Anyone who’s played a few rounds with a golf glove will know that it doesn’t take much for them to stain or get dirty. Exposed to the sweat from your hands, the elements, and friction against the golf club grip, golf gloves can quickly lose their spark.
What many golfers don’t realize is that golf gloves are actually very easy to clean. By taking care of them, you can extend their durability and maintain performance. So before you head out and drop another $15 on a new one, here’s all you need to know about how to clean golf gloves.
A Quick Clean
If you get in from a round of golf and find that your glove is looking a bit ragged from dirt and sweat, there’s a quick method you can use to give it a good wash.
With the glove on your hand, pour some cold water over it. Don’t use warm water, as it can easily damage the materials.
Next, grab a towel and gently rub the glove. This will effectively remove grit and dirt particles, and should wipe away the majority of the perspiration.
The best way to dry the glove is to leave it on your hand and let it air dry. This will help it to retain its form, preventing it from shrinking. Don’t use a hairdryer or any other kind of heat source – these will ruin the leather.
A More Thorough Clean
If your glove is starting to look particularly worse for wear, you might be able to rescue it with a thorough clean involving soap.
Start by removing the debris from your glove. You can do this with your hand, or with a soft brush.
Next, fill your sink or a bucket with cool water, and add 2 tablespoons of a mild, moisturizing liquid soap. You could also add a tablespoon of fabric softener – this will help to keep your glove soft and remove any odors.
Soak your glove in the soapy water for around 20 minutes. Swirl it around a bit to ensure that the soap activates all over the glove.
Keeping the glove submerged, squeeze the water through the inside of the glove, rubbing the material against itself to clean it. It’s best not to scrub the glove with a brush, as it can induce further wear.
Another technique is to wash your hands while wearing the glove. It might feel weird, but it’s a good way of ensuring a thorough clean.
With the glove thoroughly cleaned, rinse it off with cool water, and leave it to air dry. Leave it on a towel, or hanging over a sink. It’s a good idea to periodically put the glove on your hand as it dries – this prevents the material from shrinking.
It will probably take a few hours for the glove to dry. To speed up the process, you could wring it out – just don’t be too aggressive with it as wet leather is prone to tearing.
Can You Wash Golf Gloves In The Washing Machine?
It’s recommended that you keep golf gloves away from washing machines. For leather gloves, in particular, the heat, moisture, and rough and tumble are a potentially fatal combination. Synthetic golf gloves might be more agreeable, but it’s still not advised.
It might be ok if you put it through a cold, delicate cycle. You should also turn the glove inside out to protect the print, and make sure that the velcro is secured. Never use bleach.
Can You Put Golf Gloves In The Dryer?
Nope! The sheer heat of dryers is a cold-hearted killer of golf gloves, causing them to crack and/or shrink.
Instead, you should always air dry them. If you can find a sunny spot, it will be faster – just be aware that, as it dries, leather tends to shrink, so you should periodically stretch it out whilst it’s drying to help it retain its form.
Other Golf Glove Care Tips
Aside from regularly cleaning them, there are a number of things you can do to extend your glove’s life.
- Never use your club to wipe perspiration from your face, forehead, or arms: Sweat contains salt, and salt has a way of dehydrating leather at an alarming rate. Sure, golf gloves are designed to deal with sweat from your hands, but if you start using them like a sweat towel, they’ll quickly start to suffer.
- Avoid cleaning things with your glove: It can be very tempting to wipe dirt off your ball or club with your glove, but this is a bad idea. Not only will it muddy up the glove, but it will also cause it to wear out faster due to the friction.
- Air out your glove in between holes: It may seem like a hassle, but taking off your glove after each hole will give it some time to breathe, which helps to keep it dry. You could stick it in your back pocket, or hang it from your bag. Some golfers even bring an extra glove out with them, and alternate between the two. This means that you can always have a dry glove on hand.
- Don’t shove your glove into your bag at the end of the round: If it’s scrunched up and put into a pocket of your bag, it will take forever to dry. And when it does dry, it will likely be damaged. Instead, you should hang it from the exterior of your bag to let it air and dry out. Once it’s dry, it should be fine to store in your bag.
When Should You Replace Your Golf Glove?
Even if you take the best possible care of your glove by following our ‘how to clean golf gloves’ guide, your golf glove will eventually need replacing. Since their main purpose is to absorb perspiration in order to give you a better grip of your club, it’s only natural that they eventually break down.
The dirt might be so ingrained into your glove that it simply cannot be washed away – that’s usually a good indicator that it’s time to get rid. Similarly, you might notice some holes or cracks in your glove. This is irreparable damage, so you should probably go ahead and purchase a new one.
Also, if your glove has shrunk, stretched, or has become too stiff, then it’s become a discomfort rather than a helpful aid. Continued use will do you no favors.
Golf gloves naturally fade away, and they aren’t too expensive – but you could still save a lot of money by properly caring for your glove and using our ‘how to clean golf gloves’ guide. Even if it’s just a quick wipe down with some cool water, keeping your glove clean will extend its life dramatically.
An occasional wash with soap is highly recommended. As long as you avoid hot water, treat them gently, and allow them to air dry, you should have no problems. Equally, taking good care of your glove on the course as well as at home will keep you swinging with more grip and style for much longer.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.