EDC Magazine is supported by its audience. When you purchase via our links, we may get a commission. Learn more

How to Get Rid of Smelly Leather Gloves? – A Detailed Guide

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

how to get rid of smelly leather gloves

My gloves deliver an unpleasant smell; it transfers to my hands. I think they are full of germs and bacteria. What should I do? How to get rid of smelly leather gloves?

The first thing to do is to wash them with a leather cleaner. Don’t replace it with mild soap; leather cleaner is the only product that can remove odors without damaging the delicate fabric.

Then, use baking soda to deodorize the interior. Optional steps are to condition the leather and use dryer sheets to give the gloves a burst of freshness.

If you’re dealing with a new leather gloves smell, place the gloves in a ventilated place to air out for one day. After that, store them with newspapers. If necessary, you can wash the gloves with a leather cleaner.

What You Will Need


  • Leather cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Dryer sheets
  • Leather conditioner

Steps to Deodorize Old Leather Gloves

When you wear a pair of leather gloves for a long time, the outside develops a fishy odor and the inside smells sweaty. That is normal since leather is natural skin; it absorbs sweat and moisture.

Step 1. Wash the gloves

You should wear gloves and apply a generous amount of cleaner to them. Then, gently rub your hands together. Pay attention to the seams, lines, and the area in between the fingers.

Make sure you use a leather cleaner. It is the only product that can remove stinky odors without damaging the delicate fabric. Mild soap and other household items don’t offer enough cleaning power, while harsh detergents can cause damage

When the gloves look nice and clean, use a towel to wipe them dry. After that, wait a few minutes for them to dry completely. The cleaner is for leather only; don’t use it to clean leather gloves’ inside.

This video will walk you through this step:

Step 2. Condition the leather

To prevent the smell from coming back, you should condition the leather. It helps soften the fibers, making the gloves more moisture-wicking. The conditioner will also add a gentle scent to the exterior.

Spray leather conditioner and rub your hands together to work the product into the gloves. Do so for at least one minute until the gloves look soft and shiny. Use a towel to absorb any excess conditioner.

Step 3. Deodorize the interior


Make two small baking soda sachets:

  • Place ¼ cup of baking soda into a fabric swatch.
  • Add a few drops of essential oils if you like.
  • Secure it with a rubber band.

Only make small packs so they can fit in your gloves. Place them inside the leather gloves and leave them overnight. The baking soda will soak up the stinky smell.

Step 4. Use dryer sheets

Your gloves should smell pleasant and fresh now. After you wear them out, insert one dryer sheet in each glove.

The sheets help the fabric resist stains, prevent lint-gathering, and block bad odor. Do you know these sheets can also smooth out leather? They work as fabric softeners, protecting the leather from wrinkles and cracks.

Steps to Get Rid of New Leather Gloves Smell


Step 1. Air out the gloves

If the smell is not too bad, we recommend using the gloves straight away. Your body heat will warm up the leather and open the pores, thus helping it release the stink. Wearing also allows the gloves to conform to your hands’ shape.

Otherwise, place the gloves in an open space for one day. Avoid direct sunlight, though. Extreme heat can stiffen and crack the leather.

This smell is from the tanning process. It will naturally lessen over time. But if the odor doesn’t go away after one day, you should move to the next step. Leaving the gloves too long in the open air can deform them.

Don’t get impatient and mask the smell with perfume or highly-scented wax. These products only make it worse.

Step 2. Store the gloves with newspapers


After airing out the gloves, stuff clean newspapers inside the gloves and store them in your closet. The newspapers will absorb the leather smell.

You can also crumple up some newspapers in a box and place the gloves inside. Then, close the box and leave it for one to two days.

Step 3. Wash the gloves with leather care products

We don’t recommend washing leather gloves regularly, especially when they are new and dirt-free. So, only carry out this step if the other two don’t work.

Put on the gloves and spray the leather cleaner on them. Rub your hands together until the gloves are dry. Wipe off the excess with a towel, and the leather odor should be gone.

Helpful Tips

As leather ages, it conforms to your hands and feels more comfortable, but it gets stinky more easily. So, be mindful when using your favorite leather gloves to extend their lifespan.

Tip 1. Dry out wet leather gloves immediately

If the gloves get wet, you need to remove the dampness quickly. Moisture weakens and dulls leather fibers. It also creates a smell that won’t go away.

  • Wipe the gloves dry with a towel.
  • Put your blow-dryer in a low-heat or cold-air setting. Then, run it at a distance over the gloves. Run the dryer steadily so you won’t end up with chunks of water stains on the leather.

Tip 2. Remove winter salt

Winter salt is sodium chlorine used to prevent icing of roads, sidewalks, and parking lots. The chemical can leave salt stains, soak up leather’s natural oil, and quickly damage it. If you notice any white salt lines or rings on your gloves, remove them promptly.

  • Dampen a cloth and wipe off the salt lines.
  • If the lines persist, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water. Soak a cloth in the solution and rub the areas with it.
  • Pat the gloves dry with a clean towel.

Tip 3. Wash and dry your hands before wearing gloves

Stinky leather gloves are usually the result of accumulated sweat from your hands. So, wash and dry your hands thoroughly before putting on gloves. Doing so also prevents bacteria and germs from transmitting to the fabric.

If necessary, sanitize your hands with a disinfectant before and after wearing gloves.


To sum up, you can remove old leather gloves’ smell by washing them, conditioning the leather, deodorizing the interior with baking soda, and adding one to two dryer sheets for a boost of pleasing scents.

If you’re trying to deodorize new leather gloves, air them out for one day, then stuff them with newspapers. You can also wash them with a leather cleaner if needed.

Now that you know how to get rid of smelly leather gloves, what are you waiting for to proceed? Don’t forget to save our tips to keep the stinky smell away. Please reach out to us via the contact page if you have any further questions. See you then!

5/5 - (3 votes)