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How to Wash Wool Gloves and Waterproof Ski Gloves Effectively?

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

how to wash wool gloves

Washing wool winter gloves is not as simple as other types of gloves since they are more delicate, stretchy, and chunky. Wool and knitted material can easily shrink because of heat, harsh detergents, and/or rough handling. Over time, I’ve learned how to wash wool gloves and waterproof ski gloves appropriately so that they stay in shape for an extended period.

You should handwash the gloves with soap and water. Any mild soap is up to par, but I highly recommend investing in a wool detergent. It might sound excessive at first, but it’s truly worthwhile. If your gloves are water-resistant, you might need to reproof them. Additionally, some gloves can be machine-washed. Keep reading for more details.

Things You Will Need


Before we begin, check the label to see whether your gloves are machine-washable. There are five main types of wool: Merino, angora, acrylic, cashmere, and blended. Generally, angora is the only type that shouldn’t be machine-washed due to its light and silky nature. Read the product label to know for sure.

Then, follow these steps to wash winter gloves by the washing machine:

  • Place the gloves in a garment bag, preferably with other clothing of the same color.
  • Add a mild detergent and wash in a short and delicate cycle with lukewarm or cold water. Don’t use fabric softeners.
  • Do not tumble dry. Instead, leave them flat on a clean surface. Avoid any direct heat source.

However, we advise washing wool gloves by hand. It is not only because of their delicacy but also the winter flu virus that might cling onto your gloves. In addition, if you’ve lost the label, it’s best to assume that the gloves should be hand-washed. Gather the following to proceed.

1. Wool detergent

In cold countries, wool winter gloves are essential. So, get a silk or wool detergent instead of regular soap to take good care of them. These cleaning agents are formulated specifically for protein-based fibers with a neutral pH. They will gently yet effectively clean, remove odors, and prevent the wool from pilling. Still, a mild detergent can get the job done. You can use your dish soap or hand cleaner. Stay away from highly-fragranced or concentrated detergents.

2. Clean towel

You need a clean towel to help absorb the excess water after washing.

3. Waterproof wax or spray

If you’re washing ski gloves, get a waterproof wax or spray that goes with your glove material. The waterproof layer will wear out after a period of use. Hence, when your gloves are nice and clean after washing, reproof them to keep your hands from getting wet and shaky in freezing weather.

Steps to Wash Wool Gloves


Regardless of whether your gloves are natural or synthetic wool, they require gentle care, especially those with fluffiness and silkiness. You don’t want to lose their incredible insulating property. Follow these steps to wash wool gloves:

  • Mix a decent amount of wool detergent in lukewarm or cold water (hot water will shrink the wool).
  • Submerge the gloves in the mixture for five to ten minutes. Don’t leave them in the water for too long.
  • Use a clean cloth to scrub off any dirt and wash them gently. Never wring or twist wool gloves.
  • Wrap the gloves with a clean towel and press it to remove moisture.
  • Lay them flat to air dry. Avoid any heat source.

Thick gloves might take up to a day to dry. You can use the help of an electric fan to speed up the process. When the outside is dry, turn them inside out to ensure the inside is completely free from moisture. The same procedure is applied when you wash mittens.

Steps to Wash Waterproof Ski Gloves

Just like your ski jacket and pants, ski gloves need washing every now and then. Again, check the label for specific washing instructions. Avoid laundry or harsh detergent when cleaning as it might affect the gloves’ water-resistant capability. Use the following steps to wash ski gloves:

  • If your gloves come with liners, remove and clean them separately. We recommend washing glove liners after one week of use. Your hands get wet and sweaty while doing sport so cleaning the liners regularly prevents the accumulation of mold and bacteria.
  • Mix mild or wool detergent with lukewarm water in a basin. Soak the liners for five minutes. Then, gently wash, rinse, and squeeze them. Lay them flat on a surface or hang them on a clothesline to dry.
  • Thick ski gloves might take a few days to dry in the winter. So, washing them once or twice a season should be fine. Repeat the steps you do with the glove liners.
  • When they are dry, apply a thin layer of waterproof wax and leave them overnight for the best results.

If your gloves don’t have detachable liners, we recommend purchasing a pair of glove liners. Washing waterproof gloves too often might decrease their thermal and repellent capabilities. Plus, the liners will keep your hands warm. Check the video below for details on how to wash ski gloves:

Tips When Washing Wool Gloves

  • If you’re washing winter sports gloves, rinse them with a mixture of half white vinegar and half cold water to eliminate all the
  • Synthetic wool might get brittle after washing. Adding a small amount of fabric softener when rinsing will help soften them.
  • To protect the gloves’ color, add a pinch of salt to your soapy water. Also, don’t panic if you see pigments coming out of your wool gloves when washing. It is normal for new wool gloves and will stop happening after you wash them once or twice.
  • If your wool gloves look stretchy after washing, wait until they are dry and place them in a ziplock bag. Afterward, put them in the fridge overnight to prevent them from


Now, you can keep your winter gloves fresh and clean, preventing the spread of winter flu viruses. Taking care of wool material is not complex or demanding, just keep in mind the rule of thumb to maintain your wool gloves’ flawless shape. Remember that gloves are not just accessories, they protect and keep your hands warm.

If you find this tutorial on how to wash wool gloves helpful, we believe your fellow skiers will need it too. Feel free to share the article with the people around you. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out, we appreciate all thoughts and questions. Thank you for your attention!

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