In typical Indian weather, riding gloves are one of the most abused riding gear. Learn to care for them...they will love you back by providing years of service.

The riding gloves are generally of two types: leather and mesh(textile). You can read our detailed guide about riding gloves by clicking “Riding Gloves Guide

While cleaning the mesh gloves are very straight forward just like cleaning any fabric, it is the leather gloves that need special attention. So a question most riders have -

How do you clean leather bike gloves?

All leather gloves suffer from exposure to sweat. Salt from your sweat gets absorbed and hardens the leather until it breaks. But how would one know that the gloves are actually dirty and a wash is required? Well, worry not. These are the signs that tell you that your riding gloves need cleaning -

  • After finishing your ride, remove your gloves and pay attention to your hand. If the hand are smelling, then your gloves need a wash.
  • After a long ride say 3-4 hours, when you remove your gloves and wash your hands, any black/muddy/dirty stains coming from your hand is a clear indicator that your gloves need washing.

In this article, we are going to provide you a step by step guide about how to take care of your gloves so that you can keep them on and on.

Cleaning riding gloves - isnt this complicated

What you need for cleaning your gloves:

  • Lukewarm water
  • Mild detergent / leather cleanser
  • Soft Bristle brush used for cleaning clothes
  • Dry bath towel  / microfiber cloth

10 Steps for cleaning Motorcycle Gloves

“Hand Wash is preferred for cleaning riding gloves”

  1. Clean gloves in lukewarm water using mild soap or leather cleanser. DO NOT use fabric softner / bleach / strong detergent.
  2. Let the gloves soak for 10 minutes in the water detergent mixture. 

    Cleaning riding gloves

  3. Gently clean the affected area with a bristle brush used for clothes cleaning or preferably by hand. 

    Cleaning riding gloves

  4. Keep changing water and cleaning gently till gloves are looking clean and there is no trace of detergent in water. 

    Cleaning riding gloves

  5. Put the gloves on while still wet and clench your fist to mould them back into shape. 
  6. Wrap the gloves in dry cloth and sqeeze gently. Repeat this process with dry cloth till the gloves are fairly dry.  

    Cleaning riding gloves

  7. Do not keep the gloves in wet cloth. It will lead to fungus growth. 
  8. Air dry the gloves till completely dry. No direct sunlight, hair dryer. 
  9. Put on the dry gloves and knead to make them soft. Clench your fist couple of times to get them back in their original shape.
  10. Use leather conditioner for better durability and shine. 

Machine wash Motorcycle Riding Gloves

It is preferably not to machine wash your gloves. Still, if you wish to machine wash them, use the shortest of the wash cycles and then follow all the steps from no.5 onwards. Do NOT spin dry gloves in your washing machine.

Cleaning riding gloves with Breathable membrane

In case your motorcycle gloves is the one with one of the breathable membranes like Gore-Tex, (don’t know what they are? We have a short guide about Breathable Membranes), they need a different process than washing normal riding gloves.  For gloves using Gore-Tex or similar membranes for waterproofing, one should charge waterproof properties in them in/after each wash.

  • Carry out all the 10 steps mentioned above. Simply add Nikwax or any similar product to the water while washing
  • Use Spray-on version of Nikwax or similar product after washing.

“Avoid touching Nikwax or similar products with your naked hands”  

Some Tips for longer lasting Riding Gloves:

  • During rainy weather, for quickly drying the gloves, stuff newspaper pages inside and keep changing them frequently till the insides are dry. You can wrap up the gloves in newspapers to soak up water from outside of the gloves. (You don’t need to dry them totally if you are planning to ride more in rain :-)
  • Lower quality leather material tends to leave colour while washing, so beware of that.
  • Drying the gloves in direct & strong sunlight may result in colour fading.
  • After riding, let your gloves breathe and completely dry out. Do not store them in a closed container, jacket pocket, helmet or tank bag. You would be inviting fungus growth on your gloves. 

Take proper care and use the riding gear for long long time.


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