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457 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A conversation at my local gear shop reminded me of something that most riders I've talked to never think of: taking care of leather gloves. Without some attention, sweat and environmental buildup wreak havoc on leather, leading to premature cracks and failure.

Go pick up some leather conditioner. There are all kinds out there: mink oil, Lexol conditioner, Vanson makes some, etc. I've personally only used Vanson's leather balm and Lexol. Both seem to work the same - work it into the leather, wipe away excess, end enjoy happy gloves. Lexol is easiest to get, as most auto parts places carry it and so does Amazon.

A tip if your gloves are unlined inside: coat your hands in conditioner and put the gloves on to do an even more thorough job.

I condition my gloves every few months and the same pair remains in fantastic shape after six years.

After Me Lucky Charms
5,281 Posts
Direct from Held USA, since I have had 2 pair of Held's, I go by this.

Held USA Sizing and Glove Care

HeldUSA said:
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Sizing & Glove Care
Glove Care
After riding, let your gloves breathe and dry out. Do not store them in a closed container, jacket pocket, helmet or tank bag.

Also, Held recommends that you wash your gloves.

When you ride, all of the sweat, along with the oils, acids and salts contained in your sweat, will soak into the leather. After a while this built-up sweat may cause the leather to fail prematurely. You should wash your gloves with soap and water to remove this sweat build-up.

Rinse the gloves with clean water, do not use high pressure. You may also let the gloves soak in clear water to loosen up and draw the sweat out of the gloves. Now wash the inside of the gloves with soap and water. Dilute soap in the water; do not apply soap concentrate directly into gloves. Regular antibacterial liquid hand soap works well. Allow the gloves to soak in the soapy water. Using your hands, work the inside surfaces of the gloves. Rinse and repeat as needed until you are satisfied that the gloves are clean.

Rinse the gloves thoroughly. Do not twist or wring the gloves when wet; this may distort the shape and fit of the gloves. Use your fingers and hands, starting at the finger tips and working down, press or squeeze the water out of the gloves. You may place a small folded towel in the gloves and press the water out of the padding and Kevlar lining in the back of the gloves.

Now allow the gloves to dry slowly. Do not place in direct sunlight or expose to high heat. Lying in front of a fan in the garage is a good place. Just before the gloves are completely dry, put the gloves on and shape them to your hand while damp. Remove the gloves, trying to keep this hand shape in the gloves. Allow to continue drying.

After the gloves are completely dry, apply a good quality leather conditioner. This is very important. Properly treated and conditioned leather will breathe and the internal micro fibers will move freely in the leather. Use a good quality leather conditioner that will allow the leather to breathe. Apply conditioner generously and rub into the leather. Allow the conditioner to soak into the gloves and reapply (you can do this in the sun). Wipe off any excess conditioner and make sure the gloves are not slick on the motorcycle controls.

You should do this at least once a year. More often if you sweat heavily, ride in a hot climate, notice salt rings (white stains) or discoloration from repeatedly being soaked with sweat, if the leather gets hard or stiff, or if you begin to notice a smell from the gloves.
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