working gloves

You probably bought those new, suede safety gloves with the intention that they would last for some time. But now they’re all stiff with dirt and grime, making them about as useful as a pair of woollen mittens.

You could go out and buy a new pair, which would make things easier, but buying a new pair of gloves every month gets expensive, especially if you’re buying gloves for a number of employees and not just your self.

Or, you could wash your gloves and return them to the supple, useful state they were in when you bought them.

The dangers of washing gloves

Leather, however, comes with some caveats, especially when it comes to washing. Traditional soap and water methods of washing will lower the life expectancy of your gloves, leading to drying and cracking that makes them unusable.

But, with the proper method, you can bring your gloves back to life.

Washing safety gloves the right way

You can decide how much cleaning they need – whether you stop after step one, or go down through each step for a deep clean is completely up to you.

Brush: For some gloves, a simple brushing will get out most of the dirt. You can use a toothbrush, but a suede brush is bigger, with stiffer bristles, and so will get your gloves cleaner, faster. If a simple brush won’t do, try adding toothpaste and scrubbing the gloves like you do your own teeth. If you’re happy with that, give them a quick rinse to get the toothpaste off and dry them out.

Soak: If you need more than a brush, the next step is a full soak. Fill a bucket up with cold water, and add a mild soap, like a Marseille soap, along with a tablespoon of salt. Drop your gloves in and give them a good rub down with your hands. Allow the gloves to soak for ten to fifteen minutes before taking them out and rinsing them.

*A note on drying: To keep the fingers in your gloves open, stuff a clothespin in each finger while they are drying.

Dry Clean: If you’re particularly attached to your gloves, and the above methods don’t work, try the dry cleaner. This will get your gloves clean without leading to drying and cracking that harsh soaps will cause.

Proper maintenance of safety gloves

With proper maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of your gloves, keeping you, and your workers, safe for less.

Check out our selection of leather safety gloves that will last through many cleanings.