Let's start with what not to use to clean gloves: water! As we all know, water is not good for leather.
For this reason, it's mandatory to properly dry the gloves (especially if caught in the rain while riding) and treat them as follows:
– keep them far from sources of heat, and in an atmosphere not above 40 degrees
– keep them far from direct light, well ventilated, with the tip towards the ground
Remember that it's important to dedicate 60 seconds of your time to your gloves to clean with a soft cloth or a microfiber cloth and properly hang them out to dry.
This will prevent molds, bad odors, and will generally expand their life span.
If you're keen on washing your gloves and remove the dirt, remember it's always important to avoid water.
There's also another thing. Online, you'll see people suggesting to use cold water and then hang the gloves to dry right away with soft cloths on the inside to keep their original shape.
Be careful, as this method is likely to force to throw them away! The leathers stiffen, the fit changes and, if rigid protections are mounted, you risk that they change their position on the back of your hand, therefore reducing (significantly) their protective capacity.
By nature, leathers absorb liquids and, once dried, it gets stiffer and thinner, losing its shape. The external cleaning usually requires specific products.
There are kits that are specifically studied for this purpose and are available from Dainese, Spidi or Alpinestars.
The kit comprises two products: one skin cleaner and one hydrating lotion (not the skin lotion some people suggest).
Don't forget that leathers for garments, especially motorcycle gear, is preserved and treated in a different way compared with other leathers and is quite different from our skin, so don't use personal care products on your gloves.
Here's a detailed checklist to clean your gloves without damaging them:
1. Put the glove on a flat surface
2. Gently rub a sponge soaked in the cleaning solution on the external surface
3. Repeat until the gloves are clean
4. Gently rub with a soft, dry cloth to absorb any leftovers
5. Dry far from direct light, with good ventilation, tip facing downwards
6. When the leather is completely dry, spread the hydrating lotion gently with a soft (or microfiber) cloth, letting it absorb gradually.
This can be done in multiple passages, without exaggeration. Once the gloves are dry, the cleaning is done.