As an avid cyclist with years of experience, I know the importance of having the right gear, and cycling gloves are high on that list. They’re essential for achieving the optimal grip, ensuring safety with their built-in armor, and providing protection against various weather conditions.

But have you ever gone for a ride and noticed that your gloves are not as comfortable as they used to be, and they smell? No worries, in this article, we’ll dive into a comprehensive guide on how to clean cycling gloves like a pro.

Whether your gloves are fabric, leather, woolen, or nylon, this guide has got you covered. Keep reading and give your gloves the TLC they deserve.

Understanding Different Types of Cycling Gloves 

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s essential to understand the types of cycling gloves and what they are made of. This will help you choose the best cleaning methods that won’t damage your gloves.

Half-Coverage Gloves

These gloves cover your palms but leave your fingers exposed. Perfect for summer and autumn rides, half-coverage cycling gloves come with armor and vents for added safety and comfort.

Full-Coverage Gloves

Ideal for winter, these gloves cover your entire hands, providing protection against cold weather.

Fabric Gloves

Most cycling gloves are made from breathable materials like polyester, lycra, or other fabrics. They are lightweight and great for summer rides.

Leather Gloves

For a stylish ride and added comfort during winter, leather cycling gloves are the way to go. Leather ensures a good grip and is very comfortable to wear.

Now, let’s dive into the cleaning process.

Essential Items for Cleaning Cycling Gloves

  • Antibacterial liquid soap
  • Mild detergent powder
  • Leather conditioner
  • White vinegar

You’ll be relieved to know these items are typically found in most households.

How to Hand Wash Fabric Cycling Gloves: 4 Easy Steps

Step 1: Secure the Closures

Before washing, make sure to fasten all closures like velcro tabs, buttons, hooks, etc., to keep them from snagging or opening during washing.

Step 2: Soak in Soapy Water

Fill a sink or bucket with cold water and add antibacterial liquid soap. Mix it well and immerse your gloves in this solution for 15-30 minutes. If they’re particularly smelly, add ⅛ cup of white vinegar for a fresh scent.

Step 3: Gently Scrub the Gloves

With a soft brush or cloth, gently scrub the gloves, paying attention to the knuckle areas and inside, then rinse them with cold water.

Step 4: Let Them Air Dry

Dry your gloves naturally by hanging them up or laying them flat. Avoid using a dryer as it could damage the fabric.

Cleaning Leather Cycling Gloves: 5 Careful Steps

Leather gloves require a different approach due to the sensitive nature of the material.

Step 1: Wear the Gloves and Gently Rub

Put on the gloves, wet them with water, and gently rub them using mild liquid soap or leather cleaner.

Step 2: Rinse Off and Squeeze Gently

Rinse the gloves with plain water and gently squeeze the water out.

Step 3: Dry with a Towel

Place the gloves between a bath towel and press gently to absorb the excess water.

Step 4: Wear Them for Stretching and Air Dry

Put them back on to stretch and mold them, then air dry them in a cool place.

Step 5: Apply Leather Conditioner

For maintaining the leather’s condition, apply a leather conditioner.

Cleaning Woolen and Nylon Cycling Gloves

For woolen gloves, use mild detergent and cold water. Do not wring them as it can ruin their shape; instead, press them gently between towels to remove excess water and lay them flat to dry.

For nylon gloves, you can use similar steps as fabric gloves but ensure to use a mild detergent.

Maintaining Your Cycling Gloves

  • Don’t use bleach or fabric softeners.
  • Don’t dry gloves directly in the sun as it can cause the fabric to fade and dry out, especially leather.
  • Washing too often can cause wear, so only wash them when necessary.
  • Store them in a cool, dry place.


Cleaning your cycling gloves shouldn’t be a daunting task. This guide outlines methods that are simple yet effective for maintaining your gloves. Whether you’re a daily commuter, a weekend warrior, or preparing for a race, clean gloves are essential for a comfortable and enjoyable ride. So, let’s hit the road with clean and comfortable cycling gloves!