Easy Ways To Wash Motorcycle Gloves Properly

Gloves form part of your motorcycle protective gear. They keep your hands out of harm’s way and save you from injuries in the event of a fall.

They also prevent the formation of calluses and improve your riding comfort when riding for long hours.

After wearing your gloves for days, they’ll doubtlessly accumulate a lot of dirt and even get smelly.

Cleaning them will help remove this dirt and extend their life. If you’re trying to wash your gloves for the first time, below are the steps to follow to do it correctly.

How To Wash Your Motorcycle Gloves

When you go shopping for motorcycle gloves on the market, you’ll come across gloves made of different materials. The two most common materials include textile/fabric and leather…some textile gloves also feature some leather parts.

Because the cleaning method for these materials differs, the first thing to do before you wash your gloves is determining what material they’re made of.

How To Wash Textile/Fabric Motorcycle Gloves

If your gloves are made of fabric or textile material, then this is your part. These gloves are super-easy to clean and don’t require you to invest in any additional cleaning products; just a neutral detergent and water solution will do.

You can wash your textile gloves in these two simple steps:


1. Wash them

Put on your fabric gloves, just the same you wear them when preparing for a ride. With the gloves on, immerse your hands in a bucket of water filled with a solution of cold water and neutral detergent. Gently scrub them by rinsing them as you’d on your bare hands.

Alternatively, you can wash them when not wearing them. Simply put them over a running tap, making sure to turn them so that both the palm and back parts get into contact with water.

Use your hands to work the inside surfaces of your gloves as well.

TIP: Stick to a neutral soap as detergents containing solvent and abrasives might end up damaging your textile gloves

2. Dry them

Get the gloves out of your hands and dry them. For this step, you’d want to dry them in a well-ventilated area to allow for maximum air circulation that chases away any odors on your gloves. Also, keep them away from direct sunlight as the UV rays might damage it.

PRO TIP: If your fabric gloves feature some leather parts, such as leather padding, then you should NOT use the above method to clean them because the leather shape will get altered once the gloves dry. For such gloves, use the method outlined below…

How To Wash Leather Motorcycle Gloves

Leather needs special care, meaning the process of cleaning your leather gloves might need a little more work than the textile ones.

Below are steps to clean your leather gloves:

1. Remove the dirt and grime on the surface.

Unlike in the case of textile gloves, here we won’t be rinsing the gloves with water. This is simply because leather and water aren’t good buddies.

Putting your leather gloves in might cause them to wrap and stiffen on drying, making them useless.

With your leather gloves laid out on a flat surface, rub a small amount of oil-based soaps on a clean, soft piece of cloth and use it to gently the surface of your gloves in small, circular motions.

If you notice any spots or stains that don’t go away with simple scrubbing, place soap lather on the area and rub the area for a bit longer to see if the stains go away.

2. Dry them

Once you have wiped off the dirt and grime on the surface of your leather gloves, you’ll need to dry them completely. The best way to do this is by setting them in a well-ventilated area and away from direct sunlight that causes them to crack.

Drying leather gloves with a high heat source is a bad idea as it can also damage the animal hide and make it less effective.

And oh! A dryer isn’t suitable for drying your gloves too.

One more thing…make sure you hang your gloves the right way for excellent aeration inside and outside and quick drying.

Wash Leather Motorcycle Gloves

photo: motowide.com

3. Condition them

With the gloves 100% dried, you’ll now need to condition them with a good leather conditioner. This will help replace the oils you knight have romped from the leather from washing them with water. It also helps prevents formation of cracks due to contact with water, extending their lifespan.

How to apply the conditioner? The simplest method involves using a clean, soft cloth dipped in the conditioner to rub the gloves. Be sure to rub the entire surface of your gloves, including the front and back parts. And pay more attention to the seams and stitches, which tend to dry faster after coming into contact with water and getting damaged.

When you have conditioned the entire surfaces of both gloves, allow the conditioner to work its way into the leather material for the best results. This should take roughly 30 minutes.

And you’re done washing your leather gloves!

Extra Tips:

  • You might consider disinfecting your gloves by sparingly spraying their inside with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
  • If you want to eliminate any odors on your gloves, try sprinkling some baking soda and cornstarch the inside
  • When storing your leather gloves, place them in a clean, dry, temperature-controlled environment. This will ensure the leather holds up well before you can use them for the next ride.

Why Clean Motorcycle Gloves?

If you think cleaning your motorcycle gloves isn’t really necessary, think again! Just like the rest of your motorcycle gear, taking good care of your gloves will help them serve you optimally while ensuring the last for a long period of time.

Here are some quick reasons why washing your gloves is necessary:


1. To prevent them from wearing quickly

if you ignore the need to clean your gloves, dirt will continue building on them.

Eventually, this dirt will erode the material of your gloves, whether it's textile or leather, and make them wear out quickly. The dirt can even cause your gloves to become dirty and develop cracks.

This cuts short their lifespan and inability to provide you with a comfortable riding experience, forcing you to find a new pair.

2. To maintain their effectiveness

Apart from the general dirt, we have mentioned above, the oil and grease on your hands can also affect the quality and effectiveness of your gloves.

You can’t really stop your hands from getting oily as this is natural. But you can clean your gloves to get rid of those oil and keep them in top condition.

3. Extend their lifespan

You want your recently bought pair of high-quality motorcycle gloves to serve you for many rides, right?

In this case, you need to go the extra step and care for them the right. Take for instance the leather made gloves…they’re made using animal skin hide, which juts kike human skin, requires maintenance to keep it in good condition for an extended period of time.

If you let these gloves get too dry, they might end cracking and feeling hard against your skin, and even irritating it. And if they get too wet, they’ll deteriorate and lose their effectiveness.


Proper maintenance keeps the gloves “happy” and makes them want to remain loyal to you for many, many rides to come.

How Often To Wash Your Motorcycle Gloves

How often to wash your gloves usually depends on how often you use them to ride your bike. If you ride your bike more often, say daily, then you should consider giving your gloves a thorough wash every week. If you ride your bike occasionally, you can wash them around every month or thereabout.

If you’re from a long ride, and your gloves are smelly due to over sweating, you might want to rinse them immediately instead of waiting for the end of the week.

Generally, you should consider cleaning your motorcycle gloves every time you take the rest of your motorcycle gear, like pants, jackets, etc., for laundry.

Final Verdict

Keeping your biking gloves is necessary if you want to save them from wearing out due to the accumulation of dirt, deteriorating, and eventually losing their effectiveness. When cleaned properly, your gloves can serve you well and for an extended period of time.

Use our simple guide above to learn how to properly clean your gloves and keep them “happy” and loyal to you!

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