White apparel is stunning and aesthetic, yet the most tricky to take care of, especially white leather gloves. Unlike other clothing items, gloves get dirty easily. They support your hands when you play sports, do gardening, drive, or perform hazardous tasks at workplaces. More so, white gloves are unforgiving, all it takes is one stained spot for them to be unsightly.
The bright side is you can remove the stubborn stains and grime with just some household products. Briefly, you need to clean the exterior with mild soap and water. If there are stains or grime, remove them beforehand with white vinegar and baby powder.
Afterward, blot up the soap, let the exterior dry before wiping the interior with a vinegar solution to get rid of sweat accumulation. Lastly, apply a waterproof wax or leather conditioner.
The procedure must be carried out cautiously to avoid color transfer and leather damage. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to clean white leather gloves, dive in!
Table of Contents
What You Will Need
If your white leather gloves have stains from coffee spills, oil, or grime, never treat them with bleach. We’ve said this in every leather cleaning procedure. But now, the gloves are white, you might think bleaching doesn’t affect the color anyway. However, it is the leather that should be your concern.
Bleach can take away the leather’s natural oil, causing it to become stiff, brittle, and eventually cracked. The cracks will spread steadily on the leather surfaces. Hence, avoid bleach or any detergents that have bleach ingredients.
Here is a list of things you need to carry out the perfect white leather glove cleaning procedure.
Any mild soap that is free from high fragrance can be used to wash leather gloves: a gentle hand soap, bar soap, facial cleanser, or dish detergent. But if you’re dealing with leather work gloves that have tough dirty spots, a leather glove cleaner or saddle soap will get the job done faster.
Such products are designed with balanced pH for leather. They come with strong cleaning power without sacrificing the leather’s natural oil and softness. Besides, the white gloves won’t wear out or look dull over time as the cleaners come with vitamins and nourishments. They assure the leather stays strong, durable, and flexible.
Baby powder or cornstarch
You only need these if there are oils and greases, which are common issues on leather gloves. Trying to remove an oily spot by rubbing it with soap and water will only make a mess and push the oil further into the leather. Instead, use plain white baby powder or cornstarch to absorb the excess before cleaning. This step is simple yet highly effective.
Once the oils and greases on the surface are absorbed, you need an agent to get rid of the stains. Distilled white vinegar is amazing for the job. It is inexpensive, gentle on leather, and safer than chemical detergents. Even when you have mildew stains, white vinegar can get rid of them.
Remember to avoid apple cider, rice, or other types of vinegar as their colors can transfer to your white gloves. In addition to removing the stains, this agent will whiten, brighten, and take away any odors.
White microfiber cloth
Prepare several pieces of white cloth, preferably microfiber or lint-free. You will use these cloths to apply the cleaning agents. Hence, make sure they are clean and white so colors and stains won’t get on your gloves.
Waterproof wax for leather
Last but not least, grab a waterproof wax for leather, such as Nikwax or mink oil. Removing stains on white gloves is not simple. So, prevention is better than cure. The wax will create a barrier against the elements and most stains. They assist in conditioning and preserving leather. Still, mink oil and wax can tint or darken light-colored leather, always patch-test before purchasing.
Steps to Clean White Leather Gloves
Before we get into washing leather gloves, read the product label to see whether you can submerge the gloves in water. If allowed, you can wash and rinse them under running water after removing the stains. It is more simple and easy that way. Unfortunately, most leather gloves will lose their shape when fully submerged. We recommend proceeding as follows.
Step 1: Clean the exterior
If you intend to clean leather work gloves, start by gently scrubbing off all dirt and grime using a soft toothbrush. After that, follow these steps to clean leather gloves’ exterior:
- Remove the oil and grease: Put a decent amount of plain white baby powder or cornstarch on the greasy and muddy spots. Depending on the greases, you might want to let the powder sit from thirty minutes to a few hours. Then, wipe it off with a clean cloth.
- Remove the stains: Make a mixture of half vinegar and half lukewarm water. Afterward, soak a cloth in the mixture and apply it to the stains. Don’t let the gloves get excessively wet as warm water can shrink leather. Wait for a couple of minutes and you shall see the stains start to dissolve.
- Clean: Now, the gloves are free from most dirt and stains. Do one final cleaning round with water and soap. Make a solution of mild soap and warm water, mix them well, and lather up the gloves with a cloth. Don’t forget the folds, cuffs, and fingertips. Be careful not to damage the leather.
- Blot up the soap: Dampen a cloth with water and gently wipe the soap away. Take your time with this step to ensure all residue is removed. If soap is left on the surface, it will harden the material. After that, use a clean dry cloth to remove any excessive moisture.
- Dry: Finally, hang the gloves in an upright position and leave them to air dry. Don’t place them close to tinted fabrics to prevent color transfer. In the meantime, slightly pull the gloves to restore their original shape.
Step 2: Clean the interior
Leather is natural skin, so it absorbs moisture. Oftentimes, sweat accumulation is what causes the interior to get dirty and irritating. If you’re washing sport or work gloves, we advise cleaning the leather gloves’ interior.
When the exterior is completely dry, turn the gloves inside out. Firstly, make the same mixture of water and white vinegar as in step one. Then, wet a cloth with the solution and lightly dab it to the entire leather surface. You need to apply an adequate volume of the solution, don’t soak the gloves with liquid, nor apply too little. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Lastly, blot up any excess and hang the gloves upright to air dry.
Do not rewash the interior with mild soap as it might cause itchiness to the wearer. Plus, the acidity in distilled white vinegar already dissolves the accumulated perspiration and bacteria.
Step 3: Apply waterproof wax
The last step is to apply a layer of waterproof wax, mink oil, or conditioner to further protect the white leather. Turn the gloves right side out and use a sufficient amount of wax to spread a thin layer all over the exterior. Rub the product into the leather with your fingers. The seams are where water tends to leak in, so don’t neglect them.
When you are done, wait for around five minutes before wiping off the excess. Test the gloves by dropping a little water on them and see whether they can resist the moisture. Feel free to reapply the waterproof wax if necessary.
Now, your hands can stay cozy even in wet weather. The best part is that stains from coffee, wine, or dirt won’t stick to your delicate white gloves for long. Use a wet cloth or baby wipe to get rid of the stains the moment you spot them and you are good to go.
Cleaning white leather gloves takes time and effort. It is a lot more than just scrubbing them with soap and water. But with proper techniques, you might be surprised at how durable your leather gloves are. They easily repay the initial cost. Also, build a habit to wash the gloves every three months if you use them regularly. Don’t wait until they get so grimy and greasy that the leather is damaged.
These are the methods on how to clean white leather gloves and they work every time. We are confident that they’ll do the same for you. If you follow the tutorial, please share your results in the comments. It would be exciting to see your spotless white leather gloves. Before you leave, let us know if you have any questions. We’re more than glad to help.
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.