No matter how you care for or use your golf gloves, they’ll eventually get dirty — and dirty gloves are no fun to wear. Additionally, if dirt is allowed to accumulate for a longer period, it may damage the gloves. That’s why you need to clean your gloves regularly.
It’s best to clean most golfing gloves by hand, but it depends on the material. Leather gloves can be cleaned carefully using soapy water and a soft brush. Synthetic gloves can be machine washed, but it’s not advisable. Don’t put golf gloves into the dryer after washing. Instead, air-dry them.
Let’s take a closer look at how to go about washing your golf gloves, when to replace them, and some general tips for golf glove care.
Can You Wash Golf Gloves?
You can wash some golf gloves in a washing machine, but you have to set it to a gentle cycle and use cold water to ensure they maintain their size.
That said, washing golf gloves in a washing machine isn’t recommended because they’ll become waterlogged and require an extended period of drying time. There’s also a likelihood that your golf glove will lose its shape or become crusty, so you should avoid using a washing machine as much as possible.
If you want your golf gloves to maintain their original shape and feel, a washing machine is a no-no, unless they’re extremely dirty. But even so, you have to be prepared for the results.
After washing gloves in a washing machine, you won’t be able to use them immediately as it will take time to dry. Worse still, they may not fit you well after drying. It may take time for the globes to regain their original shape and fit you well.
The best thing to do is to use a damp piece of cloth to clean the glove while you’re wearing it.
Cleaning Golf Gloves
As already mentioned, gold gloves should be kept away from washing machines. The rough tumble, moisture, and heat associated with washing machines are great enemies to leather gloves.
Synthetic gloves may be more agreeable, but that doesn’t mean you should wash them in the washing machine. To clean your golf gloves, follow the steps below:
Identify the Type of Glove
Glove type identification is perhaps the most important step when it comes to cleaning golf gloves. It’s imperative to know whether you’re dealing with leather or synthetic gloves. If you can’t tell by feeling the texture of the glove, check for any tag on it.
A care tag should have some information on the glove. If you find out that your glove is made of leather, then you shouldn’t wash it. Leather gloves aren’t washable, so try to keep them clean while playing.
If your glove is synthetic, move to the next step.
Gather the Washing Materials
You don’t need a lot of materials for cleaning your synthetic gloves. All you need is soap, warm water, and a cleaning brush, preferably a soft one.
Avoid cleaning brushes with hard or metal bristles because they can tear your gloves. Also, avoid using harsh detergents or any harsh cleaning agents or supplies. A simple dishwashing soap will suffice.
Wash the Gloves
Don’t submerge the gloves completely in water. Just take a little water and soap on your cleaning brush and scrub the gloves slowly, paying particular attention to areas with grime and dirt.
Scrub carefully, applying enough force to remove the dirt. You should occasionally dip the brush in the water and scrub it.
As the glove gets wet, wipe it with a piece of cloth so you can see the areas with dirt and grime. If you notice any, dip the brush once more in water, add soap, and scrub those areas. Continue wiping and scrubbing until you remove all the dirt.
Synthetic vs. Leather
Do you want your golf gloves to serve you for a long time? If so, you have to take good care of them. Caring for your gloves starts right on the green. There are certain habits that can deteriorate your gloves and eventually break them down.
The type of care you provide for your golf gloves depends on the material they’re made of. If you want to buy the best gloves, go for leather.
Many golf glove manufacturers use synthetic materials, but this won’t last as long as leather. If you’re a hard-core golfer, you probably already know that leather golf gloves are far better than synthetic gloves.
This is because leather is strong. It’s animal skin, meaning it’s porous, allowing moisture and air to permeate its surface. While playing, your main aim is to reduce the level of moisture in the gloves so you can have a firm grip.
Since moisture comes from perspiration, you need a material that can allow it to escape, and that material is leather. The porosity of leather also ventilates your hands, thus reducing perspiration levels.
Too much moisture can break down your leather gloves. Apart from moisture, another great enemy of leather is salt. The salt that comes from your perspiration can dehydrate leather and cause it to crack.
Even though moisture and salt don’t affect synthetic gloves as much as leather gloves, too much moisture in synthetic gloves will prevent a firm grip. Synthetic gloves are non-porous, meaning they can allow high levels of moisture to accumulate in them.
Thorough Leather Glove Cleaning
Since grit and perspiration can break down your leather golf gloves, you’ll have to remove any dirt that builds up on the gloves once you’re done using them. The sooner you clean leather gloves, the better.
Note that most leather gloves aren’t washable, with the exception of a few. On the other hand, nearly all Bionic Golfing Gloves (on Amazon) are washable. The reason is that Bionic gloves are professionally treated to withstand washing.
Only wash your leather gloves when they’re very dirty because regular washing can damage them. You can hand-wash your leather gloves, but remember to be gentle.
Use a gentle detergent and cold water to wash the gloves until their surfaces are free from perspiration and dirt. If you must machine wash your leather golf gloves, use the gentle cycle and secure all of the velcro before tossing them into the washer. Don’t use bleach when cleaning your leather golf gloves.
Golf Glove Drying
Drying the gloves is a crucial part of cleaning them. This is because poor drying can distort their shape and completely ruin them. Never throw your gloves into a dryer. Instead, air dry them to ensure they maintain their texture and size.
If you can find a sunny spot, that’s best. Your gloves will dry faster. As they dry, stretch them out periodically to help retain their shape and form.
When to Replace Golf Gloves
Once you’ve washed your golf gloves and they’re dry, the next step is to analyze them to find out whether you can continue using them or if you need to buy new ones. If the gloves have holes or permanent stains, consider replacing them. There’s no need to try to fix the holes or use a stain remover to clean them.
No matter how you take care of your golf gloves, a time will come when you’ll have to replace them since they’ll be wearing down. Taking good care of your gloves only increases their lifespan. It’s not just about holes and stains. If your gloves have suffered any irreparable damage, you’ll have to replace them.
Also, if the gloves have cracked or shrunk to the extent that you can’t put them on, there’s no need to keep them. Your gloves may also become too stiff or uncomfortable to wear.
If that’s the case with your gloves, throw them away and buy new ones. A good golf glove should be clean, comfortable to wear, and provide a good grip. If it fails in any of these qualities, it’s not worth keeping.
Care Tips for Golf Gloves
Apart from regular cleaning, there are many other things you can do to increase the lifespan of your golfing gloves. Some of these include:
- Don’t use the golf gloves to clean perspiration from your arms, forehead, and face. As already mentioned, salt is the worst enemy of golf gloves.
The salt from your sweat will eventually reach your gloves if you use the gloves to wipe the sweat. If you’re fond of using the gloves to wipe sweat, your gloves will start cracking due to excessive dehydration.
- Avoid using the glove to clean other things: It’s quite tempting to use your glove to clean the surface of your club or ball. This isn’t a good idea because the gloves will get dirty and may also degrade at a higher rate.
- Air out the golf gloves in between holes: Remember, moisture is the enemy of your gloves. You have to do all that it takes to reduce the amount of moisture in them. The best way to do this is to take them off after each hole to give them time to lose some moisture.
You can hang them on your bag or stick them in your back pocket. Alternatively, you can have an extra set of gloves so you can alternate them. Having an extra pair means you can leave one pair to dry while you use the other pair.
- Don’t put the glove inside the bag right after the game: Stuffing your glove inside your bag means denying them time to dry. While in the bag, it will take several hours or days for the gloves to dry.
And when they eventually dry, it may be too late. They might have been damaged. Instead, make sure you hang your gloves in a place where they can dry after every game. Once the gloves are thoroughly dry, you can return them to the bag.