How To Clean Your Motorcycle Riding Gloves

black and white gloves

The motorcycle riding gloves tend to be the most worn out and abused motorcycle apparel among riders. They provide unparalleled comfort while driving, especially on long trips.

There are two main types of motorcycle gloves in the market: mesh and leather gloves. Mesh, textile, or fabric gloves are made of synthetic and durable materials so they can be cleaned like any other normal fabric. Leather gloves are more sensitive so the cleaning method is less harsh so as to not damage it.

Motorcycle gloves are not that cheap so it is a good idea to take good care of your pair. You can save a lot of money in the long run by minimizing the number of times you have to replace your gloves.

How To Wash Mesh, Textile, Or Fabric Motorcycle Gloves

Mesh, textiles, and fabric motorcycle gloves are the types that are easy to clean. These are made of durable materials that can withstand aggressive cleaning methods like the washing machine or scrubbing.

Wash The Gloves

The first step is to normally wash the gloves. Soak them in water until all areas are sufficiently wet. Take a mild detergent or baby shampoo and dilute them into the water. Do not apply the cleaner directly. Make sure to use a gentle cleanser so as to not be too harsh on the material.

Gently scrub the gloves as you would scrub any normal fabric. Use a toothbrush to concentrate on spots with stubborn stains. Another trick is to wear gloves as you wash them.

hands cleaning gloves

Take some time to thoroughly clean the inner lining of your gloves. This is the spot that absorbs most of the sweat, oil, and grime. It is bound to be dirty. Do not hesitate to do multiple rounds if necessary. Rinse the soap away with some warm water.

Dry The Gloves

Avoid wringing out the water from your gloves. Wringing the gloves can damage the surface by chipping away some parts. You can hang up the gloves immediately and just let the water drip until it dries. Make sure to hang the gloves in a spot with sufficient airflow and direct sunlight. The sunlight will cause the water to evaporate faster. Its ultraviolet rays and the intense temperature can also be used to disinfect your gloves.

How To Wash Leather Motorcycle Gloves

Leather is more sensitive compared to other materials so it requires a different set of cleaning instructions.

Superficial Cleaning

Start by removing the obvious dust, dirt, and grime on the surface of the leather gloves. It is important to note that water does not work well with leather. Water will cause the leather to shrink, shrivel, and stiffen. It will lose its softness which will render it useless as a pair of protective motorcycle gloves.

Take a little bit of oil-based cleanser and then gently rub it on the surface of the motorcycle gloves.use a soft piece of fabric, preferably made of cotton. Work in circular motions. You may need to go repetitively over spots with stubborn stains. This motion will form a lather which you will need to wipe away with another gentle piece of fabric.

Dry The Motorcycle Gloves

The best way to dry leather motorcycle gloves is to set them in a well-ventilated area with sufficient airflow. Keep the gloves out of direct sunlight or intense heat. It can cause the leather to stiffen and crack, which damages its surface and makes it uncomfortable to wear.

drying gloves motorcycle

Condition The Motorcycle Gloves

After cleaning the exterior, it is time to condition it with oils to replenish the layers you may have rubbed off. There are plenty of leather conditioners to choose from. It is advisable to pick a leather conditioner that is the same color as your motorcycle gloves.

Make sure to go over the seams and stitches. These are the areas that are most exposed to sweat so they dry out pretty quickly. Allow the conditioner to set for at least thirty minutes. Apply more layers if necessary.

Clean The Inside

The interior of the leather motorcycle gloves should also be thoroughly cleaned. This is bound to contain accumulated sweat, dirt, and grime. First, flip your motorcycle gloves inside out to get complete access to the interior. You can regularly disinfect the area by spraying it with some alcohol. Alcohol makes it sanitary and also eliminates odor-causing bacteria.

A concoction of baking soda and cornstarch can eliminate stubborn odors. As for the storage, make sure to place your gloves in a well-ventilated area. This is called airing it out. This allows the gloves to fully dry before you use them again.

Importance Of Cleaning Motorcycle Gloves

There are invaluable benefits to regularly cleaning your motorcycle gloves, from sanitary reasons to prolonging its lifespan.

Better Protection

Motorcycle gloves serve to protect your hands from calluses during long drives. The gloves also protect your hands when you need to break your fall in case of an accident.

Poorly-maintained motorcycle gloves will not be as effective because the accumulated sweat, oil, and grime can damage the surface of the gloves. These may also eat away at the EPS padding which is supposed to cushion your hands. The eroded parts will easily tear or fall apart, leaving your skin vulnerable.


There are so many disadvantages to wearing dirty motorcycle gloves. The accumulated sweat, oil, and dirt will cause the lining to degrade faster. They are also unhygienic and uncomfortable to wear. The dirt will serve as breeding for odor-causing bacteria which will make your motorcycle gloves smell bad.