BurtonAKsachetSo, you just dropped a chunk of change on a new pair of leather gloves. You take them out of the packaging and wait, what is this little packet of…Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather? Why is it here? What do I do with it? These are good questions, and we will address them one at a time.

What is Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather? Waterproofing Wax for Leather is a waterbased waterproofing cream for smooth leather. It provides instant durable water repellency (DWR), maintains breathability, and works on wet or dry leather.

Why does it come with your gloves? Glove companies, such as POW, Burton, Dakine, Black Diamond, and FlyLow offer it to help take care of their gloves… or, now, your gloves. The leather is not always waterproof. A waterproof, breathable membrane, like Gore-Tex, is what’s keeping the water/moisture from getting to your hands. Using Waterproofing Wax for Leather will add water repellency to the leather thus providing extra protection from the elements. It will also prolong the life of your gloves!

How do you use it? Well, you can use it sort of like hand lotion. Tear the sachet at the top, put on your gloves, and squeeze about Hershey’s Kiss amount into your palm. Then, like hand lotion, rub the cream evenly all over the gloves. Make sure it is fully absorbed into the leather and pressed into the seams. If you think you missed an area, apply a little bit more.

Now what about cleaning the gloves?

How do you clean them? So you made a snowball and the snow contained… some kind of animal excrement. Or perhaps you dropped the gloves in a mud puddle. 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 postion, maybe over an empty beer or soda can. DO NOT dry your gloves with a hair dryer, or next to a heater, or go Kramer style and put them in the oven. 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 a safe bet.

Back to that little Wax packet, how often should you be using it?

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 glove compartment, and stash yet another at home so that you can attack at the first sign of water absorption.

Are you one to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation? Once a month is the recommended usage for a pair of POW 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 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 pow day. The gloves do COME WITH the packet! Sheesh.

Looking for new leather gloves? Check out the selections from our partners: Dakine, POW, Black Diamond, Burton, FlyLow, 686, Howl, Marmot, and Eddie Bauer.

6 thoughts on “What the wax? Why Nikwax comes with leather gloves and how to use it.”

  1. Are you supposed to apply it to the gloves when they are brand new or is it only intended for re-waterproofing after some time…?

    1. Hey Ed! Leather gloves can be given an initial treatment of waterproofing when they are brand new, yes. That will give them a nice buffer of waterproofing, right out of the gate. It can also be re-applied after use, and after you’ve noticed some water absorbing into the leather. Hope that helps! – Brennon

  2. The treatment made my new Flylow mitten very sticky/grippy! To the point that it is difficult to slide my pole straps over them. Is there any way to reduce this?

    1. Hey Jake! Our Customer Service team is stellar and this a perfect question for them! Give them a quick call: 206-633-0063. They can have some good recommendations for you. Thanks!

    1. Hey Tom! We make a product called Glove Proof that is ideal for mixed fabric gloves. Our Waterproofing Wax for Leather is ideal for smooth leather gloves, and we don’t recommend putting it on any synthetic parts of the glove. It can appear gloppy, if so. Remember to clean before waterproofing. If you’re looking to clean your gloves, Tech Wash or Footwear Cleaning Gel are great options. Hope that helps!

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