You love your leather gloves. They’re durable, flexible, have great grip, and look fly.
Did you know that to keep them in tip-top shape you’ll need to clean and waterproof them from time-to-time?
You didn’t? Well, let us help you.
Allow us to introduce your leather gloves’ new best friend…
Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather.
Waterproofing Wax for Leather is a water-based waterproofing cream for smooth leather. It provides instant durable water repellency (DWR), maintains breathability, and can be applied to wet or dry leather.
Glove companies like POW, Black Diamond, FlyLow, Outdoor Research, Kinco, and 686 all produce really nice, high quality leather gloves. Leather gloves are really awesome, but not always waterproof. A waterproof, breathable membrane, like Gore-Tex, is often what keeps the water/moisture from getting to your hands. Using Waterproofing Wax for Leather will add water repellency to the leather and provide extra protection from the elements. It will also prolong the life of your gloves!
Below is a Q&A for Leather Glove Care.
How do you use Waterproofing Wax for Leather? It’s super easy. You can use it sort of like hand lotion. Put your gloves on your hands, squeeze a Hershey’s Kiss amount of the cream into your palm, directly on the leather. Then, just like you would with hand lotion, rub the cream evenly all over the gloves. Make sure it is fully absorbed into the leather and pressed into the seams; seams are often the most vulnerable areas of your glove, to let water seep in. As you finish rubbing it in, if you think you missed an area, apply a little bit more.
No baking. No need to wait for it “to set.”
No mess. No stress.
***But don’t forget…cleaning your gloves before you waterproof them will give you the best results. Waterproofing dirty gloves is like waxing a dirty car. Clean it first!***
How do you clean your gloves? Maybe you made a snowball and the snow contained… some kind of animal excrement. Perhaps you dropped the gloves in a mud puddle. Or maybe you just wore those gloves all 34 times that you hit the slopes last year…and never washed them. Obviously, your gloves need cleaning. The best thing to do is put on the gloves, wet them with lukewarm water and scrub ‘em up with Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel.
Yes, we know it’s called Footwear Cleaning Gel, but it’s made to clean leather and all types of fabric and it works GREAT on gloves.
Rinse and gently squeeze out the water without twisting.
How do you dry your gloves? Dry them in an upright position, maybe over an empty beer or soda can. DO NOT dry your gloves with a hair dryer, or next to a heater, or do something rash like put them in the oven.
Yes, that has actually happened.
If the gloves have liners, remove them for easier and faster drying time.
How often should you clean your gloves? It’s best not to wash them too frequently. If they are muddy, or you spilled your beverage on them, clean them. Otherwise, once or twice a year is probably alright.
Are you are paranoid about the leather EVER getting wet? You should probably invest in a few tubes of Waterproofing Wax for Leather. Carry one in your ski bag, keep a backup in your car’s glove compartment, and stash another bottle at home so that you can attack at the first sign of water absorption.
Are you one to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation? For example, “once a month” is the recommended usage for a pair of POW leather gloves and it’s a pretty safe recommendation for other leather gloves too. One tube of Waterproofing Wax for Leather should set you up for the season. It’s only $8.50 and can be purchased on Amazon, at REI, or at pretty much any outdoor retailer.
Are you more of a laid back, “it’s cool, I’m sure the gloves will do their job” type? Then at least apply the Waterproofing Wax for Leather the day you purchase the gloves or before their inaugural snow day. Your leather gloves will thank you by starting strong.
If you made it through all of that and you’ve read this far, then you must be a dedicated leather glove owner and you want to do it right.
Looking for new leather gloves? Check out the variety of selections from our partners: POW, Black Diamond, FlyLow, Kinco, Outdoor Research, and 686.
33 thoughts on “How To Clean and Waterproof Your Leather Gloves!”
Great tips that I will use.
Thanks for reading! Stay dry out there! – Brennon
I never thought of waterproofing my gloves.Thanks for the advice!
You’re welcome! Most leather gloves (and many other fabrics) come with some waterproofing properties built-in, but adding a treatment of Nikwax to your gloves will give you an instant upgrade and provide long-lasting, effective waterproofing.
Glad we could help! – Brennon
Learned so much…thanks
Hey Michelle! Glad we could help! Thanks for reading. – Brennon
I received leather driving gloves as a present. should those be treated the same as, say, leather ski gloves and waterproofed? What is the best way to care for them so they do not crack or break down?
Hey Angela! All smooth, full-grain leather gloves can be treated with our products, as described in the blog, no matter their use or purpose. Leather is leather. If you wanted to add a step, you could use our Conditioner for Leather product, to soften and condition the leather (if the gloves need it) after cleaning them, and before waterproofing them. Otherwise, cleaning and waterproofing them as outlined in the blog should keep your gloves working well for a long time. Hope that helps! – Brennon
I use the Nikwax waterproofing wax for leather on my Sierra Designs ski gloves a couple times per season and it works wonderfully. Gloves are one of the easiest and quickest pieces of clothing to waterproof also. I apply and put the gloves on to work into the leather really well and let them set for a day or two. Never have I had a problem with wet thru gloves and it seems likely they will add a few years to the leather.
Hey John! It’s great to hear that you’ve had some first-hand success. The cool thing about the wax is that it doesn’t even need to be applied to dry leather exclusively or need to “set” for it to be working efficiently. It can be applied on wet leather and it is also immediately effective, once rubbed on the gloves. Water will start to bead immediately. Some nice luxuries! Wishing your gloves a dry and long life! – Brennon
Thank you for the tips. I will waterproof my leather gloves from now on. Always did all my footwear and purses but not gloves.
Hey Olivia! Your gloves will forever thank you for including them in the “waterproofed” family. Thanks for reading! – Brennon
Yes I have used nikwax leather waterproofing on my leather boots but never thought of using it on my gloves. For sure I will give it a go, especially my leather work gloves which at times get wet when working on steam heating system.
Hey John! Yeah, we have a full range of leather products for footwear, gloves, apparel, and gear…anything with leather fabric. Conditioner for Leather, Leather Cleaner, Leather Restorer, Waterproofing Wax for Leather, Fabric & Leather Proof, and Nubuck & Suede Proof. Thanks for reading and for being a Nikwax customer. Stay dry out there! – Brennon
had never thought about this, will for sure be doing treatments on my current gloves, thanks!
Hello. Do I waterproof the non leather parts of the glove(black diamond)
The same way with the same Nikki wax water proofing ?
Hey Apostolos! For mixed-fabric gloves, we recommend cleaning the same way (Footwear Cleaning Gel) and then for waterproofing, using Glove Proof, a product designed for nearly all glove fabrics: http://www.nikwax.com/en-us/products/productdetail.php?productid=272&itemid=-1&fabricid=-1
You could also use our Fabric & Leather Proof product, mainly used for mixed-fabric footwear, but also highly effective on mixed-fabric gloves, especially with the Spray-On version: http://www.nikwax.com/en-us/products/productdetail.php?productid=261&itemid=-1&fabricid=-1
Hope that sheds a little light on it!
Great advice, Thanks.I never really thought about waterproofing my gloves before.
Thanks for your advice.
Hey Dane! Thanks for letting us know. There could be several possible answers to your situation. I’ve passed on your situation to our customer service team, and they will reach out to you today to start a dialogue.
I’m confident we can figure this out for you! – Brennon
Thanks for the info. Will heating a glove prior to application hurt the process or is it just not needed?
Hey Brendan! No heating necessary in our entire process…before, during, or after. Hope that is helpful! – Brennon
I love your waterproofing and cleaning product for my boots and will now try them on my gloves. Being leather palmed, fabric backed, cross-country ski gloves, they get sweaty on the inside. Any suggestion for cleaning the inside of the gloves?
Thanks for the tips,
Hey Larry! If you try the Glove Proof on your gloves, you should be able to maintain/increase the breathability of your gloves. GP is designed to let water vapor (sweat) out without letting any water in. I’d be curious as to what the inside fabric is…because if it is wool or synthetic wool, it should be wicking sweat for you. If it is wool or synthetic wool, you could turn the gloves inside out and spot clean with Wool Wash, our wool-focused product. If it is synthetic material like nylon or rayon, you could do the same, but with Tech Wash. Most often, Tech Wash works well for all gloves.
Hope that helps! – Brennon
I have a pair of Eddie Bauer First Ascent guide gloves which are part leather and part nylon (sides of fingers and part of top of hand). Need to re-waterproof them as they are not repelling well.
Remember using your product, or perhaps a similar competitors, on another pair of dual material gloves I had. I was not extremely careful and some of the product touched the non leather material, it dried with a film which hardened and eventually destroyed the material and I ended up with a hole and had to let them go.
Do I need to be exacting in the application to avoid any of the Nikwax from touching the non leather material?
Hey Jerome! That’s terrible! Sounds like some type of strange other product…not ours. Our footwear products don’t leave films or cause cracking/deterioration like that. It sounds like you need to try our Glove Proof, a product specifically designed for mixed-fabric and synthetic gloves.
That should solve your problems, going forward. Happy to help! – Brennon
Been using Nikwax got my motorcycle gear, especially my goretex leather gloves for a few years now. My gloves have now lasted me 4 years and I’m still on my firs tube! I recommend Nikwax to everyone I know.
Hey Tom! That is wonderful feedback! Sounds like we have a customer for life, and we greatly appreciate you! Thank you for spreading the message. 😀
– Brennon & the Nikwax team
Actually, You share the great advice. It’s very useful . Thanks!
I love your products . Can I use glove proof on my Sitka waterfowl gloves that are gore-tex with leather palms
Hey John! Yes, GP is designed for mixed fabric gloves… synthetic, leather, etc. Remember to clean them first… with either Nikwax Tech Wash, or even Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel. Hope that helps!