How To Wash Leather Cycling Gloves?

How To Wash Leather Cycling Gloves

A cycling glove is a basic gear that you must wear while cycling. Not only for safety, comfort, and protection from pollution and different weather conditions, cycling gloves are needed. But if you don’t wear clean and fresh cycling gloves, you won’t get the best feeling with your gloves on. Thus washing your cycling gloves is necessary. 

While washing cycling gloves is necessary, cleaning leather gloves is more challenging. Leather gloves require more care and caution as leather is sensitive. You have to maintain certain techniques while cleaning leather gloves. 

If you are interested in knowing how to wash leather cycling gloves, then this article is for you. You need to go through the instructions to get the best result of washing. So, let’s get started:

The Ultimate Guide To Wash Leather Cycling Gloves:

2 Ways To Wash Leather Cycling Gloves:

You may follow multiple ways of washing and cleaning leather cycling gloves. Each method can be used depending on how dirty your gloves are and after how long you are washing them. 

Basically, there are two ways of washing leather cycling gloves:

  1. You can wash them with your hands
  2. You can wash them in a washing machine

I will discuss some alternatives too in the latter part. But primarily, let me tell you how to wash your leather cycling gloves with hands and in a washing machine.

Let us start with the practical cleaning of leather cycling gloves:

7 Steps To Wash Leather Cycling Gloves With Hands:

Hand washing leather gloves is always the best idea. Leather is a sensitive material and should be cleaned with caution and care. Rough rubbing or scrubbing should be strictly avoided to maintain the good condition of the gloves. Therefore, washing the leather cycling gloves with your hands is the best way to wash them. 

Let us move to the steps:

Steps 1: Make A Solution:

Firstly, you have to make a foam by mixing leather cleaner and water. Put 1 oz of any high-quality leather cleaner and mix it with water in a bucket. Mix them well to make a soft foam. 

Leather cleaner is the best agent as they are soft on the leather and would gently clean the gloves without leaving any scar or rough surface. So, use a leather cleaner and water to make a solution first. 

Step 2: Wash The Gloves:

Now put on your gloves. For hand washing, you have to wear them for easy cleaning. For deep washing, you have to fully dip the gloves into the solution. Immerse them well and then slowly and gently rub the dirty areas with your hands. Rub gently on the calf, knuckle, and edges to take out the dirt from the deep. Rub the other areas too. 

For a better and easier solution, try cleaning with a soft sponge. Don’t use a brush as it may leave scratches. Use the sponge to gently scrub over the leather gloves. 

Step 3: Rinse Off The Lather:

After proper cleaning and removing all the dirt, you have to rinse off the leather gloves under running plain water. Rinse off the leather gloves thoroughly so that all the dirt washes away and no foam remains in your gloves. 

Step 4: Drain The Water:

After rinsing off the foam from the leather gloves, you have to drain down the water. But don’t squeeze the gloves hard as it would distort the shape and may leave wrinkles on the gloves. 

Simply place your hand downwards so that the water can go down. You can gently squeeze the fingertips a bit to remove the extra water from the gloves. 

Step 5: Dry The Gloves:

For effectively drying out the leather cycling gloves, put them off your hands and lay or hang them under the sun. It is better not to put it directly under the sun but at a cool place where sunlight reaches partially. 

Don’t place them near a fireplace or never use a dryer to dry out the gloves. Direct heat would destroy the leather. Sunlight would be enough for drying. 

Step 6: Bring Back The Shape:

After washing, the leather would not be in shape. You have to stretch it again to bring back the condition. 

For doing this, you need to put on the gloves again. Do this when the leather glove is almost dry but not fully dry as it would make the task easier. After putting back the gloves, stretch the major areas so that it takes the shape of your hand. 

Afterward, wipe off the gloves with a soft cloth to soak up the remaining water. You may use a suede brush for an expected finish. 

Step 7: Apply A Conditioner:

You may consider applying a leather polishing agent or conditioner to restore the gloss and look of the leather. It also makes the gloves long-lasting and durable. 

For fine polish, you must use a leather conditioner. However, not all polishes are suitable for all leather types. Leather conditioners for glossy leather and suede leather are different. Therefore, choose carefully and know which finish you want on your gloves. 

5 Steps To Machine Wash Leather Cycling Gloves:

I would not recommend you to wash leather cycling gloves in a washing machine because it may significantly damage the crafting of the gloves and degrade the leather’s condition. However, if you have less time and no other option than machine wash, you have to be very cautious. 

Here are the 5 steps of how you should machine wash leather cycling gloves:

Step 1: Mix Leather Cleaner With Water:

Mix cold water and 1 oz of leather cleaner into your washing machine. Mix the two to create a soft foamy solution. 

Remember to use cold water only as warm water would damage the leather. Make the foam and then start with the process. 

Step 2: Immerse The Gloves In Laundry Bag:

Now is the turn to clean the gloves. You have to put the gloves in the lather you made. But you shouldn’t put the gloves directly into the machine. 

Put the gloves into a mesh bag and tie it up securely. It is necessary so that the leather doesn’t come in direct contact. Otherwise, it may distort and can be too harsh for it. 

So, put the gloves in a mesh bag and then start the machine. 

Step 3: Drain The Water:

After you wash the gloves in your washing machine, take out the gloves out of the mesh bag. Wash once again with plain water to rinse off the remaining soap. 

After that, let the extra water drain out of the gloves. Don’t squeeze the gloves harshly. You have to gently press the fingertip and calf areas to let the water drain out. 

Step 4: Dry The Gloves:

After a machine wash, you must not put the gloves under the sun. Let them dry in a cool place. 

Simply lay or hang the gloves inside the room or under a shade on your balcony. After the gloves dry partially, then you can put them under the sun for 15-30minutes. 

After drying out the gloves, wear the gloves and stretch the edges to bring back the shape of the gloves. Use a soft cloth to wipe off the extra water from the gloves. 

Step 5: Apply A Leather Conditioner:

This is a crucial step that you must not miss out on, especially after a machine wash. Leather Conditioner softens the leather gloves and brings back the gloss and shine. However, choose the leather conditioner carefully as different leathers would require different leather conditioners.

Related Questions:

Can You Use Shampoo To Wash Leather Cycling Gloves?

If you don’t have a leather cleaner or need to wash your leather cycling gloves immediately, you can use shampoo to clean and wash the gloves. 

I strongly suggest not to use soap or any detergent to clean leather gloves. You can use shampoo only as it is mild and can make a soft foamy solution. 

Mix shampoo and water in a bucket or sink to make a lather. Now dip the leather gloves and gently rub all over the gloves with your hands. You can also wear the gloves and then apply the lather on the gloves and scrub them. 

After thoroughly washing the gloves, you have to dry them well. Don’t squeeze them. Let the water drain out. Then put them under the sun. Afterward, you should apply a leather conditioner to improve the condition. 

4 Steps To Remove Mildew And Mould From Leather Cycling Gloves:

Mildew and mould would be a big issue if the leather gloves come into contact with water and pollution. Mould can easily settle on leather slowly eating up the leather and damaging the condition of the gloves. Mildew does the same thing to leather. And it is necessary to prevent it. 

For this, you have to take special care. If you ever see mildew or mould settled on your leather gloves, take an immediate action. 

Step 1: Wipe The Mould And Mildew:

Before removing the loose mould and mildew, make sure to take the leather gloves in an open area preferably at the balcony, garden, or parking. Don’t do this inside a room and moulds spread quickly. 

Now, take a wet rag to wipe off the surface. You may use a toothbrush to clean the stitch areas. After cleaning out the mould and mildew with a wet rag, wipe off the remaining with a dry rag. 

Remember to throw the rags and toothbrush immediately into a covered dustbin. Otherwise, they would spread here and there. Don’t reuse the rags as they are now contaminated. 

Step 2: Wash The Gloves:

Now you may see the leather gloves partially clean. The visible layers are now removed. But you need to clean them deeply for full protection. 

You need to use a leather cleaner to wash the gloves. Remember to use a mild one which has a water base and is pH neutral.

Gently wash the glove surface with a soft microfiber towel and the leather cleaner to remove all the dirt and germs fully. Besides, a quality leather cleaner prevents mildew and mould from settling on the gloves in near future. 

Step 3: Dry The Gloves:

For the final touch, you have to dry your leather gloves properly to remove any residue of spores. 

For the best result, you should dry the gloves under the sun. I recommend not placing the gloves directly under the sun but at a shady place where sunlight reaches partially.

UV rays will kill the remaining spores while sunlight will restore a new and fresh look to the gloves. 

Step 4: Condition The Gloves:

Never miss out on conditioning the leather gloves as it increases the longevity of the gloves and restores the shine. 

Use a mild leather conditioner. Pour some drops of leather conditioner on a sponge and gently rub it all over the leather. The leather conditioner would disappear quickly leaving a polished look. 

Besides the fine finish, a leather conditioner is also necessary to enrich the crafting and increase the life of the gloves. The leather conditioner keeps the leather in good condition and nourishes the fiber. 

And you are done with removing the mildew and mould from the leather gloves!

How To Remove Smell From Leather Cycling Gloves?

Smelly cycling gloves are caused due to germs, mildew, and moulds. Now the germs appear due to sweat, rain, pollution, and dust. When all of this mix, it gives off a foul smell. And it deteriorates the riding experience substantially. Therefore, you should take steps to remove the smell immediately. It is better to clean regularly to prevent odor. 

First, you have to wash the leather gloves as per the instructions above. Wash it with a leather cleaner, rub the surfaces to get rid of the dirt, and then dry the gloves properly. After that, you need to apply the leather conditioner. Even after all these, your leather gloves may stink due to the bacteria and sweat that have settled deeply. 

To get rid of the odor, you have to spread some cornstarch and baking soda throughout the inner part of the gloves. These agents would kill the bacteria and absorb the extra oil and grease easily eliminating the odor. 

For a better result, spray some leather-friendly disinfectant spray all over and inside the gloves so that no germs can leave. You would see the odor disappear after these steps. And your leather gloves would smell fresh again. 


Now that you have learned the best techniques of cleaning leather cycling gloves, you are all set to make your leather cycling gloves look polished and glossy again to give off a fresh smell. 

Don’t delay anymore. No more stinky gloves or uncomfortable rides. Wash your leather cycling gloves as per the instructions and prepare for your next ride.

You may also want to read:

How To Clean A Bicycle?
How To Clean Bicycle Shoes?
How To Clean Bicycle Helmet?
How To Make Cycling More Comfortable?
Cycling Tips For Long Rides: Enjoy A Comfortable Ride
Bicycle Helmet: Know Before You Go
How To Dress For Cycling?
How To Adjust Bicycle Helmet Straps?
How To Ride A Bicycle For The First Time?
How To Wear Bicycle Helmet?

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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