Leather gloves provide the best protection whether you are working in construction, welding, gardening or even working on a DIY project with your kids. But in order to maintain the condition of your protective leather gloves, you want to make sure that they are properly cleaned after every use.
Leather gloves are extremely durable and can be quite expensive. You can’t just toss them with the laundry or use soap and water to remove the grime. In fact, using improper cleaning methods can actually ruin your leather gloves for good.
A lot of people make the mistake of not cleaning their leather gloves because they look so durable. They only think about cleaning them when they become so dirty to the extent that they become unusable. You can rub the gloves using a soft cloth after every use. But deep cleansing should be done every couple of months. Too much dirt will stiffen your leather gloves and damage their texture.
How to Clean Leather Work Gloves:
Leather work gloves can either be made of grain or split leather. Grain leather is more expensive than split leather because it is more durable and it will look good for long. It also provides more breathability which means that using your work gloves will be more convenient.
Split leather or suede is abrasion resistant. If you are working with sharp objects then this might be the perfect leather for your work gloves. It is also very flexible and comfortable to wear.
Whether you are using split or grain leather gloves, they have to be thoroughly cleaned every now and then. Otherwise, you will not be enjoying the benefits these durable gloves should provide.
Remove the Grime:
The first thing that you should do is to remove all the dirt particles, dust, grease, mud and whatever you have stuck on your gloves. This will make the cleaning process more efficient and easier. Use a brush that has soft bristles to scrub your leather gloves gently. Hard bristles can ruin your leather. Pay special attention to the fingers and the folds where the grime will collect. Remove as much dirt as you can before you proceed to the next step.
Use Saddle Soap:
Now that you have removed most of the dirt, it is time you move on to the next step. Good old water and soap can do the job. But using ordinary soap might not be the best option to clean your leather gloves. Soap tends to remove the natural oils that make the leather soft and comfortable. By the time your gloves will get stiff, the leather will get brittle and it will start to chip or break.
Saddle soap is specially made to clean leather and will be gentler. Fill a bucket with water and add an adequate amount of saddle soap. Soak the leather gloves and use the same brush to remove the stuck dirt. If you have some tough dirt spots, wait until the water does its thing and dissolves the stuck grime. Don’t leave your gloves in the water for too long.
Rinsing your gloves and removing all soap is extremely important as the soap can affect the color and quality of the leather. Fill a bucket with water and rinse your leather gloves thoroughly. Make sure that you have removed all traces of soap by rubbing the folds using your fingers. This will keep your gloves shiny and soft. You can add olive oil to the water. This will keep your gloves soft, flexible and comfortable to wear.
Dry your Gloves:
Don’t just leave your gloves dripping. Squeeze them properly until you have removed most of the moisture. Use a downward motion to make sure that the leather doesn’t wrinkle. You can insert some clothespins, matches or sticks to keep the shape of the fingers.
You can now leave your gloves to air dry by laying them flat or hanging them on a line. It is very important to remove the pins later on and to massage the leather regularly. This will ensure that your gloves are going to maintain their shape.
Dry cleaning is another great option if you want to clean your leather gloves properly. You don’t have to do this every time you use them but it is the best cleaning method to remove the stubborn dirt that won’t go away. Leather can get stained with oil or paint. Water and soap will not remove these kinds of stains. Professionals use special chemicals to remove such stains without affecting the quality of your gloves. Avoid using professional chemicals on your own as you might ruin the dye or the quality of the leather.
Maintaining your gloves and cleaning them every couple of months will make them last for long. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions if you are not sure about the best way to clean your leather gloves. This way you can rest assured that they will last for long. Our other important tips on how to get diesel fuel smell out of clothing?