Your leather golf gloves can get dirty, really easily. Given the importance your golf gloves has to your game, it would be in your interest to ensure that your gloves are maintained to provide you the comfort and protection to play your best game.
However, if you do not care for your gloves properly or clean it in the wrong way, you could end up damaging or shrinking it. This is especially important because golf gloves tend to be constructed with relatively thin leather. This is to maximise control of your golf club whilst providing requisite protection from abrasions.
Due to the thin materials, any damage caused through the cleaning process will be comparatively more impactful as opposed to other casual leather articles you might possess.
For the most part, golf gloves most commonly get dirty from:
- Soil and dirt transferred from the golf balls when you pick them up
- Grime and wear marks from friction and contact with your club handle
- Sweat from your palms
This guide is aimed to ensure that you are able to keep your golf gloves looking pristine whilst fulfilling the jobs that you originally bought it for. Thankfully, the steps ahead are not complicated, and you can wash your leather golf gloves following the steps as below.
- Rinse your Golf Gloves with Cold Water while Wearing your Gloves
- Gently Brush off the Dirt on your Gloves
- Dry your Gloves
- Condition your Gloves
We also have a holistic guide to the basics of cleaning leather gloves and how you can clean specific glove types
1. Pour Cool Water over Gloves, whilst Wearing
If you are looking to remove soil, dirt or grime that accumulated on your gloves’ exteriors, I would highly recommend wearing your gloves through this step. Have a soft brush or towel ready, and start pouring cool water over the exterior of your gloves.
It is important to stay away from using warm water here. Chances are, your golf gloves are already very form fitting to your hand and warm or hot water can cause your gloves to shrink. While wearing your gloves will mitigate this risk, it is still recommended to use cool water where you can.
If you are also looking to clean your glove interiors due to sweat accumulation, I would recommend for you to remove your gloves and to dip them in a bowl of cool water. You can add a small amount of leather soap into the cool water if you wish.
2. Gently Brush off Dirt with Brush or Towel
Now that your gloves are wet and the dirt (hopefully) softened, use the soft brush and towel you have standing by to gently rub against the dirt. Pay special attention to the palm / finger areas of your golf gloves as these are the areas that most commonly get dirty.
Keep in mind that your brushing motion should not be aggressive. We do not want to cause further wear to your already thin gloves. If you have used a soap solution to wash your gloves, please rinse your gloves with cool water as we do not want the soap solution to remain on your gloves beyond this step of the cleaning process.
3. Dry your Golf Gloves
If you had soaked your gloves in cool water earlier, please do not be tempted to wring them as you would a wet washcloth. Instead, I would recommend for you to wear your gloves and to alternate between a fully extended hand and a clenched fist. This will help to get rid of excess water whilst maintaining the size and shape of your gloves.
You should look to dry your gloves naturally without introducing heat into the equation. Do not leave your gloves out in the sun and please do not throw them into a dryer; both of these can impact the structure and shape of your gloves.
Instead, look to have your gloves sit and dry naturally in a cool, dry environment. Do not scrunch up your gloves in this process but instead, look to wear your gloves at least once before it fully dries to ensure the perfect fit against your hands is maintained.
4. Condition your Leather Golf Gloves
Now that your golf gloves are fully dry (and hopefully free from soap too), I would recommend lightly applying a leather conditioner on the surface area of your gloves.
Apply your leather conditioner on your gloves with a microfibre cloth and gently rub across the surface area to ensure an even application throughout. Pay attention to not miss out the areas between the fingers.
Common Mistakes Around Leather Golf Glove care
While the steps ahead are safe and simple to help keep your golf gloves in good shape, we still want to ensure that we do not overwash your gloves. Speaking to golf enthusiasts, we have uncovered some common mistakes that cause your golf gloves to get unnecessarily dirty.
- Using your golf gloves to wipe off your sweat: Not only would it be more sanitary to use a towel to do so, excess exposure to sweat can cause damage to your golf gloves.
- Not airing your gloves between holes is a wasted opportunity: Whilst your golf gloves are already very breathable due to the thin material, taking your gloves off while you are walking can minimise the need to send your gloves through a wash cycle.
- Putting your gloves onto hands with sunscreen residue: While sunscreen is meant to protect your skin, the chemicals a sunscreen contains might cause damage to your gloves. Letting external chemicals set in your gloves might cause unwanted stiffness and hardening over time.