How to Care for Leather Work Gloves?

How to Care for Leather Work GlovesTough hands are a sign of hard work! Indeed hands get tough with those constant touches of cement, bricklaying, stone breaking, and iron beating and so on.

But my question is why to make the hands tough when all the pain can be prevented by the work gloves?

Now talking about gloves, the very first choice that undoubtedly all of would make or have a fascination of is that of leather gloves. Leather is definitely the most expensive, most durable and the most comfortable of all other material gloves.

As every coin has the other side, so do the leather gloves, besides being the best, leather gloves also demand the best maintenance and care as does our skin.

So, I dedicated this article entire on giving you some really great and exciting tips and tricks on how to care for leather work gloves, condition them, make them last longer, and also how to remove spots from your leather work gloves!

A good wash with mild soap and water and then treating with a good leather conditioner is enough to keep your leather work gloves keep going great!

Yet there are several other tips and tricks that I am going to share, so…

Let’s get scrolling! 

Tips to Care for Leather Work Gloves

 Caring for your leather gloves does not only mean cleaning it at regular intervals, but also saving them from drying out, from inside rot damage, from chemical damage, and maintaining its shape. Let’s get started one by one:

1.) Caring for Drying out Leather Gloves:

Hearing this, the first question that pops in our mind is what does drying out mean? It simply means the leather lacking its natural oils that maintain the shine in the leather fibers and as a result, the leather will develop cracks in it. This can result from various activities like, letting the leather gloves in water for longer periods of time, not using conditioners after washing the leather gloves, and drying your leather gloves in the sun!

In any case, if your leather gloves are drying out, I have some awesome tips for you to care for it:

Actually conditioning is the vital factor behind stopping the drying out of leather gloves and right down in this article I am going to tell you in details all the conditioning tips for your leather.

2.) Caring for Rot Damage:

Now rot damage is just the opposite of drying out. In this case, excess moisture in the form of water or oil is trapped on the inside of the leather. Due to this excess moisture, the leather starts to rot from the inside ultimately damaging the entire leather. This results from a number of causes such as overexposure to moist, warm or dark environment, not drying the leather properly after washing, sweaty hands, etc. 

Thankfully I have some great advice for preventing this rot damage:

      • Use your hair dryer to dry out the leather after every wash
      • Once you return home, turn over the inner side of the leather and let it dry away all the sweat of the day
      • When you feel your hand is getting too sweaty while work, try pulling them off for a while and dry them

3.) Caring for Chemical Damage:

As the name suggests, chemical damage to leather occurs when the leather is exposed to harsh chemicals at the worksite, or while washing it with a product that is not apt for the leather fibers and also from direct and prolonged exposure to heat and sunlight.

I have some superb tips for this as well:

      • Always wash leather gloves in mild detergents and avoid harsh chemicals on leather
      • Do not expose your leather gloves to heat until they are tagged as flame resistant
      • Read the care label instructions carefully on the product before you apply any care treatment on it

How to Clean Leather Work Gloves?

Leather is the dead animal skin and if taken proper care of it, it might even outlast you (just kidding! I pray you live a thousand years! Amen!) And the very first step of taking care of the leather is cleaning it nicely of any dirt, grim or germs.

How to Clean Leather Work Gloves

      • Take a bowl of lukewarm water and add a mild liquid soap in it. 
      • Now take a soft bristled brush and brush off all the loose dirt from the leather gloves.
      • Take a soft lint free cloth and dip it in the bowl of soapy water.
      • Using the cloth now wipe off the leather fibers of any settled dirt.
      • Again take a fresh lint free cloth and wipe off the soap residue from the leather using just cold water.
      • Dry the leather gloves under the fan
      • Once semi-dry put your hands in them to give them the required firm shape (this is done in order to maintain the shape of the gloves and so that they do not get creases).
      • Pull out your hands and let the leather gloves dry completely.

How to Condition Leather Work Gloves?

Conditioning the leather means retaining the moisture (natural oils) in the leather which might get lost after the washing process. Conditioning returns the natural oils to the leather, prevents drying out, removes creases and helps the leather to stretch. Just the following simple tricks will do the magic:

There are several conditioning agents; you may select anyone of your choice: leather conditioners, mink oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil.

How to Condition Leather Work Gloves

      • After cleaning the leather gloves, choose the conditioning agent you want
      • Take a piece of clean lint-free soft cloth and put the conditioning agent on the cloth
      • Using your finger tips work in small patches of the leather in small circular motions. This will help to remove creases from the leather as well
      • Repeat the process over the entire leather gloves
      • Again take a clean cloth and polish the leather (this will bring back the shine to the leather and remove excess conditioning agents)

How to Make Work Gloves Last Longer?

Well, to make your work gloves last longer, you will need to follow all the above-mentioned steps regularly or at least once a week. But, I also have some additional tips to make your leather work gloves last longer:

      • Do not soak them in water during washing
      • Do not dry them in the direct sun
      • Do not place hem near a heating source directly
      • Do not use harsh detergents to wash your leather gloves
      • Do not forget to dry them once you come back home

How to Remove Stains from Leather Work Gloves?

Leather stains are of various types. They might result from falling ink or any dye or it might be from oily foods or anything grim you touch. I have solutions for every stain!

Ink stain:

      • In a cotton swab take few drops of rubbing alcohol and rub gently on the spot
      • Use a good leather conditioner to return the run off moisture by the alcohol

Oil stains:

      • Use vegetable oil for this purpose
      • Pour some vegetable oil on the stain and using your finger rub the stain in small circular motions. Let the oil soak on the stain for some minutes
      • Using a clean cloth, take off the oil as well the stain from the leather gloves
      • Take soapy water solution and a soft bristled brush to clean any remaining stain
      • With a damp cloth clean the soap-water from the gloves
      • Let it dry under the fan

Stains on a light colored leather gloves:

      • For this you will need a few drops of lemon juice and tartar cream
      • Apply the paste of lemon juice and the tartar cream on the stain. Let it set for a few minutes
      • Take a clean lint free cloth and rub off the paste from the leather
      • Then take a damp cloth and rub clean the spot
      • Do not forget to condition the leather

How to Remove Odor from the Leather Work Gloves?

There a quite a handful tricks you can give a shot to kill that odor from your leather work gloves:

      • Sprinkle some cornstarch on the inside out of the gloves and leave for overnight. Dust off and  shake off the cornstarch in the morning
      • You can add a few drops of essential oils to the soap-water while cleaning the leather gloves
      • Putting tea or coffee bags inside the gloves will also kill the odor

How to Clean the Inside of the Gloves?

If you want to wash the inside of the gloves (if made of fleece or wool), follow the steps:

      • Put your hands inside the gloves and turn over the inside of the gloves
      • Wear your gloves (turned inside out) and tie a rubber band on your wrists so that no water soaks in
      • Take a bowl of lukewarm water and wool washing liquid. Mix it well with a spoon
      • Dip your hands in the bowl and wash as if you are washing your hands
      • Place your hands under cold running water
      • Squeeze a bit while still wearing the gloves to squeeze out the water
      • Dry it under a fan or using your hair dryer

Should we use mink oil on leather gloves?

If only washing and drying your leather gloves is making the gloves to dry out, you better try caring for the leather now!

And nothing can be better than mink oil for your dried out leather!

Yes, you have heard it right!

Mink oil works wonders for your leather gloves by conditioning the leather fibres and restoring life to the lifeless, dull and dried out leather.

Even more, mink oil also helps to waterproof the leather and increase the longevity of the leather!

So, what are you waiting for?

Go grab some mink oil and condition your leather gloves with it and get back your soft, shiny and nourished leather gloves!

Check out the video on best gloves for construction work ↓

Top 10 Best Gloves for Construction Workers

It’s time to bid Adieu!

I hope the article was helpful to you and now you can take care of your leather work gloves easily at home!

Will be back soon with some more exciting tricks and tips for your work essentials!

Till then take care, work hard, stay safe and…

Have a great day ahead!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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