How to Wash Work Gloves

Some of us wonder why we need to wash work gloves – until they become so caked with dirt that they’re nearly unusable. Wash them correctly to keep their fit correct and help them last for many years to come.

Washing Suede Work Gloves

Depending on the type of dirt that you are working in, your gloves may need to be cleaned daily or once every couple of months. Keeping dirt on the gloves for an extended period of time will cause them to stiffen and become uncomfortable.

You Will Need:

  • 2 Buckets
  • Cold water
  • Salt
  • Mild Soap
  • Rinse water (water combined with a few drops of olive oil)
  • Clothespins – both the clip and old fashioned types

Cleaning Process:

  1. Begin by brushing off as much dirt as possible from the gloves, paying special attention to the fingertips which often collect the most grime.
  2. Fill you bucket with cold water and mix in salt and mild soap.
  3. Gently wash the gloves in the water, rubbing the dirt away with your fingers.
  4. Rinse the gloves in a second bucket filled with the rinse water.
  5. Remove as much water as possible by gently squeezing the gloves in a downward motion.
  6. To keep the fingers from losing their shape, place an old fashioned clothespin in each finger.
  7. Hang the gloves in an open area using clothespins and allow them to air-dry.
  8. Remove the clothespins from the fingers of the glove when the gloves are partially dry.
  9. Massage or knead the gloves to soften the suede and keep it from getting stiff.
  10. Continue to knead and massage the gloves every couple of hours until they are completely dry.

Additional Tips

  • Different gloves require different cleaning techniques. Check the care instructions on the inside tag of your gloves for any special cleaning requirements.
  • If your gloves are cotton, they can simply be tossed into the washer and dryer for cleaning.


  1. I tried this method on my leather work gloves and it worked like a dream. Except for one bad rust stain that didn’t completely come out, my gloves look like they’ve never been used before. I made two modifications, though. Instead of a mild soap, I used a dye/perfume free laundry detergent, which I guess is kinda the same thing. Also, I used tea tree oil instead of olive oil in the rinse water. Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and I thought it would be better to eliminate any germs that might still linger, especially on the inner linings of the gloves. If you’re a skeptic, I highly recommend that you give this method a try and be amazed!

  2. I have a memory foam mattress that I have had an accident on and so had my 4 year old daughter. Can you please help me how to clean this as basic as possible? x

    Check it out! We’ve answered your question! Yay!

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