How To Clean Cycling Gloves? [Cleaning Guide For Different Types]

How To Clean Cycling Gloves

Cycling gloves are crucial to wear so that you get the best handgrip and stay safe with the armors from impacts or accidents. Hand gloves keep fingers and knuckles protected, safeguard your hands from weather conditions like rain or sun, and improve your handgrip; also, provide a comfortable ride. But, will you get the best feeling when the gloves are stinky and filthy?

A stinky and dirty glove doesn’t only make you feel bad or uncomfortable, the longevity of the gloves reduces as well as the material would deteriorate with time. It means, it is not a good idea to keep your cycling gloves untidy. So, the only way out is to clean cycling gloves regularly. 

Now, what is the right way to clean cycling gloves? Don’t worry. This article is exactly about that. So, let’s get started:

The Ultimate Guide To Clean Different Types Cycling Gloves: 

Different Types of Cycling Gloves:

What is your cycling glove made of? Is it leather or fabric? Depending on the type of glove material, you have to decide the cleaning procedure. Here are the 4 different types of cycling gloves:

  • Cycling gloves are available in fingerless design. The half-coverage cycling gloves are common and suitable for summer and autumn rides. They have armors and adequate vents for safety and comfort. 
  • Other cycling gloves fully cover your hands and fingers. Full-coverage cycling gloves are the best for winter rides when you require protection from cold weather. 
  • Another noticeable difference is what the glove is made of. Most cycling gloves are made of polyester or lycra. Some are made of fabric material. They are comfortable for summer rides as they are breathable and lightweight. 
  • Another category of gloves are made of leather. Leather cycling gloves are the best for stylish rides and comfort during winter. Leather is very comfortable to wear and provides a good handgrip. 

Now, we can step into knowing how to clean different types of cycling gloves: 

List Of Items Required For Cleaning Cycling Gloves:

The things that you will need to clean cycling gloves are mostly found at home. Very general things are used for cleaning cycling gloves. 

Here are the items that you require to clean cycling gloves:

  • Antibacterial liquid soap
  • Mild detergent powder
  • Leather conditioner
  • White Vinegar 

Pretty much available items, isn’t it? Now let’s move into the practical cleaning of cycling gloves:

4 Steps To Clean Hand Wash Fabric Cycling Gloves:

You can either hand wash or machine wash your fabric cycling gloves. First, let us see how you can easily wash your cycling gloves with your hands:

Step 1: Fasten The Closures:

Before you wash the gloves, make sure to fasten all the closures. Your gloves are likely to have velcro tabs or any other fastener like buttons, hooks, etc. Fasten them well and then start with the cleaning process. 

Step 2: Soak In Soapy Water:

Either in a sink or a bucket, add cold water and mild antibacterial liquid soap. Let some bubbles come out of the mixture by mixing the water and soap well. Now immerse the gloves into the solution. Let it be immersed there for 15-30 minutes. 

If you feel that the gloves are releasing odor and smelling bad, you should use ⅛ cups of white vinegar for a fresh-smelling pair of gloves. 

Step 3: Scrub The Gloves:

Now, rub the glove gently but thoroughly. Look into the knuckle areas and inner to rub off all the dirt. Then rinse the gloves with cold water carefully so that all the extra soap gets washed away from the gloves. 

Step 4: Dry The Gloves:

The last step is to dry the gloves. Never ever use a dryer to dry the gloves as it would loosen up the fabric. Let the gloves dry naturally. Either keep them in a hanger or lay them at a place or hang them out in the sun for one or two hours. Drying in the sun is the best as it would soak up all the water.

5 Steps To Wash Leather Cycling Gloves:

The washing technique of leather cycling gloves is totally different from the washing procedure of fabric gloves. As leather gloves are much more sensitive, you should wash them carefully in a certain way. 

Here are the 5 steps that you have to follow to clean leather cycling gloves:

Step 1: Put On The Gloves And Rub:

The first thing you need to do is to put on the leather gloves on your hands. Washing leather gloves without wearing them is troublesome and less effective. Unlike fabric gloves, you can’t wash them in the machine or by soaking them up in soap water. The mechanism is different here. 

Wear the gloves first and fasten the closures. Wet the gloves and your hand with normal water. And then use a mild liquid soap or leather soap to rub the gloves with gentle hands. Rub the areas like the calf, knuckles, and edges that are the dirtiest bits. Rub your hands all over the gloves to take out the dirt. 

Step 2: Rinse Off And Squeeze Softly:

After you rub the gloves well and take out the dirt, now rinse off the gloves with plain water. Keep the water running and gently rub the gloves to let the soap wash off fully. Do this three times. 

Now don’t strain the gloves as it would damage the leather. Softly squeeze each part of the glove to drain the water out of the gloves. Make sure that all the water has been drained out. 

Step 3: Dry With Bath Towel:

The next step is to dry the leather gloves. But you can’t do that in sunlight or simply keep them under the fan. You have to do an extra step before that. 

You have to place the gloves between a bath towel so that it can soak up the water. Press the bath tower gently over the gloves so that it can absorb all the extra water from the gloves. 

Step 4: Wear Them To Stretch And Dry In A Cool Place:

As the extra water is soaked up, you have to wear the gloves again. It is necessary because, after a thorough wash, the leather may contract a bit. To bring back the shape and condition of the leather gloves, you have to wear them again and stretch and mold your fingers a bit to flex the leather. 

After that, you have to keep the gloves under the fan. Don’t press the gloves anymore. Don’t place them under sunlight. Dry them in a cool place. 

Step 5: Apply Leather Conditioner:

Now comes the finishing step of the process. As it is a leather glove, it needs some extra care. If you want to last the gloves for a long time, you have to use a pinch of leather conditioner and it all over the gloves to leave a polished and fine look. It also keeps the condition of the leather top-notch.

How To Clean Woolen Cycling Gloves?

People who live in winter countries must require woolen gloves. Half gloves or fabric gloves would not suffice in cold weather. So, you have to have woolen gloves. Now, how to wash woolen gloves?

Though in winter, you don’t need to wash the gloves frequently, you must wash them at least once a month. It is because it would absorb sweat, get exposed to pollution, and dirt. So, no matter how cold it is, you should wash your woolen gloves for at least a month. 

For washing woolen gloves, you have to use a mild detergent or washing liquid along with cold water. Softly wash your gloves with the water and then put the washing liquid to rub all over the gloves. Rub the dirtiest areas the most. 

After cleaning up the woolen gloves, you have to dry the gloves well so that it becomes all new again and ready for use. If possible, use some wool conditioner to keep the material soft and intact. 

How To Clean Nylon Cycling Gloves?

Nylon cycling gloves are more prone to catch dirt and pollution. They are more flexible with stretchable fabric and thus dirt and pollution are stuck in them the most. For this reason, a rough cleaning is required for nylon gloves. 

Nylon gloves are comfortable to wear in summer. But during summer, more sweat and pollution make the gloves dirty. This is why you need to wash them frequently. 

The easiest way to take off the dirt and odor from the gloves is to immerse the gloves in a mixture of warm water and liquid soap for 30minutes. This solution allows all the dirt to loosen from the gloves. Warm water helps the dirt to get off quickly from the gloves. 

Now, after 30 minutes, rub the gloves a little especially in the knuckle and calf areas where dirt sticks the most. Then gently wash the gloves with cold water. And let the gloves dry under the sun or fan, whichever you wish. 

If there is an extreme smell in your gloves, use white vinegar with the solution. But don’t keep the nylon in vinegar for too long as it would damage the fabric.

How To Clean Smelly Cycling Gloves?

It is natural for your gloves to become stinky and smelly. As you rub your hands against the handlebar during the ride, it releases sweat and makes the gloves smell bad. 

Wearing a stinky cycling glove is uncomfortable and unpleasant. Also, cleaning a smelly glove requires more effort than cleaning a normal one. If you have extremely smelly gloves, you have to follow certain steps to clean your gloves. 

Let me explain to you the steps:

  • You have to wash the gloves in the same way mentioned above. You either machine wash or hand wash the fabric gloves or wash leather gloves in a special manner. So, the first step is to wash the gloves. 
  • The next part is to fully dry the gloves after washing. 
  • If you are using leather gloves, you have to polish or condition the leather first. So, now they are ready for the next step. 
  • Take a pinch of baking soda and cornstarch. Mix them together and spread the mixture all over the inside of the gloves. As the inner part is the reason for the odor, you should sprinkle it inside. Keep the mixture there for 15-30 minutes and let it eliminate the smell and absorb the oil stuck inside. 
  • To let the smell and solution go away, spray some drops of hydrogen peroxide or mild alcohol so that the mixture comes out along with the smell. 

And yes, you are done. Your gloves are now free of the stink and smell caused by sweat and pollution. 

4 Steps To Machine Wash Cycling Gloves:

If you have fabric cycling gloves, you can wash them in your washing machine as well. It will be even easier for you to machine wash the gloves. Let us see how you can do it.

Step 1: Close The Closures:

Firstly, fasten all the closures in the gloves. It can be a velcro tab or a button or any other closures. Close them all before washing the gloves in the washing machine. 

Step 2: Machine Wash With Mild Detergent:

Now put your gloves into the washing machine. You can wash them along with other clothes too. Remember not to use bleach as it would damage the fabric. Use soft washing detergent or Matic liquid for washing the gloves.

In the softer part of the machine, add ¼ cup of white vinegar if your cycling gloves are stinky and smelly. It would give a fresh finish to your gloves. 

Step 3: Rinse With Cold Water:

After washing the gloves in the machine, you must wash them once again with cold water so that all the remaining soap goes away from the gloves

Step 4: Dry The Gloves:

And the last part is to dry the gloves well so that they become ready to wear again. But don’t dry them with a dryer. Lay them to let the gloves dry out naturally. The best way is to dry them up in the sun for a fresh finish. 

A Few Extra Tips For Cycling Gloves Cleaning:

You need to know some factors before you wash your gloves. These are important as you should not end up panicking or messing up. 

  • The first point is that after you wash and dry the gloves, they may feel stiff and hard. Don’t worry. It is normal to happen. You just need to fit them in your hands, stretch them over your hand, so that the fabric or leather can expand again. It would become flexible and comfortable after using it one to two times. 
  • Avoid washing leather gloves often. Leather is a sensitive material and should not come in contact with water frequently. After every ride, you should let the sweat dry out and clean the dirt off with a dry cloth to avoid frequent washes. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Cycling Gloves?

Depending on the weather condition and exposure to pollution, you have to decide how frequently you should clean your cycling gloves. 

If you are in a summer-based country where winter comes for three to four months and the remaining time of the year is summer, monsoon, or autumn, you should clean your cycling gloves once a week or at least twice a month. This is because in such weather conditions, sweat production and pollution, both are at peak levels. Thus to keep your gloves smell-free and clean, you have to clean them at least twice a month. 

However, if you are having a leather glove, wash it once in two months as leather is a sensitive material. Clean them with a dry cloth and leather polish every week. But wash them only once in two months.

If you are in a winter-based country, you can wash the gloves once a month or in two months depending on the exposure to dust. But as sweating is less, you don’t require frequent washing. You can easily use them for one or two months without washing. 


You have got a complete idea on how to properly clean cycling gloves. I have also mentioned how to clean gloves made of different materials so that you can get the best result. 

So are you ready to effectively clean your cycling gloves and have a fresh and relaxing ride again?

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Shamim Ahmed

My journey with cycling started in 2011 and I have been cycling since then. I am a self-taught bicycle enthusiast who has collected a lot of knowledge about it through the years. On this blog, I share my passion and experiences with cycling, as well as insights and recommendations. This blog is also useful for any riders out there who want to improve their cycling skills and techniques.

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