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How to Clean Smelly Work Gloves? – The Most Effective Way

Fact checked by A. Thompson

how to clean smelly work gloves

Why do my gloves smell so bad? I am sure many of us have asked this question when bringing out the gloves just to find out about their horrible odor.

In fact, many reasons lead to such a disastrous situation. It can be because of the sweat build-up or the residue trapped in the molecules of your glove fabric. But, the important thing is how we deal with this when we need our gloves clean with a fresh smell for upcoming tasks or activities.

Fret not, read below and learn how to clean smelly work gloves. You might not have to throw the pair away if you wash it right.

How to Clean Smelly Gloves Due to Built-up Sweat?


Sweat smell is often the issue with our work gloves, especially workout gloves. If we go two or three days without washing them or drying them properly, the faint smell will appear and get worse by the day. Therefore, it is important to clean these gloves frequently, so they do not smell too bad.

But, if you forget to wash workout gloves for weeks, chances are they need potent odor removers such as baking soda. Here’s how you can refresh gloves:

Step 1: Wash the gloves with baking soda

Wash your hand first, then put the gloves on both hands for washing. Now, turn the warm water on to wet your gloves, then pour a small portion of baking soda onto your gloves.

Gently rub all the fingers and surfaces of your gloves with the baking soda, do not miss any corner. After washing the glove exterior, rinse both pieces under warm water.

Then, you should turn the glove inside out and repeat the same process. It is important to wash the interior and glove liner thoroughly because those are where your sweat has stuck the most.

Step 2: Wash the gloves with mild detergent

The next thing to do is wash your gloves like you usually do with some mild detergent.

Bring out a bucket, or you can just fill the sink with some warm water. Then, pour the detergent into it to make soapy water. Now, wash your glove exterior first by dipping both gloves inside the soapy water and massaging all parts, especially the fingers.

Then, flip your pair inside out and repeat the same process for 30 seconds to a minute.

Step 3: Dry the gloves and store them

You should make sure to rinse your gloves to remove all detergents or baking soda. Then, dry them on a clean cloth hanger in a ventilated space. Please avoid using the hairdryer or any excessive heat source for drying your gloves.

Then, after your pair is dry, which can take a day, store them in a clean space.

Important notes:

  • Do not use bleach to wash your gloves.
  • Refrain from using alcohol to kill bacteria since alcohol over 70% can dry your gloves and stiffen them.
  • If you use antibacterial workout gloves, you do not have to wash them as often. However, make sure to check their condition and disinfect them when required.

How to Wash Smelly Leather Gloves?


To clean gloves made of leather and get rid of the unpleasant odor, we need to be careful not to damage the material. Here are the right steps to follow, and this applies well to leather workout gloves.

Step 1: Remove dirt from the gloves

We always need to briefly clean the glove exterior before dealing with the smell. But, instead of rinsing it underwater, you can use either

  • A soft piece of cloth dampened with warm water
  • Or a brush with soft and small brittles

Either tool works fine in gently brushing away the dirt, soils, and other things on your work glove’s surfaces. Make sure you do not use too much force.

Step 2: Use vinegar to clean the gloves

For this step, you need to make the cleaning agent first. So, bring out a clean bowl and pour a bit of distilled vinegar and warm water with a ratio of 1:1. You can put this whole mixture inside a spray bottle and shake it slightly.

Now, if your cleaner is in a bowl, dip the wipes or soft cloth into it. If you use the spray bottle, spray the mixture on the gloves, then use the soft cloth to rub gently. You should do so for both the inside and outside of the gloves, and thoroughly wipe every spot of the pieces.

Step 3: Absorb the glove odor with inkless newsprint.

You should turn the gloves inside out, then cover all surfaces with inkless newsprint. Such a method will absorb the foul smell of your gloves. Do so with the gloves’ external sides exposed, too.

If the smell is still not entirely removed after this, consider using a commercial odor remover compatible with your leather gloves.

Step 4: Dry and condition the gloves

Now, the last thing to do is leave the gloves to dry at room temperature. You can place the pair somewhere open yet not too hot.

After the glove has dried inside out, make sure to treat it with a leather conditioner or scented oil. That way, we can offer our gloves a good smell and avoid brittleness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do when your hands smell after wearing gloves?

If your hands sweat uncontrollably, you can get rid of smelly hands from gloves by rubbing salt to remove the odor. Also, make use of a mixture of vinegar and baking soda for sweat absorption. We also recommend you try rubbing your hands with powdered coffee, coffee beans, toothpaste, or lemons.

How to remove the latex smell from work gloves?

If your gloves stink of latex smell, you can use baking soda, a sweet-smelling lotion, or scented soap to wash the pair.


Stinky fabric with built-up sweat makes your hands smell after wearing gloves. It also makes working inconvenient; that’s why we need to know how to clean smelly work gloves. Hopefully, this simple guide can help you solve these issues soon.

If you want to contribute any awesome way to get rid of the bad odor, feel free to share with us in the comment section below. Thank you!

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