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How to Clean Leather Work Gloves

by Julie on December 20, 2016

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Whether you’re welding, working in construction or just challenging someone to a duel, your leather gloves will get dirty. Washing is a great way to increase a glove’s lifespan, unfortunately you can’t just throw them in the wash with your laundry and hope for the best. So how do you clean leather work gloves? Let’s find out…
difference between grain and split leather


How to Wash Leather Gloves:


  • Use soap and water: This removes the natural oils that are present in the leather. No oils means the gloves will stiffen and become brittle, effectively shortening the life, use and comfort of leather gloves.
  • Use saddle soap: A few of you are probably yelling at the computer “USE SADDLE SOAP! IT’S DESIGNED FOR LEATHER!” You’re not wrong, it is. But again, soap emulsifies the natural oils in the leather but also, imagine the time it takes to massage the saddle soap into each glove — not cost effective at all.


  • Dry clean: This is your best option to clean leather work gloves because it keeps the oils and lets you get the most out of your gloves.


Now I bet your next question is: Does this apply to both grain and split-leather? It does!

Not sure about the difference between grain and split-leather? We’ve got you covered. When leather is first removed from the hide of an animal, it’s extremely thick. So the leather needs to be split into layers — like split and grain.


difference between grain and split leather


What is Grain Leather?

Grain leather is the top layer, which is more expensive than split-leather because of its appearance — Because it is more aesthetically appealing, grain leather is usually found in commercial goods like purses and shoes. Since the grain remains, it provides fiber strength and durability. The grain also has breathability, meaning it will remain cooler over longer periods of time.


What is Split-Leather?

Split-leather is the bottom more fibrous part of the hide, which is commonly called suede leather. Split-leather has higher abrasion resistance, great puncture resistance and impressive flexibility compared to other types of leather.

(Want to learn more about leather? Check out our The Bad-Ass Guide to Leather Work Gloves by clicking the picture below!)


bad ass guide to leather work gloves

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Nice blog, great information about safety gloves.

Reply Jon Woodscott - February 23, 2017

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