How to clean leather work gloves?

Q: I’m a construction worker and I need to buy some PPE for my work, I’d like to know how to clean leather work gloves.

– Salom Jambeinge

A: We recommend cleaning leather gloves with oil-based saddle soap or liquid soap to remove external stains and restore moisture. Use as little water as possible and let the soap do all the work. For a deeper clean, we recommend using a leather conditioner and a shoe brush for optimal cleaning results.

Leather work gloves are durable and can protect your hands from various hazards. However, they can also get dirty quite easily. Here is a step-by-step guide to cleaning your leather work gloves:

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Mild liquid soap or saddle soap
  • A couple of clean, soft clothes
  • Lukewarm water
  • Leather conditioner

Cleaning Process:

  1. Brush off the Gloves: Before you start the cleaning process, brush off any dried mud, dirt, or debris from the gloves using a soft cloth.
  2. Prepare a Soap Solution: Mix a small amount of mild liquid soap or saddle soap in a bowl of lukewarm water until bubbles form.
  3. Clean the Gloves: Dip a soft cloth into the soapy water, wring out the excess water, and then gently wipe the surface of the gloves. Be careful not to soak the leather as this can cause it to dry out and crack.
  4. Rinse the Gloves: Wipe the gloves with a cloth dampened with clean water to remove soap residue. Again, be careful not to soak the gloves.
  5. Dry the Gloves: Pat the gloves dry with a clean towel and then allow them to air dry completely. Do not expose them to direct sunlight or heat sources, as this can cause the leather to shrink or harden.
  6. Condition the Gloves: Once the gloves are completely dry, apply a leather conditioner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help to restore the leather’s natural oils and keep it supple.

Please note that this method is for cleaning finished leather gloves. If your gloves are made of suede or another type of unfinished leather, they may need special cleaning methods. Always check the manufacturer’s care instructions before cleaning your gloves.

Have a question about personal safety equipment, work clothes, and the PPE industry? Anbu Safety writer Arlen Wang will find answers to the queries. to submit a question send an email to:

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