From leather to wool: How to wash your dirty winter gloves

Winter gloves can be as germy as hands, harboring everything from e-coli to the flu to the cold virus. On top of that, people rarely, if ever, wash their gloves. 

Leslie Reichert, the Cleaning Coach, provides some quick tips for cleaning leather, wool, and cotton gloves at home.

Leather (and faux leather)

  • Use a little bit of oil-based soap, such as saddle soap, to remove stains from the outside (try using the bubbles from the soap instead of the water). 
  • After it dries, use a microfiber cloth to polish.
  • Use corn starch or baking soda sprinkled lightly on the inside. Corn starch will absorb the oils and baking soda absorbs the smell. 
  • To disinfect the inside, very lightly spray the inside with either rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.


  • Use warm water in a sink with a drop of gentle dish or hand soap.
  • Let it soak for a few minutes to allow the soap to work its way into the glove.
  • Drain the water; lay the gloves flat against the bottom of the sink and use fingers to press out water. 
  • Don’t twist or wring them out or they will warp.
  • Put the gloves in a towel and roll up to press excess water out of the gloves.
  • Unroll towel and place the gloves flat, and exactly the way they should look on a drying screen.


  • Wash in a washing machine with cold water.
  • Do not dry to prevent shrinking.
  • If there are spots, use spot cleaner and a brush to work out the stain.
  • Washing with oxygen bleach will save the color and protect the gloves.

Waterproof Ski Gloves

  • Generously spray the outside with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect.
  • Sprinkle baking powder or corn starch on the inside. The baking powder will absorb the smell, the corn starch will absorb the oils.  


  • Use a suede protecting spray before wearing.
  • Dry clean with at a cleaner that works with suede.