How to Clean Golf Gloves
Learning how to clean golf gloves can have a bigger impact your game than you might think.
Re-using the same crumpled and water-stained glove over and over doesn't just affect how you look on the green. More importantly, a glove that isn't clean is affecting your grip. Even with the form you’ve been perfecting at the driving range and the clubs designed to help you keep the ball on the course, learning how to clean and wash golf gloves will help you maintain a superior grip.
Your grip is one of the most understated elements to a straight shot. Too tight a grip, and your entire body tenses up, disrupting the natural flow of your swing. Too loose, and the club wriggles just as you make contact with the ball, sending it on a diagonal course for the rough.
Or, even worse – on a particularly hot and sweaty day – too loose a grip can cause your club to literally fly from your hands on the follow-through.
Get a Grip on Your Golf Game
Golf gloves – whether they’re premium cabretta golf gloves or synthetic – are probably amongst the least expensive items in your arsenal. Especially when compared to a set of clubs, a nice golf bag, or even your shoes. Although you may own inexpensive golf gloves, they function as one of your most useful tools for hitting a ball straight.
Many golfers of all skill levels choose to buy a new golf glove every couple of weeks. This is because most golfers don’t realize how easy it is to clean golf gloves. Golf gloves may not cost a fortune, but if you exercise proper golf glove care, they can last months of use.
Bionic golf gloves are already designed to last 2-3 times longer than the average golf glove. By following just a handful of care tips, you can ensure you get even more out of your leather golf gloves.
Golf Glove Care On the Course
It all comes down to the material of your golf gloves. Simply put, the best golf gloves are made of leather. Many companies manufacture synthetic gloves, but any serious golfer knows that when it comes to gloves, leather trumps synthetic by a wide margin.
Leather is animal skin, and – just like your skin or mine – is porous, allowing air and moisture to permeate the surface. On the green, a golf glove’s function is to reduce perspeiration from your hands, allowing for a firmer grip. The porousness of leather gloves serves as ventilation for your hands, keeping them cool on those hot days on the course.
Just like any other leather product – leather boots, bags, or jackets – there’s a fine line to walk between keeping your leather moisturized and over-saturating the leather with liquid.
Too much moisture breaks down a leather glove.
The only thing worse than too much moisture for any leather product is salt. Salt from perspiration dehydrates the leather, breaking down the glove at an alarming rate. It’s the same reason your leather boots may start to peel after exposure to ice treated with road salt.
That’s why you should never use your glove to wipe perspiration from your forehead, face, or arms. If you want your glove to last, throw a microfiber towel in your bag for removing perspiration in between rounds. Your gloves will last longer, as they are not designed to be drenched in sweat.
But aren’t golf gloves supposed to be used for moisture control?
Absolutely! But there’s a big difference between actively wiping perspiration onto the surface of your gloves and producing sweat from the inside of your gloves. One of the reasons that Bionic Gloves tend to last so long is because of the mini-towel technology designated to absorb excess moisture.
Even with the moisture-absorbing technology found in top-notch golf gloves like the Bionic StableGrip, it’s best to air out your golfing glove between holes. You can stick the glove in your back pocket when walking to the next tee, or hang it from your golf bag. Many golfers find it easier to bring an extra glove and alternate between the two from front to the back nine. This way, you’re guaranteed to always have a dry, sweat-free glove on hand.
Although saltwater is perhaps the worst type of moisture for a golf glove, you probably want to refrain from dunking your golfing glove in water altogether. Whether you’re at a ball washing station or saving a ball from a water trap, it’s best to remove your glove first and perform the action with your bare hand. Then, use a towel to dry off your hand and continue your game with a dry hand in a dry glove. Playing in a wet glove wears down both your hand and the glove through abrasion. Moisture softens both leather and the skin on your hands, potentially leading to a poor-fitting glove and painful blisters on your hand.
At the end of your game, be sure to not just scrunch your glove up and toss it in a pocket of your bag. Just like airing out your glove between rounds, carefully hang your glove on the exterior of your bag or hold your gloves as they dry off. Compacting leather gloves into a ball is exactly like throwing a bathroom towel on the floor – it takes forever to dry. But unlike a cotton towel, leather golf gloves are actually damaged when sweaty and crumpled up.
How to Clean Cabretta Leather Golf Gloves at Home
The sooner you can wash the gloves, the better. A hardy pair of cabretta leather golf gloves can be easily cleaned and maintained when you follow these easy guidelines:
If washing by hand, use mild detergent and gently wash the glove until all surface dirt and perspiration is removed. If machine washing, set to a delicate cycle. Secure any velcro before tossing a glove in the washer. Never use bleach when washing a leather glove.
Remember to always air dry. If you expose leather to extreme heat, it will likely result in cracking and/or shrinking. Hang your leather glove and allow it to air dry for awhile. However, drying your glove in a warm and arid climate may actually dry out the leather.
If you notice the leather drying out after either a long day on the green or after washing, consider using a leather conditioner to ensure the leather remains supple. When conditioning, pay special attention to creases, as these points are where your hands and fingers need to be the most flexible. There are many leather conditioners available on the market, from creams to sprays.
When to Replace
However, the better you maintain your gloves, the less frequently you’ll have to buy a replacement. The aim of a golf glove is to absorb perspiration and give you an ideal grip on your club, so it’s only natural that the glove will break down with regular use.
If your gloves have dirt that simply cannot be washed away, it’s probably time to go ahead and order new ones. The same goes with holes in the glove’s surface. These types of damages are irreparable, and it’s advised to go ahead and purchase a new glove before your next trip to the golf course.
Also, if your gloves have shrunk or cracked due to heat exposure, it’s probably time to get yourself a new glove. Gloves that become too stiff or otherwise uncomfortable should also be thrown away. A good golf glove should be comfortable and help to improve your game – not serve as a distraction.
It’s only natural for golf gloves to come and go, but you can increase the lifespan of your glove with proper care. Maintain the grip of your glove and help keep your swing straight and true with these care tips:
- Refrain from oversaturating your glove with moisture. Remove your glove before using a ball washing station or retrieving a ball from a water trap.
- Perspiration or salt on the surface of your glove will cause it to break down. Don’t use your cabretta leather glove as a towel.
- Air out your glove in between rounds. Consider bringing an additional glove so you can alternate gloves between rounds.
- After a game, wash the dirt and grit from your glove on a delicate cycle or by hand
- Never dry your glove with a drying machine. Air dry only.
- Use leather conditioner after drying to maintain your glove’s flexibility.
- If your glove becomes too stiff or uncomfortable – toss it! It’s time for a new glove.