If you work with leather, then you know that the gloves are usually stiff and uncomfortable. This is because they have been dried out from use or lack of care.
Luckily there are a few different ways to soften up your work gloves so that they become easier to wear and more comfortable on your hands. In this article, we will go over six easy methods for softening leather work gloves so that you can get back to work without any discomfort.
Best Products to Soften Stiff Leather Gloves
When dealing with leather gloves, you want something that will soften the material, so it becomes more flexible and easier to work in. There are various products on the market for doing this job, but below are some of our favorites:
Hairdryer: Turn the hairdryer on to high heat and hold it about six inches away from your gloves. Move it around in circular motions while keeping an eye on how soft you are making them; then, once they reach a desired level of softness, remove the conditioner with a wet cloth or paper towel.
Conditioning Creams/Oil: Conditioning creams and oils are a great way to soften your leather gloves as they contain ingredients such as mink oil, lanolin, or silicone that help penetrate the material. Simply rub some onto both hands before putting on the gloves for about 15 minutes,, then remove any excess with paper towels/rags.
Beeswax Leather Conditioner: Beeswax leather conditioners are another great product that can be used for softening stiff gloves. Simply apply the beeswax to your hands before putting on the gloves and let it sit until they’re softened up enough, then remove with a wet rag or paper towel.
Mink Oil: Mink oil is a great product that can be used for conditioning leather gloves as it contains ingredients such as lanolin, which helps soften and waterproof them. It’s also an all-natural product, unlike many other conditioners on the market today.
Banana Oil: Banana oil is a great product for softening leather gloves as it’s all-natural and contains ingredients such as castor oil, which helps make the material more flexible.
Petroleum Jelly: Petroleum jelly is a great product for softening leather gloves as it penetrates the material and also helps make them waterproof. Simply apply to your hands before putting on the gloves, then leave in until they’re softened enough, remove with paper towels/rags, and you’re all done!
Leather Balm: Leather balms are great for softening gloves as they not only contain ingredients such as lanolin to help soften the material but also beeswax and other leather conditioning agents. Simply rub a small amount onto both hands before putting on your gloves, let it sit for about 15 minutes, then remove with a wet rag/paper towel.
6 Amazing Ways to Softening Leather Work Gloves
1. Soaking Work Gloves
If you are looking for a quick way to soften your leather work gloves, then look no further than the good old-fashioned method of soaking them.
- Fill a pitcher with lukewarm water.
- Submerge your work gloves in the pitcher until they are completely submerged under the liquid.
- Wait for 30 minutes.
- Remove the gloves from the water and gently wring them out until they are damp but not fully soaked in liquid.
2. Using a Glove Dryer
If you don’t have time to wait around for your work gloves to soak, then consider using glove dryers instead. While these are not as effective at softening your leather work gloves, they will still get the job done.
- Place your wet or damp work glove in a dryer and add three to four tennis balls to the machine with it.
- Set the temperature on low and turn on the appliance for ten minutes.
- Remove your gloves from the dryer and check their softness. If they are not as soft as you would like them to be, put them back in for another ten minutes on low heat.
- Repeat until they are soft enough for your liking.
3. Natural Methods to Soften Leather Work Gloves
If you would rather save money or avoid using harmful chemicals, then consider trying out the natural methods of softening leather work gloves instead.
- Place your damp work glove on a flat surface and gently pound it with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Repeat this process until your work glove is soft enough to wear again. Keep in mind that the more you pound it, the softer it will become over time, so don’t be afraid to put some elbow grease into each hit!
4. Using Shaving Cream for Softening Leather Work Gloves
Shaving cream is a great way to soften leather work gloves because it contains lanolin, which can naturally soothe your skin.
- Rub shaving cream into the palms of your wet or damp work glove and spread it around evenly using your hands.
- Let the shaving cream sit for ten minutes, then gently remove it with a warm, wet washcloth.
- Turn your work glove inside out and repeat the process on the other side before letting it dry for twenty to thirty minutes. If you are worried about staining your leather work gloves with shaving cream, try using Vaseline instead because this oil-based ointment is equally effective at softening your leather work gloves.
5. Using a Conditioner for Leather Work Gloves
If you don’t have shaving cream or access to the ingredients, then consider using a conditioner instead, as it is an inexpensive and effective way of softening your leather work gloves.
- Rub in one tablespoon of conditioner into your leather work gloves using your hands.
- Wait for five to ten minutes then use a wet washcloth to remove the conditioner from your glove. Do not rinse it off! Repeat this process until you are satisfied with how soft they have become throughout. Keep in mind that conditioned leather will attract water, so be sure not to spill anything on them or get them wet.
6. Using Glove Oil for Softening Leather Work Gloves
If you do not have any shaving cream, conditioner, or Vaseline at home, then consider using glove oil instead, as it is a great way of softening your leather work gloves naturally.
- Pour a small amount of glove oil into the palm of one hand and rub it between your hands until it is evenly distributed.
- Spread a thin layer of this cream on the palms, back, and fingers of both gloves using your hands before letting them sit for fifteen to twenty minutes.
- Remove any excess conditioner from your gloves and turn them inside out before letting them air dry. Repeat the process until your leather work gloves are as soft as you would like them to be!
- Put on your newly softened, conditioner-free leather work gloves and enjoy how comfortable they feel around your hands for once!
- Store these in a cool, dry place to keep them from drying out.
- If you would like to remove the excess oil that was used during this process, put your gloves on and wash your working gloves with soap and water before letting them air dry again. Repeat these steps until all of the oil has been removed completely.
- Put your leather work gloves in a warm, dry place to help them into the shape that you desire. If you want your work gloves to be even softer than they already are, then let them sit for another day before wearing them again!
- Store these glove softeners away from direct sunlight and heat sources as both can damage leather over time.
Tips to Maintain Leather Gloves After Polishing
- Brush or wipe off excess dirt and grime on the surface of your leather work gloves.
- Cleaning them with a damp cloth is also an option, but make sure to allow them to dry thoroughly before using them again.
- Polish it once in a while for that professional look you want from your favorite pair of work gloves. You can buy this at the local hardware store or do it yourself at home.
- If you are looking for an easy way to nourish your leather work gloves, use mink oil. Apply a small amount of this on your hands and rub them together before wearing the gloves again. This will not only soften but also protect against wear and tear caused by exposure to the elements.
- Before storing the leather work gloves, make sure to clean them again with a damp cloth. Allow them dry before placing them in your storage bag or box. This will ensure that they are completely free from moisture and dirt when you need them for use next time.
If you follow the steps above, your leather work gloves should be nice and soft in no time. Just remember to always treat them with care by keeping them clean and allowing them to dry after every use!
Hopefully, after reading this article you feel more confident about softening your leather work gloves! There are many different ways to accomplish this task, but one thing is for sure; removing the stiffness will make working with them a lot easier.
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