How to Clean Leather Work Gloves? (2 Easy Methods)

Protecting your hands with the leather work gloves is vital. Whether you work in the construction industry or are an electrician, having one of these is essential. They feature strong leather that offers the best protection. However, you cannot just use these gloves continuously without cleaning them as this reduces their lifespan. Therefore, this article partly highlights how to clean leather work gloves.

Leather work gloves can withstand tough conditions such as punctures, chemical burns, extreme temperatures, cuts, harmful UV rays and abrasions, among others. And hence you need to keep them clean every time you finish using them. This enhances their durability and usability. But how do you clean them? It is not ideal to just hurl them in your washing machine as this may destroy them. There are other precise ways of cleaning them.

Types Of Leather

There exist different types of leather that make up your work gloves. Below are some of them.


This is the most popular type of leather because it is easily available and does not undergo any complications in terms of maintenance. Moreover, it delivers desirable comfort and is durable too.


Its texture is softer and has a flexible feel. When it gets wet, it does not harden, hence breathable. 


Because of its high resistance to abrasion and incomparable strength, it is the strongest of all available leather types. The fact that it is thin does not prevent it from resisting tear. Also, the oil on its skin makes it soft.


It is wonderfully comfortable and features extreme delicacy. Usually, it is lightweight.

Buffalo Leather

Its resistance to abrasion is quite superior because of its rugged nature. This improves its durability and strength. Additionally, it is breathable and its ability to resist puncture is on the high in comparison to the other leather types.


This type of leather rhymes perfectly with your hand because of its soft nature. It is also lightweight and has an exceptionally low tendency of overheating.

What to Consider when Choosing Leather Work Gloves

Besides, the type of leather, there are other numerous factors to put into consideration before purchasing your leather work gloves. Because this is a huge investment, you do not want to make a mistake that you will regret later.

Location of Leather

This simply means where you are cutting your leather from on the body of the animal.

  • Side-split leather- this comes from the side of the animal. It is exceptionally durable which makes it much more expensive because of the good quality.
  • Shoulder-split leather- it is durable and not as expensive as the split side one.
  • Belly-split leather- the upside of this type of leather is that it is extremely cheap. However, it will not serve you for a long time. Remember, cheap is expensive.

Leather Grade

There are two major grades of leather.

  • Grain leather- after splitting the hide into different layers, the outermost layer is top grain leather. Usually, it is expensive due to its attractive appearance. It is common in shoes, belts and anything fashion.
  • Split leather- once you get rid of the upper layer, there is one that remains which is the split leather. It is tougher than grain leather hence a higher abrasion resistance. Also, its repellence to water is greater than that of grain leather.

Design of Thumb

This describes the comfort you feel depending on how you will put on the glove.

  • Straight thumbs- this is very straight forward and fits activities that are not rigorous because they do not allow you room to move your thumb. Also, they are budget friendly.
  • Winged thumbs- they are more flexible because of their angle construction. Their pricing is moderate and are common in pull and push tasks.

Cuff Style

  • Slip-on- has no cuff as it does not go beyond the wrist hence economical.
  • Gauntlet- offers protection to the forearm
  • Safety- it is 2 inches long and can cover the wrist. You can easily get rid of it in case of any danger because of the slit on its side.

How to Clean Leather Work Gloves

There are several methods of cleaning leather work gloves, depending on your preference.

How to Clean Leather Work Gloves

Method 1: Cleaning with damp cloth

Using either a paper towel that is clean or cloth with microfiber material is the best option. The first step is to get it a little bit wet just to ensure that it is damp and not dripping water. Then apply a mild soap, specifically saddle soap so as to form lather. Rub smoothly on the dirty parts of your leather work gloves, concentrating mainly on the areas between the fingers. Repeat this process no without applying soap to get rid of the soap.

Method 2: Cleaning using running cold water

This is the most popular method as it is very direct. All you need is water, saddle soap, toothbrush and a bucket. You first begin by using an old toothbrush to do away with the dirt and grime on your leather gloves. This is a simple hack. Ensure to clean every part of your glove with much precision. Fill a bucket with water and add some saddle soap to it together with some salt for excellent results.

At this point, place your gloves inside the soap solution and start rubbing dirt off your gloves as gentle as you can using your hands. Let them soak for at least 10 minutes. Take another bucket and fill it with cold water and transfer your gloves to it. Carefully squeeze water off your gloves in a downward direction. To maintain its finger shapes, put in some matches. Hang them on a cloth line or lay them flat on a surface to allow them to dry. Remember to remove the matches.

If you feel that your gloves are stiff after they dry up, regularly put them on and this will get them back to their normal state.


Final Thoughts

Failing to clean your leather work gloves will deteriorate their lifespan and therefore will not serve you for a long time as you wish. Thus, it is important to learn how to clean leather work gloves because it will save you the hassle of buying new gloves each time. You can use either of the methods above so long as you achieve excellent results afterwards.

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