How to Clean or Wash a Golf Glove (Without Ruining It)

Golfing Tips For Beginners

Every time I go golfing, it is almost always my worry as to how I would clean my golf glove. After using it for years at a time, maintaining its quality is of utmost importance to me. However, I sometimes stumble as to how to clean it without ruining the material it is made from.

 

How do I clean or wash a golf glove without ruining it? For washing-at-home purposes, mildly wash the glove by applying mild detergent until the surface dirt and perspiration is removed. However, there are other tactics as well.

 

Cleaning or washing your golf glove does not only affect how you look on the court but also the performance you put in the field. Having clean and washed gloves is both an aesthetic pleaser and a performance enhancer. Washing them should be your utmost priority after practice or a full game.

How Does Your Golf Glove Wear Out?

In this section, prior to cleaning tips, we will see how your golf glove wears and what it will tell you. Specifically, it is important to look at where exactly the glove has worn out or gotten dirty. Through this, we are able to tell what it means as far as even your grip technique.

 

Naturally, over time, the wear that you will experience in the gloves is almost inevitable. Regardless of the price you pay for it, like a top-notch Cabretta leather or manmade synthetic, it is only natural for the glove to wear out over time. Usually, players opt for the Cabretta leather, knowing that it is very thin, and at the same time very prone to wear and tear. Although a synthetic glove may last longer, it is well-known in the golf community that leather beats synthetic in terms of feel for the game.

 

Now, depending on how you configure the glove, it should tell you a lot of things about your technique. If the leather starts getting scuffed, it means that you have a hole in your thumb right at the crease of the palm side of the knuckle.

 

The area around the big part of the palm, if that shows wear and tear, is a minimal concern. This is because it will not result in a huge hole developing. If there is a thumb hole, it means that you should re-gripping the top of the swing.

 

Essentially, the glove is made to last long. If you are experiencing tear in some areas, it is a sign that you are overstressing that part of your hand. As a preventative measure, make sure that your placements are correct and that you do not put too much pressure in areas that can pile up.

 

However, if you have experienced that the tips of your fingers in the glove are ripping off or wearing out, then you are simply buying the wrong sized gloves. This means, simply, that your fingers are too long for the glove’s dimensions. Instead, try the same cadet size in the glove and that should work fine in terms of size. A cadet size glove, to be clear, are those that feature shorter fingers.

 

A good rule of thumb to remember is that you want a golf glove size that fits like a second skin. Any looseness will stretch through your usage, and tightness will result in immediate wear and tear.

Maintenance on the Field

Like any item in any sport, the golf glove can take a beating over time. The soft leather that it contains absorbs sweat, along with the occasional wear and tear from gripping the club. Further, with swinging motions, there are a lot of unwanted conditions that can wear out your golf glove.

 

So, over time, it is essentially natural for the glove to experience tears. However, with proper care on the field itself, you can maintain the golf glove clean while on the course. In fact, many golfers today are unaware of how some of their habits can actually dirty up their golf gloves faster than everyone else’s. In fact, most players clean out their golf gloves every month.

 

With proper care, the gloves can last multiple months. Yet, there are top-notch materials that you could use to prevent this. One of them is to buy leather gloves. Serious golfers know, that when it comes to glove materials, that leather is way better than synthetic.

 

Leather is animal skin–it is porous, allowing air and moisture to permeate across the surface. On the field, the glove has a couple of functions. Other than increasing grip, it has to reduce perspiration from your hands and allow a firm grip. Rather, think of the gloves themselves as ventilation material, keeping them cool on a hot day on the green. However, do not oversaturate the glove with liquid sweat. Know that, even with leather, there are limits.

 

Other than moisture, one of the other things that can ruin your glove is too much salt moisture. Salt from perspiration dehydrates leather and can break down the glove at a much much higher rate than regular.

 

Salt from perspiration dries out the leather and breaks it down. Similarly, this may be the same reason that your leather boots may start to peel after exposure. This leads us to our next tip: do not ever use your glove to wipe sweat from your forehead or arms.

If your desire is to keep your gloves for as long as it can, throw instead a microfiber towel to remove your sweat in between rounds. This way, your gloves can last longer, as they are not designed to be sweat takes.

 

However, now, this may come to mind: “golf gloves are supposed to be used to control moisture, right?”. The short answer to that is a resounding yes. However, there is a huge difference in wiping perspiration onto the surface of the gloves vs producing hand sweat from within. The main reason that Bionic gloves tend to last longer is due to their mini-towel tech that is purposefully made to absorb excess moisture.

 

Yet, with that being said, it is still best to air out the golfing glove between holes themselves. One main method of doing this is by sticking the gloves in the back pocket or hang it from your golf bag. A lot of golfers actually find it easier to bring extra gloves and alternate between them. This way, you can think of this as balancing the sweat levels that your gloves could potentially have.

 

Another note to point out is to stay away from dunking the gloves in the water. Even if you are ball washing or saving a ball from the water, remove the glove first, rather than going all-in. This way, you can avoid the most water as you can as possible. After that, use a towel to dry off your hands and continue the game.

 

If you play with a wet glove, it wears down your hand and the glove itself through abrasion. Moisture then softens the leather and skin at the same time, making that perfectly-once-fitting glove into a poor-fitting one. Further, it can also give you tons of blisters on your hand.

 

Finally, at the end of the game, be sure to not scrunch the glove and toss it in a pocket. What you want to do instead is to hold the glove in the exterior of the bag between rounds so that they can dry off. Finally, do not crumple up the leather gloves you have. In this method, it will take forever to dry them.

Cleaning Leather Gloves at Home

Although the maintenance on the field is very important to the maintenance of the gloves, it can only go so far. Most of the time, a lot of golf players actually wash their golf gloves at home. You will want to remove that buildup once you get home from the game.

 

In fact, the sooner you can wash the gloves, the better. A hardy pair of leather gloves can be easily cleaned with the guidelines below.

 

The first step that we have is the washing of the gloves themselves. Gently wash the gloves to remove dirt and another build-up. Most leather gloves are not washable. Cabretta leather is a very delicate leather and only wash if it has been soiled to a noticeable degree. If you are washing by hand, use a mild detergent and gently wash the glove until all the surface dirt is gone. You can also wash this by machine. If so, set it on a delicate cycle. More importantly, makes sure any Velcro is fastened properly, and never use bleach.

 

A hand wash technique should work better. First, rinse the glove off in cold water. If you do this in hot water, then you might deteriorate the quality of the gloves that you had purchased. The purpose of this step is to remove any dirt on the surface of the glove and get the leather wet.

 

The next step is to fill the bucket with cold water and 2 tablespoons of dish detergent. Then, put your hand in the water and stir it up to make a solution of dish detergent and water, creating soap suds. Place the glove in the water and twirl it around. This way, you can scrub off the initial dirt off of it in a gentle use.

 

The following step is to wash the harder stains by placing the wet glove on your hand and lightly scrubbing it on the leather with a hand towel pre-soaked in soapy water.

 

Then, rinse the glove in clean and cold water to remove the soap and air dry the leather. After about three hours of air drying, put it back on. Even if it may still be slightly wet, this will help stretch out the leather and prevent it from shrinking.

 

The last step is to take the gloves off again and air dry for the next 12 hours. Air drying is very important. If you expose the leather to very extreme heat, then it will either shrink, crack, or both. Hang the glove and allow it to air dry for a while.

 

If on the case that you do see the leather drying, use a leather conditioner. When condition, pay very close attention to creases. The creases are the ones that can reduce performance in your hands and fingers.

Can you Wash Synthetic Gloves?

Synthetic gloves have generally different rules for glove cleaning. One of the main rules that we have is to not marinate it in water. It is not good to have them hang out in the gear bag or back of the truck. As soon as you come home, make cleaning a part of the recovery process.

 

There is one primary way to clean it: through the washer. They can be put into the washing machine at a maximum of 30 Celsius and do not use any type of softener. It is also imperative to use a delicate cycle. Turn the gloves inside out to protect the print. Further, use a wash cycle that is cold water (30-degree Celsius max). Finally, go very easy on the spin. You do not want the gloves themselves to get ruined by a fast spin. Here, through a delicate and slow spin, you can gently wash the gloves.

 

What is more important than a lot of people do not realize is to not mix it with heavy items, like bulky towels or pants. It can ruin the material on the gloves themselves which you do not want.

 

You can also hand-wash them. Since machines can be a bit rough on gloves, you can always hand wash. First, use a mild detergent and warm water. A good rule of thumb is if it is too hot for your hands, then it will be also too hot for the gloves themselves.

 

Unlike washing clothes by hand, just pretend you are washing your hands, except now you have the gloves on. Use detergent or regular soap from the laundry. After scrubbing it over, leave it to air dry until it is of your desired comfortability.

 

Can you put Golf Gloves in the Dryer?

As mentioned above, putting golf gloves in the dryer is not advised. Instead, air-drying is the best option. It can only withstand a certain amount of heat, and the dryers can actually shrink the gloves that you currently have.

 

Rather than throwing them into the dryer after a hand wash or delicate cycle, you want to simply air dry them outside, preferably facing the sun for constant low heat. This way, your air dry is more efficient, and you do not shrink the gloves. The only downside to this, of course, is that you would have to wait a long time for the air dry.

 

However, 12 hours’ worth of air dry should be worth less than buying a new pair constantly.

Knowing when to Replace

Of course, cleaning your golf gloves is of great importance. Without it, you would just keep on buying new golf gloves every time that you felt that it has worn out. This, of course, is inefficient. Always remember that cleaning the golf gloves routinely is key for its longevity.

 

However, regardless of how nice you upkeep the gloves themselves, in the end, you will have to replace them. Regardless of your consistency doing a delicate wash or air drying carefully, the gloves will always experience wear and tear. Even if you get the best gloves on the market, it will only last you so long given the amount of time you use and play on the field.

 

Therefore, there are some indications as to when to replace the gloves, and that is completely okay. In the end, golf gloves are complicated. In a lot of the games that you play, you have probably taken a lot of breaks. You return to the bag, dig around it, and find that your gloves look like a carwash rag. You may wonder why but think of it as a nice pair of sandals.

 

Over time, they reach that nice perfect point where it fits perfectly. However, at the same time, they wear out and need to be replaced. This is evident in our behaviors: we replace sandals occasionally, and the same thing should go for gloves. There are a lot of indications when you should get a new glove.

 

The first one is when it is very dirty. As mentioned above, you can always clean the gloves. However, if the dirt does not come off, or simply, if it is too much, it is time for a replacement. If the white parts of the glove now look like it’s been dragged through a baseball field, assess the glove’s health. Over time, your sweaty hands, along with the nature of the course, will discolor the glove. This is only natural. The color, or rather, the discoloration of the glove, is a great indicator as to when to replace it.

 

The second indication is if it’s crispy. Although that may sound like a weird term, we all know what it means. If the glove is so permeated with hand sweat that it even hardens. Rather than being self-equipment, it looks and feels more like an aftermath of a science experiment. If this occurs, do not force your hand into the glove. If it does not fit, it does not fit.

 

The third indication, surprisingly, is if the glove does not fit anymore. Over time, the glove will shrink, due to the sweat and the wear that it causes. If you put it on and it is too small, just buy a new one. The same thing, similarly, goes for sandals or shoes. Although you can save money by not spending on new shoes, it is most definitely not comfortable to keep wearing the same undersized ones. It is both uncomfortable and unhealthy for your feet to do so. If you keep the same glove that is too short, it is uncomfortable for your hands, and will most definitely negatively affect your performance on the field.

 

The fourth indication is that you play a lot of golf. If you are a serious golfer, then you might definitely need more than one glove to play in. In fact, more serious golfers switch them out during a single round. Also, there are a lot of weather conditions at play. If it rains, and your glove gets wet, it is good to have a spare.

 

The fifth, and most obvious indication, is if there is visible damage. This includes holes and tears. If that happens, it should be more than clear to you to buy new gloves. These gloves that are broken are beyond anything a cleaning measure can do for you. Instead, just purchase new gloves.

 

Replacing on the Field

Although we talked about maintenance on the field, another good way to maintain them is by implementing one of the strategies above: switching out gloves.

 

Golfers usually use gloves on their non-dominant hand to improve grip. They also use the gloves on their non-dominant to prevent future blisters. However, the three factors that really come into play is the golf quality, the frequency it is played in, and how tight you grip the club.

 

Although we talked about replacing the glove at the end of its life, you should have more than one golf glove during a round. Most often the not, players change their gloves when it gets too uncomfortable or no longer provides a quality grip. Another thing to keep in mind is to have even more than one extra. After a few holes, your gloves get sweaty, and replacing them between 2-3 is perfect. Always remember, though, that recently used gloves should be aired out at home.

 

Most people change gloves every month, so it is completely normal to do so. However, you want to keep those expenses as low as possible through an efficient and consistent cleaning routine.

Conclusion

Golf gloves are essential for both better performance and comfortability on the field. A lot of golfers view it as one of the best tools one could have. Not only does it affect performance for the better, but it also allows you to bring an aesthetic look to the game. Think about why NFL players have nice shoes, or why NBA players wear accessories. Although it slightly affects performance, it is mostly an aesthetically pleasing thing to see.

 

Not only that, but it also makes a lot of golfers more comfortable on the field. Oftentimes, the grip on the club may hurt players, and so it is important for you to be able to take care of yourself on the field.

 

One of the best ways to maintain these gloves is to keep another 2-3 in the bag. In between rounds, you want to exchange between them. By doing this, you let two gloves rest and one used. In the act of doing so, you balance out the sweat and tear on each one, saving you money in the end.

 

Always remember to not use your gloves to wipe off sweat in the game. Remember that sweat is the glove’s enemy. Instead, bring a towel, or even use your shirt if you have nothing else. Avoid as much sweat as possible when you can.

 

Also, remember that washing them routinely is key. You want to be gentle with them so that they do not wear out as often. If you are not gentle with them, then you would not be able to keep them alive for use for a long time. Treat them nicely, through a delicate cycle and proper handwash. By doing this, you do not immediately ruin the material, and you also get to keep the gloves you love clean.

 

Regardless of what glove you have, leather or synthetic, they are both cleanable as long as you are gentle. What they both have in common is the air-drying process. You never want to throw the gloves into the dryer. Keep in mind they have a 30-degree Celsius limit, and if it goes over that, you have ruined the gloves. Air dry for as long as you can and wait until it is your desired level of comfortability.

 

One more thing to keep in mind is that how you play affects the gloves as well and speaks to your technique. If there is a large dent in the thumb, you are putting in way too much pressure, for example. By knowing this, you can even fix your routine while at the same time maintain glove longevity.

 

Finally, and most importantly, remember that gloves can be replaced. This can be for a multitude of reasons, and they are given above. Do not force yourself to use gloves that are in bad condition. In doing so, you are only going to worsen your performance and might even get blisters when golfing as the gloves are no longer protecting you. Just like sandals, know that gloves have an expiration date. Most golfers get new gloves every month or so, but with proper cleaning, you can always save a lot of money.

 

 

 

 

Justin Adams

Hi! My name is Justin and I am a PGA professional. I have been playing golf for about 20 years and teaching for the last 10. I have just recently been elected into PGA membership which I cannot be more excited about! My goals are to teach beginning golfers all over the world about the game of golf to help grow the game.

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