Geri asked: How do I clean women’s leather gloves (dressy ones)? I wear the gloves daily in the winter time, and feel they are loaded with germs and stuff. How do I clean them?
Leather gloves are a unique clothing item in that they cannot be tossed in the wash, nor can they be taken to a dry cleaner. These items require special care, which luckily is not difficult. Select the method below based on what part of the gloves you need to clean and the reason they need to be cleaned.
The Vinegar Method (For the Inside and Out)
This method is best if you have recently been sick or want to more thoroughly sanitize the inside of the gloves. This method also works well to deodorize the gloves, and it can be used on both the inside and outside of the gloves. Vinegar can kill about 99% of bacteria and 80% of viruses.
You Will Need:
- White vinegar
- A spray bottle
- A clothing brush
- A towel
Steps to Clean the Gloves:
- Mix an equal amount of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- To clean the lining of the gloves, turn them inside out.
- Spray the gloves thoroughly, but do not soak the material.
- Let the spray sit on the gloves for 15-20 minutes, then pat them dry.
- Allow the fabric lining to air dry, then brush the lining with a clothing brush to remove any remaining residue from the cleaner as well as any dirt or dust. A dry towel can be used instead of a clothing brush if needed.
The Baking Soda Method (For The Inside)
This method is best for removing dirt and oil residue from inside the gloves that has been deposited by your hands. The powder will absorb the dirt and oils in the glove so that they can be removed, as well as kill bacteria and deodorize the fabric if needed.
You Will Need:
- Baking soda
- A vacuum
Steps to Clean the Gloves:
- Simply sprinkle some baking soda into each glove, making sure that some goes into each finger slot. You don’t need to completely fill the glove with baking soda, nor should you do that because it will be difficult to remove it all; just a tablespoon or two should suffice.
- Hold the top of the glove shut, then shake the glove to distribute the baking soda around on the inside. You want a light dust of powder to coat the entire inside of the glove.
- Leave the powder in the gloves for a few hours, then shake it out.
- Turn the gloves inside out and use the upholstery attachment on a vacuum to remove the remaining dust.
Cleaning Unlined Gloves
Unlined gloves are unique in that they can be washed. This should only be done by hand though. Do not put the gloves in the washing machine!
- To do so, put the gloves on, then wash your hands as usual while wearing the gloves.
- Use mild soap (not a sanitizing hand soap that contains alcohol or a grease-fighting dish liquid); a small bit of body wash will suffice, or Murphy Oil Soap can be used instead.
- Be sure to rinse the soap off well, then pat the gloves dry.
- Lay the gloves flat to dry on top of a towel, being sure to shape the fingers to lay naturally.
Always remove winter salt from leather promptly as it can cause damage.
- First, try wiping the salt off with a damp sponge or cloth.
- If the salt is stubborn, use a mix of equal parts white vinegar and water.
- When the salt is gone, pat the area dry.
- The outside of leather gloves can also be cleaned with a leather cleaner. To do so, follow the instructions on the label of your selected product.
- You may want to rub the outside of the gloves with a leather conditioner occasionally if they become stiff or start to dry out.
- Smooth gloves into their shape after removing them to prevent wrinkles or damage between uses.
- Vinegar by Vicki Lansky
- The Complete Household Handbook by Good Housekeeping
- Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic by Joey Green
I spray them all over with Lysol spray. 🙂
Lysol is very toxic if breathed in or if it gets on the skin. A mixture of 50% white vinegar and 50% water does exact the same thing, and is much safer. You can use this solution to clean the leather, as well. I soak my gloves for 5- 10 minutes (do NOT rinse – the vinegar smell will dissipate), rub them with a clean cloth, blow dry them or leave them in the sun.
Used your 50/50 white vinegar cold water mix on a pair of really nice Italian leather gloves that I dropped on the floor in a public restroom (ew). Pretty pleased with the results; slight decrease in sheen, and the leather was a little stiff after air drying (as would be expected). The water changed color slightly, probably from excess surface dye. As I started using them, the suppleness seems to be returning. If need be, a balm would probably restore it completely. I would do it again if need be, but not on a regular basis. Thanks for the advice.