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How to Shrink Leather Gloves: Step by Step Guide by Expert

Fact checked by A. Thompson

how to shrink leather gloves

We often have at least a favorite pair of leather gloves or leather shoes, as they are multi-purpose wear to keep us warm or work safely. Leather is a widely-used material for many of our protective and fashionable pieces. Unfortunately, these leather items can become loose after a while of usage.

As our leather gloves start to stretch and accommodate our hands not as well as before, we should find out how to shrink leather gloves. So, instead of wasting a good leather pair, we can follow this helpful guide below to fix the problem.

Shrink Leather Gloves with Rubbing Alcohol and Warm Water


Among multiple ways to shrink leather gloves, this should be listed as the easiest one. Here’re what you need to prepare:

  • Rubbing alcohol: 1 cup
  • Lukewarm water: 1 cup
  • Spray bottle
  • Some soft and absorbent towels
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Leather conditioner

Step 1 – Mix the magic solution

The spray bottle is vital in this shrinking leather method as it makes the task much more convenient. So, make sure you prepare a medium-sized one.

Having the spray bottle in hand, just pour both water and the rubbing alcohol into it with the 1:1 ratio. Then, add some dishwashing liquid drops to the bottle, and shake it for a while.

Step 2 – Spray the mixture

After finishing mixing the solution, you can prepare the soft cloth on the floor or any flat and solid surface, then put your leather gloves on it. Now, spray the mixture of rubbing alcohol, water, and soap on the gloves. Make sure you get to both sides of the pair well until they are appropriately sprayed wet.

This mixture is meant to reduce the amount of leather’s vital oils and penetrate the fibers of the work gloves. You should put another absorbent cloth on top of the wet pair and get rid of excess water. That’s why we need a flat surface.

Step 3 – Drying process

The next step is drying leather gloves for them to fit snugly. You can wear them on for the shape to conform to your hand contour and size. Or else, you can rely on the two absorbent towels to dry the pair.

Step 4 – Use the leather conditioner

Lastly, do not forget to lubricate the completely dry pair with a leather conditioner suitable for your gloves. This step aims to maintain their form, reduce fiber friction, and protect the leather surface from stains.

Shrinking Leather Gloves with Boiling Water Hand Dryer


It is common knowledge that leather gloves shrink when wet. Thus, we can also apply this in reducing the pair with hot water. What we need are easy-to-find items:

  • A medium-sized pot that fits your leather gloves
  • Clean water
  • A hair dryer
  • Leather conditioner or mink oil

Step 1 – Boil the water

Pour water into the pot, filling it to make sure that you can dip the gloves fully later. Then, heat the pot until the water starts boiling. You can take the pot off the stove right away and wait for around 5 minutes for the hot water to cool down a bit.

Step 2 – Soak the leather gloves

Be careful not to hurt yourself while dipping the gloves into the hot water pot. Do not just do tips soaking but make sure the pair is fully submerged in hot water. After that, you can pull the gloves out and find a solid surface to spread them flat.

Step 3 – Air dry the gloves

This step involves using your hair dryer to thoroughly blow over the gloves. After the leather’s oil is tripped out, you can rely on the hottest setting of the hair dryer to dwindle glove size.

Do not expect even such excessive external heat from the hair dryer to reduce half the size of your brand new pair. But you can indeed shrink it just enough for a rather loose glove to fit properly to your hands.

Step 4 – Moisturize the gloves

After the glove is experiencing significant external heat from the hair dryer and hot water, we have to do something to restore elasticity for the pair. Now, you should use the prepared leather conditioner or mink oil to rub all over its surfaces to soften the fabric.

This last step is vital as the leather gloves soaking in hot water might feel stiff even if they fit snugly to our hands. So if you do not have a leather conditioner at home, make sure to purchase some to take care of the glove for a long time.

FAQs About How to Shrink Leather Gloves

Do leather gloves start shrinking after use?

Usually, leather gloves become loose over time due to frequent movements of our hands. As the leather gloves type tends to fit snugly to support our work or keep us warm, the fabric will inevitably be stretched in the process. So, after a while, we need to shrink its size a little to enjoy the excellent fit for prolonged periods.

Can leather gloves shrink in the dryer?

Yes, they can. But you should not put a dry glove into the dryer and expect the pair to shrink. Before that, wet both pieces with water, preferably lukewarm or hot. So, when you use the dryer for drying leather gloves, they can start shrinking.

Can leather gloves shrink much with excessive heat?

External heat, especially from hot water and dryer, can shrink the gloves, be it a brand new pair or an old one. But, we cannot dwindle it significantly, so worry not that your favorite pair will be too tight.

Also, if you have not achieved the desired glove size, you can repeat the shrinking process several times. Just be aware that such heat can lead to leather cracking, so be careful not to damage your gloves. Also, using mink oil or leather conditioner suitable for your gloves can make sure they are moisturized and softened enough.

Can I shrink leather clothing, shoes, and boots?

Yes, you can. For leather boots and clothes, you also just need hot water for the pieces to be fully submerged. Then, you can air dry them to your ideal size. It will be a bit tricker to shrink your shoes to fit properly due to the design, but it’s also doable.


Leather gloves are expensive items, do not rush to buy a brand new pair when your current one becomes a little loose. This gloves type can fit properly after some adjustments; we just have to know how to shrink leather gloves without cracking them.

Hopefully, our detailed and easy guide will make caring and shrinking your favorite pair of leather gloves a breeze. Give us some updates on your process; we would be happy to hear that you succeeded in fixing it!

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