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How to care for leather gloves so they can stand the test of time

Keep your hands looking good and feeling warm

man wearing driving gloves
Omar Al-Ghosson / Unslash

Leather goods are some of the most masculine products we, as men, can lean on to display our manly aura. Whether rocking a leather jacket like Indiana Jones, rugged leather boots like the outdoorsman, or carrying a leather duffle through the airport, leather portrays an image of elegance and sophistication. And nothing says elegance and sophistication like a pair of leather gloves.

Just like all luxury items, caring for leather, particularly your leather gloves, can be easy with regular maintenance and minimal wear and tear. But if your leather gloves happen to be the go-to pair that you wear as much as the weather allows, especially if you like going on road trips where your leather driving gloves always come in handy, then chances are they’re a little more loved on than you’d like. Lucky for you, we have some helpful tips to ensure your favorite pair can stand the test of time.

man wearing driving gloves and coat
Marvin Meyer / Unsplash

First, we waterproof

Leather, by nature, is skin. The elements can be an invisible enemy to the integrity of your leather, especially water. It’s imperative that you waterproof your gloves with a waterproofing oil or wax made specifically for leather goods.

Chances are you won’t be going for a swim with your gloves on, but in the event of an unlikely dip in any body of water, it’s important to remember to not apply any outside heat to your gloves. That means no laying them next to a radiator or fireplace or putting them in the dryer. Applying external heat to leather can cause cracking and discoloration.

Man in hat, gloves, and bag
Zura Modebadze / Pexels

Between cleaning care

Cleaning your leather gloves is one of the most important parts of owning them. Any leather you want to own will cause you to need to learn how to care for them. However, the more you clean them, the more you risk damaging them. So here are three things you can do to make your gloves last longer.

  • Let them air out: Just because it is cold enough to wear gloves doesn’t mean you won’t sweat in them sometimes. When you remove them, it is best to let them air out so the moisture doesn’t damage or mold the lining.
  • Give them a brush: Most of the dirt and grime that accumulates on your gloves can be removed without using a cleaner. Every time you remove your gloves, give them a soft brush to remove any loose dirt or debris, and the frequency of your cleanings will be much less frequent.
  • Store them appropriately: Finally, where you store your gloves will make a difference when you are not wearing them. Whether you are putting them away for the evening or the season, make sure it is a cool, dry place, and your gloves will last forever.
Man on a motorcycle with gloves and jacket
Jan Karan / Pexels

Clean your gloves

While cleaning your leather gloves may not be necessary all the time, implementing the utmost care is always necessary when the time comes. Applying the wrong chemicals or using the wrong tools can ruin the color and overall integrity of the leather.

Simply dilute your leather cleaning solution with lukewarm water and apply it with a spray bottle or lint-free cloth. If you are dealing with a noticeable stain, there’s no need to scrub or rub. Gentle wiping should do the trick. Clean hands are a must! Natural human oils can cause discoloration.

Be sure not to put your gloves in the washer or dryer or use a sponge to clean them. This can warp the leather and cause unwanted pilling.

Man in suit with gloves
Wes Cam / Pexels

Clean the lining

Cleaning the lining may not be needed too often, but it’s always a good idea to take care of your gloves from the inside out. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to clean the lining of your leather gloves. Whether they’re lined with silk or cashmere, it’s best to take your gloves to a specialist dry cleaner to take care of the lining. Because of the leather exterior, there is no easy way to tackle the lining.

Leather work gloves
Cotton Bro / Pexels

Try it out for yourself

Here are the best products to use when caring for your leather gloves:

Otter Wax Leather Waterproofer
Otter Box

Otter Wax Leather Waterproofer

Even though it is labeled as boot wax, this waterproofer is designed for all your leather goods, from jackets and boots to bags and belts. With all-natural ingredients forming a protective layer, this product does more than waterproof your leather; it also strengthens it, increasing the life of everything.

A 4-ounce bottle of Leather Honey Conditioner against a plain white background.
Leather Honey

Leather cleaner by Leather Honey

Searching for a powerful product to help clean all types of leather? Look no further. This leather cleaner by Leather Honey effectively and quickly removes dirt, oil, tough stains, and grime from everything from car seats to furniture. This oil is proven to restore all your leather goods, even faux or vinyl, old and new, of all colors, in a powerful, odorless, and chemical-free way.

Leather gloves will be one of the best friends your wardrobe has, but to avoid needing to replace them often, be sure to care for them and clean them whenever you need to.

Mark McKee
Mark is a full-time freelance writer and men's coach. He spent time as a style consultant and bespoke suit salesman before…
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