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How to Soften Leather Work Gloves?

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How to Soften Leather Work Gloves

We know that leather work gloves are the most popular safety gloves to use when we are on the job. However, there is a problem that they tend to become hard in time which may lead to cracking or breaking.

Hence, your work gloves might not last long. To remedy this problem, you have to soften your leather gloves to extend their life span and serve their purpose well.

In this article, we would like to share with you how to soften leather work gloves. The ways are easy, and the materials are found in your home or online stores.

6 Ways to Soften Leather Work Gloves


Keep in mind that the leather work gloves may become hard or crack because they dry. Because of this, you have to lubricate your leather work gloves.

The following ways use materials that may grease and smoothen your gloves. They are the following:

1. Applying a Leather Conditioner

A leather conditioner contains chemicals that can clean and preserve the leather. This conditioner absorbs fast by leather and nourishes its fibers. Also, it restores its natural flexibility.

The leather moisturizes and becomes soft and smooth. Besides, the conditioner strengthens the leather and enhances the quality of the gloves.

You may rub or spray the leather conditioner into the gloves. Let it leave and soak for a few minutes. Let the gloves dry before you wear them.

Also, do not choose conditioners that are greasy and mixtures that contain petroleum. It may wear out the leather.

2. Setting Natural Oils

Natural oils condition and moisturize the fibers of leather making them flexible, soft, and durable. They also prevent the leather from cracking, breaking apart, and drying.

Among the oils that can soften the leather work gloves include coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, and avocado oil. Before putting the oil in your gloves, you expose first the pair to the sun for ten minutes. This can open the pores of the leather material.

Choose any oil mentioned above and dip your finger. Gently apply it to your leather work gloves.

You can apply several layers of oil. Then, let your gloves dry overnight. You may use your gloves the next day.

You will notice that your leather work gloves become darker and softer. You may repeat the process if you are not satisfied with the outcome. Also, choose the oil with a smell that you like.

3. Using Rubbing Alcohol and Vaseline

Vaseline with rubbing alcohol can help soften the leather work gloves. Also, it prevents the gloves from cracking. First, dab a cotton ball in the rubbing alcohol and rub it onto your leather gloves. It will make your gloves loosen.

Mase sure that the leather absorbs enough alcohol. Once done, prepare the Vaseline. Apply an amount of Vaseline onto the leather gloves utilizing your fingers.

In just a single application of Vaseline, you will notice that your leather work gloves soften. Also, using these materials will not affect the leather’s quality and the color of your work gloves.

4. Rubbing a Shaving Cream

Shaving cream is known to soften leather work gloves. This is because this cream contains lanolin and glycerin.

Lanolin has conditioning properties that can serve as a moisturizer for dry materials and skin. Meanwhile, the glycerin can relieve and soften dryness too.

Spray the shaving cream on a soft clean, slightly damp cloth. Then, rub the cloth onto your leather work gloves following the grain of the leather.

Once the cream is absorbed by the leather, it will begin to soften. If needed, you may repeat the process until your leather gloves soften.

5. Lanolin

Lanolin is a waxy substance that comes from sheep wool. It has emollient properties and a greasy texture. Lanolin helps make the leather soft because it can moisturize this material.

Get a dry and soft cloth and put a small amount of lanolin. Then, apply this to your work gloves. Lanolin may have some residue because of its waxy composition.

Remove the residue with a clean cloth using linear strokes. Do not apply the lanolin in a circular motion as it may leave marks, and these stains are difficult to remove.

6. Water

Yes, water softens leather work gloves too. Spray an amount of water onto your leather work gloves. You may use tap water or better, if distilled water, which avoids any residue.

Leave it wet until the leather absorbs the liquid. Then, get a microfiber cloth and remove any excess water. Let it dry naturally.

Once dried, you may apply a leather conditioner that moisturizes and softens the leather work gloves.

How to Properly Care for Your Leather Work Gloves After Softening


Once you soften your leather work gloves, it is significant that you maintained them. It will ensure their durability and use.

Also, your work gloves will last for a long period. Here are some ways on how to take care of them to better serve their purpose:

  • Do not store your leather work gloves in sealed plastic bags. Put them in areas where there is good airflow.
  • Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight when you store them.
  • Use a damp cloth to remove stains or clean your leather work gloves.
  • If you are conditioning or polishing your gloves, do not choose conditioners that have dyes.
  • Examine the cleaners or conditioners that you’re going to use for your work gloves.


Leather work gloves are very useful in protecting your hands from injuries. And leather, I think, is the best material for working gloves.

However, you have to maintain them for long-lasting use. These include softening the leather gloves when they become dry and brittle. The above ways of how to soften leather work gloves are tested, and you may try any of them.

We hope that you find these suggestions helpful in maintaining your leather work gloves. If you have any idea about this topic, you may jot them down in the provided comment box. We are grateful for them.

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