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Washing String-Knit Gloves: The Dos and Don’ts of Glove Maintenance

by Frank MacDonald on December 29, 2016

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The easiest and cheapest way to keep your glove costs down is to wash and clean them to extend their useful lifespan, plain and simple. Last week, we wrote an article on washing leather work gloves, so today we’re focusing on the dos and don’ts for washing string-knit work gloves. We also discuss string-knit gloves that contain other popular materials for specific tips as not all gloves should be washed or cleaned the same way.

 

How to Wash Kevlar® Gloves:

Kevlar® is strong and durable and won’t shrink as much as other materials when it comes to laundering.

Do:

  • Use soap and water: Commercial laundry soap or detergent and hot water (170°F/75°C) and tumble dry low.
  • Dry clean: Your preferred dry cleaner will be able to help.

Don’t:

  • Use bleach or other strong acids, bases, or oxidizers: Bleach will destroy the strength of the Kevlar® fibers and they will fall apart.

 

Effect of Bleach on Kevlar® Glove Performance:

 

How to Wash Dyneema® Gloves:

Dyneema® is the brand name for High Performance Polyethylene, which is also manufactured by Superior Glove under the names TenActiv™ and Superior Touch®. The advice below applies for all HPPE fibers.

Do:

  • Use soap and water: Cold water is recommended (104°F/40°C or less).
  • Dry Clean
  • Use Bleach: HPPE is preferred in the food industry because, unlike Kevlar, it can be bleached.

Don’t: 

  • Use hot water: The temperature of the water should be around 104°F/40°C or less.
  • Tumble dry with heat: Whether its in the washer or dryer, HPPE does not have good stability with temperatures over 291°F/144°C.

 

Washing Other String-Knit Gloves:

Nylon Gloves:

  • Use warm water (105°F/40°C)
  • Wash with a regular detergent
  • Tumble dry at low or no heat

Wool Gloves:

  • Use cold water only (70°F/20°C or less)
  • Use a mild detergent and wash gently
  • Tumble dry at low or no heat

Cotton/Polyester Gloves:

  • Use warm water (105°F/40°C)
  • Wash with a regular detergent
  • Tumble dry, medium heat

Coated Gloves:

  • Use cold water (85°F/30°C or less)
  • Use a mild detergent
  • Tumble dry low or no heat
  • Bleach is not recommended

glove and sleeve laundering program

 

Effect of Laundering and Dry Cleaning on Glove Performance:

Laundering and dry cleaning won’t have an impact on the cut resistance of a glove. Over time the tensile strength and cut resistance of a glove will decrease and its appearance will change. But DuPont™ states that gloves made with 100% Kevlar® won’t have a difference in cut resistance even after 10 consecutive cleaning cycles.

 

Effective Glove Laundering Programs:

An effective glove laundering program needs a good control system. This ensures that dirty gloves are accounted for and recycled or replaced after cleaning. Simple measures like trading in used gloves for new or clean gloves can help in this.

Establish an agreement with your cleaning service about:

  • The cleaning procedures used
  • The cleanliness level expected
  • The inspection/repair services that are provided
  • The process of removing damaged apparel from services

 

(Want more information on washing your gloves and sleeves? Click below to download our Glove and Sleeve Laundering Guide by clicking the button below!)

glove and sleeve laundering program


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