When you’re ready to hit the open road, the last thing you want is for your dirty motorcycle gloves to cause problems. Crusty, smelly, or greasy gloves can ruin your experience, and washing them incorrectly can shorten their lifespans and be costly. You want to get the most out of your gloves and get back to riding- we’re here to help! We've done the research to provide you with the best way to wash your motorcycle gloves.
The best way to wash motorcycle gloves is by hand with lukewarm water and mild soap. Follow the following simple steps:
- Rinse the gloves with cool or lukewarm water, cleaning excess sweat and dirt off.
- Put cool or lukewarm water in a tub and add a mild liquid soap. Dip the gloves into the water/soap solution, using your fingers to clean the inside and outside of the gloves.
- Rinse the soap off with running water, and allow the gloves to air dry without using an external heat source.
If you want to know more about the washing process along with more hints for how to keep your gloves as good as new, you're in the right place. In this guide, we'll cover these topics and more, so be sure to keep reading!
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Are Motorcycle Gloves That Dirty?
Did you know that simply using your motorcycle gloves causes them to get dirty? You might not notice how much grease and grime your hands produce, but your gloves sure do. Even if you haven’t covered them in mud or blood, there is dirt that you can’t see.
The oils and salts produced by your skin can potentially dry out your gloves, especially the leather portion. This causes them to crack, shrink, and not fit correctly. Eventually, uncleaned gloves will begin to smell bad, too. Because your gloves are an investment, you should protect them and get the longest life out of them as possible.
If you're interested in learning more about the longevity of motorcycle gloves, check out our article How Long Do Motorcycle Gloves Last?
The Washing Steps
In this section, we'll go into more depth for each step in the washing process:
Rinse Off The Excess Dirt And Sweat
Before deep-cleaning your gloves, rinse all the excess dirt off them using a low-pressure stream of water for three seconds or less.
If your gloves are made out of leather or a leather substitute, use water in the range of cool to lukewarm. Water that is too warm can cause the leather to crack or shrink while drying. If there is visible dirt or grease on the gloves, you can use a toothbrush or another type of brush to scrape it off.
Clean And Rinse
Once the excess dirt is rinsed off the gloves, fill a plugged sink, large bowl, or bucket with water of a similar temperature. Add soap to the water, using your hand to stir the mixture and create suds.
Use mild soap without harsh coloring or scents. If the gloves are primarily leather, consider using an oil-based soap, like a saddle soap, which will help keep your leather healthy. Or, there are specialty soaps made for leather that you might consider.
Click here to see Fiebing's saddle soap on Amazon.
Place the gloves into the water, using your fingers to gently massage the material. Do this on the inside and outside of the gloves. Do not wring or twist the gloves, as this can cause them to lose their shape. Be gentle, making sure not to damage the leather or markings by being too rough.
Once you are satisfied that the gloves are clean, rinse them in running water of the same temperature.
Dry And Finish
Allow the gloves to air dry; do not use any exterior heat sources like a hairdryer or a space heater. Using these sources on leather will cause the gloves to dry too quickly, causing them to crack or shrink.
Massage the gloves every once in a while, being careful not to wring or twist them out of shape. When the gloves are almost completely dry, put your hands in them to form them back to the correct shape.
If you would like, consider using a leather conditioner product after the process is finished. This will extend the life of the leather, keeping it supple and soft.
Click here to see Leather Honey conditioner.
What Soap Can You Use On Leather Gloves?
The danger when using soap on leather gloves is that the harshness of chemicals, scents, or detergents will damage the leather. Highly scented or unnaturally colored soaps will reduce the color of the gloves and potentially harm the shape. Look for soaps without scents that are made naturally.
Saddle soaps, oil-based solutions, are a good option for expensive leather, as they are specifically designed to help the material retain its moisture. Leather does best when it doesn’t get too dry or too hot, which is the goal of saddle soap.
Never use bleach or fabric softener since these will permanently distort the leather.
Can You Put Leather Gloves In The Washing Machine?
It is not recommended to put leather gloves in the washing machine. Leather is a delicate material that should not be submerged in water for any longer than necessary. Following the instructions above will help maintain the life of your gloves while satisfactorily cleaning them.
How To Wash Alpinestars Gloves?
Alpinestars, one of the premier motorcycle glove makers on the market, can be washed just like other motorcycle gloves that contain leather.
Rinse the excess dirt and sweat off with cool to lukewarm water, clean them by hand with a water and mild soap mixture, and then allow them to air dry without external heat sources. Be gentle, using appropriate mild or oil-based soaps.
Never machine-wash Alpinestars gloves. Use a leather conditioning product once completely dry.
Click here to see these Alpinestars motorcycle gloves on Amazon.
Can You Wash Gloves With Touchscreen Fingertips?
Some motorcycle gloves have the useful touchscreen fingertip feature, allowing you to use your phone without having to take them off.
Touchscreen fingertips are machine washable as long as the glove does not contain leather material. Machine washing, and even machine drying, will not hurt the conductive material on the fingertips.
When washing your motorcycle gloves, keep in mind that gentleness is key. Rinse them with cool or lukewarm water; clean them by hand with mild, oil-based soap; and let them air dry without extreme heat.
Don’t machine wash them, and help them keep their form by avoiding wringing or twisting motions. Treat your gloves well, and soon you’ll be ready to hit the open road again!
Before you go, be sure to check out these other motorcycle guides that may be of interest to you:
What's The Average Cost For Motorcycle Gear?