As a welder, one of the protective gear you can’t do without is a pair of welding gloves.
Welding gloves are usually made of leather and non leather materials such as Kevlar. Each material does a great job in protecting you while you’re on the job.
However, the benefits of being protected by a pair of welding gloves comes with the responsibility of keeping them clean. Why? Well, you will also find the answers here.
But first, read this guide on how to clean welding gloves and let it help you fulfil such a responsibility.
Table of Contents
Ways to Clean Welding Gloves
Method #1: Cleaning Leather Gloves
- Cold, running water
- Clean cloth
- Saddle soap or any pH-neutral soap
- Leather conditioner
Step #1: Remove dust from the gloves
Using a dry cloth or soft-bristled brush, remove any debris from your gloves. This is an essential step in cleaning almost anything made of leather, as it lessens the amount of work you’ll need to do next.
Step #2: Wash leather gloves.
Wear your welding gloves and wet them with cold or room temperature water. Avoid hot water as it may give the leather an unnecessary stretch.
Using a hand washing motion, rub the saddle or pH-neutral soap onto the material.
Step #3: Wipe off the soap from the gloves with a clean cloth.
Step #4: Rinse them with cold water.
Step #5: Get rid of excess moisture by gently squeezing your gloves. Avoid wringing or twisting them.
Step #6: Air-dry your welding gloves.
Do not use artificial heat to dry gloves to avoid damaging their quality and fit.
It is recommended to wear your pair from time to time during the drying process to ensure the materials don’t shrink or stiffen.
Step #7: Once dried, apply a leather conditioner to replenish the leather’s moisture.
Method #2: Cleaning Non-Leather Welding Gloves
Here are the materials you need to wash Kevlar gloves:
- Kevlar welding gloves
- Warm or hot water
- Laundry detergent
Step #1: Remove any debris from your gloves.
Step #2: Toss your gloves in washing machine, and wash them using warm or hot water for fifteen (15) minutes.
Unlike leather, the use of hot water on Kevlar does not make it shrink.
Only clean with laundry detergent, and do not use any product that contains bleach or chlorine as it may damage the quality of the gloves.
Water temperature should not exceed 400°F.
Step #3: Rinse your gloves using warm or hot water while following the temperature limit above.
Step #4: Tumble dry the gloves on a low-heat setting. It is recommended to dry the pair at 170°F.
Before Cleaning Welding Gloves
Check for special care instructions
Several manufacturers specify different care or cleaning instructions for the gloves they make. Thus, it is important to check the gear for such instructions first before doing any kind of cleaning on your gloves.
Consider the glove material
In the absence of the manufacturers’ instructions, the material dictates the way gloves should be cleaned.
For example, washing machines and dryers should not be used to clean leather gloves to avoid the risk of damaging their quality and stretch. However, you may use appliances to wash welding gloves made of Kevlar, the most common non leather material.
After Cleaning Welding Gloves
Aside from washing, you should also develop a good aftercare routine for your welding gloves.
Condition your leather welding gloves
Leather is a delicate material that requires maintenance. It has to be moistened and softened as it can lose its durability and other qualities if it dries up.
This is where the importance of applying leather conditioners comes in.
Store them properly
To preserve the protective qualities of your welding gloves, they must be stored in a cool, dry place.
There is a possibility that you’ll get burned or experience an electric shock from the welding electrodes if you use moist or wet gloves. After all, water is a good conductor of electricity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some tips to prolong the life of welding gloves?
To preserve and maximize their protective features, all you have to do is follow this guide in cleaning your welding gloves as well as the recommended pre and post care steps.
Why are clean welding gloves important?
You can say that cleaning your gloves is one of the easiest ways you can protect yourself. In fact, such a simple routine can guarantee you long-term protection against chemicals and debris that you can get from welding.
What is the common material for welding gloves?
Welder leather gloves are the ones most commonly used. After all, leather has great characteristics that make it a suitable material for welding gloves.
Now, not all leather welding gloves are the same. There are pig skin, goat skin, and cowhide welding gloves.
They can also differ based on the kind of welding process that you are going to work on.
For example, pairs used for tungsten inert gas or TIG welding are much thinner compared to the ones used for stick welding. This is because the latter produces the highest amount of heat and sparks among all types of welding processes.
What are the recommended welding gloves?
Choose fire-resistant, durable, flexible, and waterproof welding gloves. Those are the qualities that you should find, at least, when purchasing them.
However, if you are looking for a specific brand, you may choose among the most recommended companies— Lincoln, Rapicca, and Tillman welding gloves.
T0 some people, it is the spark that makes welding a little scary. However, if you’re a welder, the spark is nothing compared to the actual risks that you face at work.
But thanks to protective gear, you gained courage to deal with these risks and confidently do your job. And because of the protection they provide, learning how to clean welding gloves is a simple way of caring for them and preserving them for longer use.
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.