers and the fingertips area as well as where dirt usually settles and accumulates. Once done, wipe off the soap using a microfiber cloth. In case a microfiber cloth is unavailable, you may use a soft, clean, and dry cloth as a substitute.
  1. Let your leather work gloves dry naturally. Do not expose it to direct sunlight as it can damage the leather’s integrity. Every once in a while, put your hands into the gloves to preserve their shape and prevent them from shrinking.

How to Clean Leather Work Gloves: The Interior Section

As much as possible, do not submerge your gloves into water. So as a better cleaning alternative, follow our gloves cleaning guide for effective results.

  1. Turn your leather work gloves inside out to expose the interior section. Remember, the most common dirt that accumulates in the interior section is dust, dead skin cells, dried sweat, and oils from the skin. Bacteria and fungus may also grow in the inside section of your gloves thus a deep clean is necessary to avoid infestation and infection. Just like its exterior, the interior also needs a deep clean to prolong its usability, preserve its durability, and maintain cleanliness.
  1. Create your cleansing mixture by combining a 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar. Put it in a spray bottle and spray the mixture into the interior material. Make sure not to control the amount of mixture you spray into the material and avoid soaking it wet. For best results, use white distilled vinegar. Although any vinegar would work, it may contain a coloring agent which can cause a permanent stain on your leather gloves. In case vinegar is unavailable, you can use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol as a substitute.
  1. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the mixture to penetrate into the whole sections of the interior material. Vinegar works wonders in cleaning your gloves and it has natural components that effectively eliminate hard-to-remove stains, disinfects, and deodorizes making it a perfect natural cleaner for your leather work gloves.
  2. After leaving it for 20 minutes, pat it dry. You may also use a microfiber towel to absorb excess moisture. Blot the excess water by gently pressing the towel on top of the gloves. Do not wring it to dry to avoid deforming its natural shape.
  3. Let it air dry naturally. Do not expose it to direct sunlight or use extreme temperature to dry off excess moisture as it may damage its integrity and lead to shrinkage.
  4. Once it’s fully dry, turn it back to its original form and put your hand inside the gloves to retain its original shape.
  5. To correct creases, you may use a dedicated leather conditioner to soften the leather and retain its natural elasticity.


There are numerous effective ways on how to clean leather work gloves. You don’t have to buy expensive cleaners to help you do the job. You can use natural materials found in your household as cleaning agents. They do wonders in giving your gloves the deep clean it deserves without risking its integrity, texture, and shape.

Just bear in mind not to use harsh chemicals because leather, despite being highly durable, are sensitive to chemicals and this may lead to early breakage.

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