If you have a pair of leather gloves that are in need of cleaning, you may be wondering if you can wash them with soap and water.
There are many theories out there about using soap, water, or both on leather, and I’m here to clarify this once and for all.
The short answer is yes, you can use soap and water to clean leather gloves. However, you cannot submerge or soak your leather gloves in water as this can damage the leather. Instead, you should use a damp cloth and mild soap to clean the leather gently.
While there are a lot of benefits to using soap and water to clean leather gloves, it’s important to remember that there are some potential drawbacks.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the pros and cons, here are a few important things you should know.
What Type of Water Should You Use?
The type of water you use to clean leather gloves is very important. If you have access to distilled or filtered water, this will be the best option.
This type of water does not contain any minerals or other elements that can discolor the leather.
Tap water from certain parts of the world is not recommended for cleaning leather as it may contain chlorine and other elements that can dry out or discolor the material.
So your safest bet is to use distilled or filtered water when possible.
What Type of Soap Should You Use?
When cleaning leather gloves with soap and water, it’s important to use mild soap that is specifically formulated for leather.
These types of soaps include leather cleaners and saddle soaps. They are your safest bet for cleaning leather and will not damage the material.
If you don’t have access to these types of soaps, you can use mild dish soap, castile soap, or baby shampoo.
However, it’s important to remember that if you go this route, you should only use a very small amount of soap, as too much can cause the leather to become dry and brittle.
You should never use any soap that is too harsh or contains harsh chemicals, as this can damage the leather.
For example, you should never use laundry soap, degreasers, or any chemical-based cleaner on your leather gloves.
How often Should You Clean Your Leather Gloves?
Leather gloves should be cleaned on a regular basis, ideally every two to three months, depending on what the leather gloves are used for.
This will help keep them looking their best and free of any dirt or debris that can accumulate over time.
Cleaning your leather gloves or any type of leather item too frequently can cause the material to become dry and brittle, so try to find a balance between too often and not often enough.
What Do You Do if Water and Soap Cause Damage To The Leather Gloves?
If you do find that water and soap have caused damage to your leather gloves, then it’s important to take immediate action.
You should start by cleaning the leather with a good leather cleaner and then apply a small amount of leather balm or leather conditioner to the leather as soon as possible.
This will help treat and protect the leather from any further damage and should restore the gloves back to their original condition.
Just remember to use a small amount and work the balm or conditioner in gently with a cloth. Do not rub too hard, as this can cause further damage.
The Pros of Using Soap And Water to Wash Leather
Now let’s take a look at the benefits of using soap and water to clean leather gloves.
1. Removes Dirt and Grime
Soap and water are effective at removing dirt, oil, and grime from leather gloves.
This will help keep the leather looking its best for longer, as dirt can accumulate on the material if not removed regularly.
2. Treat Odor and Smells
Soap and water can also be used to treat odors and smells that may linger on leather gloves.
This is especially useful if you want to keep your gloves smelling fresh and free of any unpleasant odors.
3. Prevents Bacteria Growth
By regularly cleaning leather gloves with soap and water, you can also help prevent the growth of bacteria on the leather material.
Bacteria can cause a number of problems, including discoloration and even odors. Soap and water will help keep bacteria away from your leather gloves.
4. It’s a Great Way To Treat General Stains
Soap and water can be used to treat general stains on leather gloves effectively.
Mix a small amount of mild soap into water and use a cloth to gently rub away any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on the leather material.
This will help restore the color and texture of your leather gloves and keep them looking their best for longer.
The Cons of Using Soap And Water to Clean Leather
Although there are a lot of benefits to cleaning leather gloves with soap and water, there are some potential drawbacks.
1. The Gloves May Become Lighter
Over time, using soap and water on leather gloves can cause them to become lighter in color.
This is because the natural oils in the leather and dyes will be removed gradually, making the leather appear lighter than before.
2. It Can Cause The Leather To Become Brittle
Using too much soap or water on leather gloves can also cause them to become dry and brittle over time.
If you do eventually find that your leather gloves are becoming too dry, then you should consider switching to a different cleaning method or using a leather conditioner to help keep them looking their best.
3. It Will Not Remove All Types of Stains
Soap and water are not always effective at removing all types of stains from leather gloves.
In particular, grease and oil-based stains can be difficult to remove with this method.
If you have a stubborn stain on your leather gloves, then you should look for a dedicated cleaner specifically designed to remove tough stains from leather.
How To Clean Leather Gloves with Soap and Water
Cleaning leather gloves with soap and water is actually quite simple. All you need to do is:
- Mix a small amount of mild liquid soap in distilled or warm water.
- Dip a cloth into the soapy mixture and gently scrub the leather gloves in a circular motion.
- Rinse the gloves off with a clean damp cloth and allow them to air dry.
- Once the gloves are completely dry, apply a small amount of leather balm or leather conditioner to help nourish and protect the material.
- Allow the leather to air-dry again.
By following these steps, you can effectively clean your leather gloves with soap and water, helping them look their best for longer.
Just be sure not to rub too hard, as this can cause further damage.
So, should you wash leather gloves with soap and water? The answer is yes! Cleaning leather gloves with soap and water can be a great way to keep them looking their best.
However, it’s important to remember that improper cleaning can damage the leather, so you should ensure that you are using mild soap specifically designed for leather and not too much of it.
If done correctly, cleaning leather gloves with soap and water can be a safe and effective method of keeping them looking their best.
Good luck and happy cleaning!